RALEIGH—Gov. Pat McCrory and education leaders are launching a five-year plan aimed at making North Carolina a worldwide leader in education.
The recently reconvened state education cabinet wants to retain and reward teachers and prepare students for quality jobs to meet the state’s workforce needs.
Earlier this year McCrory brought together his education cabinet for the first time in three years. On Wednesday, they gathered to review new plans that gets all silos of education on the same page and creates more opportunities for students and teachers.
"This is priority, we have got to do it and i cannot stress the sense of urgency," McCrory said.
The governor and his cabinet are working on plans to make that happen. They want students to learn the skills employers are looking for and keep teachers in the state.
“We've also got to look at how we reward not just teachers but all educators," McCrory said.
The education cabinet wants North Carolina to be a national leader in work based education. In order to prepare students to meet workforce needs and get quality jobs, Community College System President Scott Ralls said it’s crucial to provide them with more real world experiences.
"It will introduce employers to students but it also gives students valuable work experience that's structured in with an educational environment which is important today when fewer students have as many opportunities for teenage employment," Ralls explained.
The cabinet also wants to eliminate duplications and even come together in certain situations when developing its state budgets.
"Are there some places where we ought to come together?” questioned UNC System President Tom Ross. “And I think that this process is making us learn that there are lots of places we can probably go together and we ought to make that a priority."
In order to boost commerce, the governor wants the group plans to develop an education brand in an effort to spread the word about the state's education system.
"When we're selling businesses, when we're selling kids, when we're selling parents, what is our brand?” McCrory said. “What do we tell them and are we all telling them the same consistent message and is it accurate?"
Between now and spring, the education cabinet will spend more time developing concrete goals. Those goals will then be given to lawmakers and could be introduced as legislation in the 2014 session.