RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s top education official has revised her signature plan for the state’s schools.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt on Tuesday released Operation Polaris 2.0, which she says sharpens her original educational framework from two years ago and pushes for progress in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and student literacy.
“Operation Polaris continues to serve as a long-term, proactive and forward-thinking vision for education in the state and one that evolves to fit the challenges and changes facing the state’s public schools,” Truitt said. “Many initiatives outlined in the first iteration of Operation Polaris are well underway and others, such as strengthening literacy and workforce development, have been enhanced or added as our work to date has led us to new solutions.”
The original plan was unveiled in 2021 after Truitt took office and said her North Star was “that every student deserves a highly qualified, excellent teacher in every classroom.”
Among the priorities listed in the 44-page revision:
- Equipping teachers and literacy coaches from pre-K through fifth grade with methods based in the “science of reading” to make sure all children read before they start fourth grade.
- Redesigning the K-12 accountability system by measuring success based on preparedness for the work force, higher education and “robust” civic participation.
- Focusing on five student support areas that affect performance: social-emotional, nutrition, school safety, broadband connectivity and school facilities.
The plan also promises to focus on schools described as low performing, with the renamed Office of District and Regional Support to provide those districts with what DPI calls “comprehensive, hands-on support.”
The N.C. Department of Public Instruction said it is making progress in developing what it calls the portrait of a graduate, a description of attributes that students should possess when they graduate from high school, and is working to overhaul the A through F school performance grade model.
“There is still much work to be done,” Truitt said, “but Operation Polaris is helping us chart a steady course to continued improvement of North Carolina’s schools and to improved outcomes for all students.”