**3.33pm** Senator Berger introduced a bill [link] to reform education at a press conference just after noon today.
Reforms in the Excellent Public Schools Act include:
· Adding new reading-intensive instruction for students who struggle with reading. Nearly one in four North Carolina students fails to graduate from high school and many drop out because they never mastered the ability to read by the fourth grade.
· Emphasizing the importance of literacy by ending social promotion of students who can’t read at grade level by the end of third grade. Nearly 97 percent of third-graders are promoted to the fourth grade. Yet 66 percent of fourth-graders cannot read at grade level.
· Allowing parents and the public to clearly identify high-achieving, average and failing schools by creating a transparent system to grade schools A to F. This will encourage weak schools to improve and allow parents to determine the best options for their children.
· Establishing a North Carolina Teacher Corps program – modeled on Teach for America – that will give the best and brightest recent college graduates and mid-career professionals a direct path to teach in low-performing schools where students need the most help.
· Rewarding the most effective teachers with bonuses and merit-based pay increases.
· Boosting accountability in the classroom by employing teachers on annual contracts that are renewed based on performance. The current system rewards mediocrity and punishes excellence by granting job security to all who teach a few years.
· Providing transportation and non-instructional support funding for the five additional instructional days already added to the school calendar.
· Allowing state employees to volunteer in a public school literacy program for up to five hours per month.
Source: North Carolina Republican Senate Caucus
Here is a copy:
S795v0 "Excellent Public Schools Act"
The North Carolina General Assembly [link] is convening for the short session, and for once, it will truly be a short session since the Republicans are in charge. Both the NC Senate [link] and the NC House [link] are scheduled to convene at noon today.
I have posted the calendar of scheduled legislative activity along with links to where you can listen online to our state legislators as they go about their tasks. I plan on listening and recording what I can, so be sure to check back later today and see what audio I've managed to upload.
Also, since I am moving my Conservative Thunder Social Network to Google Plus, if you wish to be included in our NCGA Project Circle so that you can receive my updates over there, circle me on Google Plus [my G+ Profile] and send me a message on that network indicating you wish to be added to the NCGA Project circle. Once you are in the circle, you will be given opportunities to become part of our reciprocal NCGA Project circle (this means you will be able to see posts by the Conservative Thunder members of the circle that relate to the North Carolina General Assembly).
Another good source of live and recorded audio of the NC General Assembly is Voter Radio. Check out their website.
|8:30 AM||Transportation Oversight, Jt Leg Committee||1228/1327 LB|
Judiciary Subcommittee B - CANCELLED (House)
|10:00 AM||State-Owned Assets, House Select Committee on [web]||[AUDIO] 544 LOB|
Session Convenes (Senate) [Calendar PDF]
Session Convenes (House) [Calendar PDF]
Pursuant to House Rules, the following bills must appear on the Calendar;
however, no votes will be taken.
RECONSIDERATION OF VETOED BILLS
HB 7 Ingle, Cleveland and McCormick (Primary Sponsors) - COMMUNITY
COLLEGES/OPT OUT OF FEDERAL LOAN PROGRAM.
(Vetoed by Governor - 4/13/11) (Ratified Edition)
HB 351 Lewis, T. Moore and Killian (Primary Sponsors) - RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN
GOVERNMENT. (Vetoed by Governor - 6/23/11)
(Veto Override Vote Reconsidered - 7/26/11) (Ratified Edition)
HB 482 Burr - WATER SUPPLY LINES/WATER VIOLATION WAIVERS.
(Vetoed by Governor - 6/27/11) (Ratified Edition)
SB 709 Rucho, Brown and Tucker (Primary Sponsors) - ENERGY JOBS ACT.
(Vetoed by Governor - 6/30/11) (Ratified Edition)
SECOND AND THIRD READINGS
HJR 940 Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House - ADJOURN
(Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House) (1st Edition)
Senator Berger Press Conference