Cohort 3: School Choice

The Issue at Hand

North Carolina has always prided itself on education, however, elementary and secondary education, which shapes and secures this state’s future, varies widely across the state. From the distribution of charter schools to adequate funding, leaders across the state hope to provide in a way that they can look towards a vibrant time ahead.

NCLF brought 39 leaders across the state to meet four times day-and-a-half meetings during 2019 at Duke University, in High Point, and in Wilmington. Participants included legislators, philanthropists, advocates, businesspeople, and more to discuss aspects of education including funding, choice, supply of teachers and students, and more.

North Carolina has always prided itself on education, however, elementary and secondary education, which shapes and secures this state’s future, varies widely across the state. From the distribution of charter schools to adequate funding, leaders across the state hope to provide in a way that they can look towards a vibrant time ahead.

NCLF brought 39 leaders across the state to meet four times day-and-a-half meetings during 2019 at Duke University, in High Point, and in Wilmington. Participants included legislators, philanthropists, advocates, businesspeople, and more to discuss aspects of education including funding, choice, supply of teachers and students, and more.

Two people sit at a dinner table and converse. On the left, there is a Black woman wearing a dark green dress, and on the right, there is a White man with a salt-and-pepper beard wearing a red sweater.

Cohort 3: School Choice Final Report

This report summarizes the proceedings and findings of the third year of NCLF. We explored the question, “What role should choice play in North Carolina elementary and secondary education, and what array of educational options should the state fund in order to provide a quality education for every child?”

After much discussion, the report notes concerns about funding, segregation, flexibility, and accountability, including background knowledge that was provided to participants and policy options that were raised. For each issue, there is also note of points that were overwhelmingly agreed upon, had divided opinions, and ones with no consensus.

The report ends with what we learned through the process; From 95% of participants saying they “formed a relationship with one or more people of differing views that likely would not have otherwise formed,” to  NCLF outlining the nuance in administering this forum, there is substantial information for other forums, for North Carolinians, and for those interested in education.

Download the Final Report Here (PDF)

Cohort 3: School Choice Final Report

This report summarizes the proceedings and findings of the third year of NCLF. We explored the question, “What role should choice play in North Carolina elementary and secondary education, and what array of educational options should the state fund in order to provide a quality education for every child?”

After much discussion, the report notes concerns about funding, segregation, flexibility, and accountability, including background knowledge that was provided to participants and policy options that were raised. For each issue, there is also note of points that were overwhelmingly agreed upon, had divided opinions, and ones with no consensus.

The report ends with what we learned through the process; From 95% of participants saying they “formed a relationship with one or more people of differing views that likely would not have otherwise formed,” to  NCLF outlining the nuance in administering this forum, there is substantial information for other forums, for North Carolinians, and for those interested in education.

Download the Final Report Here (PDF)

Participants from Cohort 3

Jim Anthony, Colliers International Raleigh 

Deanna Ballard, NC Senate 

Jonathan Barfield, Jr., New Hanover County Board of Commissioners 

Lisa Stone Barnes, NC House of Representatives 

Tamara Barringer*, UNC-CH Kenan-Flagler Business School;

Former NCGA Member 

Anita Brown-Graham*, UNC School of Government 

Ashton Clemmons, NC House of Representatives 

Kit Cramer, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce 

Paul Cuadros, UNC School of Media and Journalism 

Jeffrey Elmore, NC House of Representatives 

James Ford, North Carolina State Board of Education 

Amy Scott Galey, Alamance County Board of Commissioners 

Maurice “Mo” Green*, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation 

Rita Haire, A.M. Haire Corporation 

John Hood*, John William Pope Foundation 

Ray Jeffers, Person County Board of Commissioners 

Dale Jenkins, Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina 

Simon Johnson, Quality Education Academy 

Mike Long, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina 

Tomas Lopez, Democracy NC 

Chris Lowder, Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools 

Natasha Marcus, NC Senate 

Ann McColl, The Innovation Project 

Chuck Neely*, Williams Mullen, Former NCGA member 

Kate Pett, Asheville City Schools Foundation 

Rodney Pitts, Southern Elevator 

Keith Poston, Public School Forum of North Carolina 

Robert Reives*, NC House of Representatives 

Cheryl Riley, Victory Christian Center School 

Vickie Sawyer, NC Senate 

Patrick Sims, The Hunt Institute 

Erica Smith, NC Senate 

Jule Smith, Fred Smith Company 

Thomas Stith, The Michael Thomas Group 

Terry Stoops, Vice President of Research and Director of Education

Studies, John Locke Foundation 

Tammi Sutton, KIPP Eastern NC Public Schools 

Thomas Vaidhyan, Aten Inc. 

Jay Wagner, Mayor of High Point 

Leslie Winner*, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; Former NCGA member 

Jim Anthony, Colliers International Raleigh 

Deanna Ballard, NC Senate 

Jonathan Barfield, Jr., New Hanover County

Board of Commissioners 

Lisa Stone Barnes, NC House

of Representatives 

Tamara Barringer*, UNC-CH Kenan-Flagler

Business School; Former NCGA Member 

Anita Brown-Graham*, UNC School of

Government 

Ashton Clemmons, NC House

of Representatives 

Kit Cramer, Asheville Area Chamber

of Commerce 

Paul Cuadros, UNC School of Media and

Journalism 

Jeffrey Elmore, NC House of Representatives 

James Ford, North Carolina State Board of

Education 

Amy Scott Galey, Alamance County Board of

Commissioners 

Maurice “Mo” Green*, Z. Smith Reynolds

Foundation 

Rita Haire, A.M. Haire Corporation 

John Hood*, John William Pope Foundation 

Ray Jeffers, Person County Board

of Commissioners 

Dale Jenkins, Medical Mutual Insurance

Company of North Carolina 

Simon Johnson, Quality Education Academy 

Mike Long, Parents for Educational

Freedom in North Carolina 

Tomas Lopez, Democracy NC 

Chris Lowder, Superintendent of Cabarrus

County Schools 

Natasha Marcus, NC Senate 

Ann McColl, The Innovation Project 

Chuck Neely*, Williams Mullen, Former NCGA

member 

Kate Pett, Asheville City Schools Foundation 

Rodney Pitts, Southern Elevator 

Keith Poston, Public School Forum of

North Carolina 

Robert Reives*, NC House of Representatives 

Cheryl Riley, Victory Christian Center School 

Vickie Sawyer, NC Senate 

Patrick Sims, The Hunt Institute 

Erica Smith, NC Senate 

Jule Smith, Fred Smith Company 

Thomas Stith, The Michael Thomas Group 

Terry Stoops, Vice President of Research

and Director of Education Studies,

John Locke Foundation 

Tammi Sutton, KIPP Eastern NC Public Schools 

Thomas Vaidhyan, Aten Inc. 

Jay Wagner, Mayor of High Point 

Leslie Winner*, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation;

Former NCGA member 

*Denotes NCLF Steering Committee Member

Supplements

COVID-19 and K-12 Report

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NC Leadership Forum invited alumni from its 2019 education cohort to reunite via Zoom for two conversations about how NC was addressing challenges in K-12 education during COVID. These conversations are the first time NCLF has gathered alumni for follow-up. The online dialogues illustrated the long-term value of building a network in which leaders across North Carolina could brainstorm with and support each other, sharing very diverse perspectives on the impact of a crisis, and deliberating lessons learned that could be used to transform education in the future.

Download the COVID-19 Cohort 3 Report Here (PDF)

COVID-19 and K-12 Report

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NC Leadership Forum invited alumni from its 2019 education cohort to reunite via Zoom for two conversations about how NC was addressing challenges in K-12 education during COVID. These conversations are the first time NCLF has gathered alumni for follow-up. The online dialogues illustrated the long-term value of building a network in which leaders across North Carolina could brainstorm with and support each other, sharing very diverse perspectives on the impact of a crisis, and deliberating lessons learned that could be used to transform education in the future.

Download the COVID-19 Cohort 3 Report Here (PDF)