BEST NC and RTI International kicked off the Vision Initiative in the summer of 2014 with the NC Education Innovation Lab, engaging more than 80 top education stakeholders and thought leaders from across the state and the political spectrum in an ambitious and critical discussion about the most promising strategies to take education in North Carolina from good to great. The Innovation Lab included an entire day of discussions around historic and current education issues in North Carolina. Participants divided up into four working groups in the afternoon and then reconvened at the end of the day. This diverse group of stakeholders agreed on one important point:
Innovation Lab participants also agreed that improving education in North Carolina would require a coordinated and comprehensive approach. It was decided that we would work together to set a shared Vision for North Carolina. Based on the recommendations of the four Lab groups, BEST NC convened working groups on subtopics that the Lab groups identified.
Co-chairs of the working groups included elected and appointed officials from the NC House, Senate, State Board of Education, and the Governor and Lt Governor’s Office; university and community college presidents; NC Teachers of the Year; practicing principals and superintendents; and non-profit, philanthropic and thought leaders from across the state (see Working Group co-chair list). More than 300 education stakeholders participated in one or more of these working groups, which met for a minimum of three 90-minute discussions.
The NC Education Vision working groups included a total of 52 meetings, and more than 40 presentations on emerging issues and best practices
The working group members collectively submitted more than 600 (unduplicated and unranked) recommendations to help take North Carolina education from good to great. In addition to these recommendations, the NC SUCCESS Vision synthesizes existing but disparate education-related strategic plans from across the state, including those from the State Board of Education, UNC Board of Governors, NC Community College System, the NC Digital Learning Plan, the Southern Regional Education Board, the NC Education Cabinet, the NC Chamber of Commerce, and several others.
In February of 2015, a draft of the proposed North Carolina Education Vision was released for public comment and feedback. Comments were collected through an online survey, web-based presentations and in-person meetings. This feedback was incorporated into this final Vision.
BEST NC (Business for Educational Success and Transformation in North Carolina) was formed in 2013 to unite an engaged and informed business perspective to dramatically transform and improve education in North Carolina. Throughout 2014, BEST NC convened conversations between key stakeholders and education experts from across the state and the country. Together those stakeholders identified the challenges, opportunities and solutions that became the strategic and comprehensive North Carolina Education Vision. Below are the major activities in the Vision process so far:
The NC Education Innovation Lab was hosted by BEST NC and RTI International during the summer of 2014. More than 80 top stakeholders and thought leaders from across the state and the political spectrum took part in an ambitious discussion about the most promising strategies to move education in North Carolina from good to great.
More than 300 education stakeholders from across the state participated in 17 working groups focused on topics such as K-12 standards, higher education faculty and staff, and personalized learning (see Appendix XX for full list of topics). The working groups held a total of 52 meetings with 40 presentations on emerging issues and best practices and produced more than 600 recommendations. Those recommendations – along with goals and strategies from more than 20 existing strategic plans related to education in North Carolina – informed the three strategies presented in this initial Vision.
In January 2015, BEST NC met with members of the business community from across the state to present the initial Vision and gather feedback.
In early 2015, the proposed North Carolina Education Vision was shared for feedback from all working group members and education stakeholders around the state. Using feedback from multiple sources, the final North Carolina Education Vision launched in April 2015 as an interactive web portal. Development of the site will continue with the creation of online communities where North Carolinians can sign up to lead, take part in, and track the progress of the initiatives that will help us achieve our shared goals.