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State teacher support program relocating to ECU

Margaret Spellings
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UNC System President-Elect Margaret Spellings


The Daily Reflector

Monday, July 16, 2018

A statewide support program for new teachers will relocate this month from the UNC System office to the campus of East Carolina University, university officials announced Monday.

The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program is a comprehensive, university-based induction program offering a research-based curriculum and services to promote retention and improve the effectiveness of beginning teachers, an ECU news release said.

The program provides intensive induction support aligned to each new teacher’s individual needs, teaching assignment and school environment, officials said.

The move is part of a larger strategy promoted by UNC System President Margaret Spellings and the UNC Board of Governors to analyze how current system and office roles and responsibilities align with its core mission, strategic goals and competencies, the release said.

“We need to constantly challenge our assumptions about how we do our work to ensure we are having the greatest possible positive impact,” Spellings said. “The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program has demonstrated success in improving new teacher performance and retention.”

A college environment best suits the program’s goals and future objectives, Spellings said.

“We want to build on that success by ensuring the program is housed in an academic setting surrounded by educators who can help the program grow and thrive,” she said.

The UNC System office sought proposals from interested UNC institutions to house the program then convened an external review committee which included three people familiar with the program and educational issues in North Carolina to make a recommendation about the program’s placement.

The committee included Andrea Whittaker, director of teacher performance assessment at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity at the Stanford Graduate School of Education; Andrew Sioberg, director of educator preparation at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; and Bryan Hassel, Public Impact co-president.

ECU was the committee’s unanimous choice, although Appalachian State University and UNC-Greensboro also submitted strong proposals, officials said.

“Housing the NC New Teacher Support Program at ECU confirms our institution’s commitment to improving the quality of education for citizens of North Carolina, specifically in historically disadvantaged communities, in collaboration with UNC institutions across the state,” ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton said. “We hope that our work in improving education for students in North Carolina will create better opportunities for our youth to gain access to our great university system.”

Grant Hayes, dean of ECU’s College of Education, agreed with Staton.

“We are committed to ensuring educator preparation reform and we are currently conducting research on the impact NC NTSP has on teacher preparation, teacher induction and teacher leadership,” Hayes said.

ECU will collaborate with participating institutions to continue to advance the important work of this impactful program, he said.

Recurring funding from the General Assembly, as well as contributions from The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, will subsidize the program’s efforts to provide support to participating school districts for early career teachers, the news release said.

The move will not affect existing services or partnership agreements with institutions or school districts, the officials said.