November 2, 2018

Food for Thought

The Wall Street Journal released a new video series, “Voices from a Divided America,” which is based on survey responses to questions like what is the biggest challenge facing your community, and is the country headed in the right direction? Based on the responses, the Wall Street Journal profiled 10 people with different backgrounds, political beliefs, and values who are grappling with many of the same issues. One of the people profiled is a man from Rockingham, North Carolina, who describes life in a mill town that lost its mill.

The Next Evolution

This morning, my colleagues and I joined the John M Belk Endowment team to visit Wake Tech Community College’s new Research Triangle Park campus and learn more about Finish First, their innovative data initiative to boost completion rates. Dr. Kai Wong and Bryan Ryan developed Finish First to match their 30,000 students to the 275 credentials Wake Tech offers.

Finish First allowed Wake Tech to identify students who had completed credentials or even associate’s degrees but did not realize it. For the 2016-17 school year, Wake Tech increased credentials completed by 91 percent. In the future, they hope to use a similar approach to match students to local job postings.

Learn more about Finish First in this article by EducationNC and check out my Twitter thread from the visit today.

Dropping Knowledge

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a draft of the state’s Early Childhood Action Plan yesterday and is asking for public comment until November 30th. The plan outlines ten 2025 goals and metrics that are centered on the vision that by 2025, all North Carolina young children from birth to age 8 will be:

  1. Healthy: Children are healthy at birth and thrive in environments that support their optimal health and well-being.
  2. Safe and nurtured: Children grow confident, resilient, and independent in safe, stable, and nurturing families, schools, and communities.
  3. Learning and ready to succeed: Children experience the conditions they need to build strong brain architecture and school readiness skills that support their success in school and life.

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Need to Know

On Tuesday, November 6th, myFutureNC is holding a webinar to highlight a collaboration between EducationNC and ncIMPACT at the UNC School of Government on a new series titled, “Bright Spots: Innovative Efforts to Accelerate Attainment.” Join the webinar on Tuesday at 10:00 am EST to hear from Anita Brown-Graham, Nation Hahn, and Emily Williamson Gangi. You can join via this Zoom link: https://unc.zoom.us/j/928088363.


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