SREB and North Carolina


SREB and North Carolina

An overview of SREB programs and services and how North Carolina participates in them.

Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.



Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s new Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding, or select a detailed state report. >

College and Career Readiness

Intensive work to help states implement essential components of SREB’s recommendations for statewide college and career readiness. These include assessing high school juniors to determine their progress toward the state’s readiness standards — and requiring those who are underprepared to take transitional courses in 12th grade.

SREB profiles summarize each state’s progress on the recommendations through fall 2016. >

Benchmarking Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards 

Tracks and reports progress on implementation of college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms across states. Based on this research, SREB staff support these states through reports, meetings and technical assistance.


In May 2017, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Alignment of Instructional Materials, a regional report on implementation across states, strong state efforts and actions for improvement — plus profiles that describe each state’s efforts in detail, highlight notable actions and offer recommendations for moving forward.

The report notes North Carolina’s strong efforts in the areas of establishing conventions for developing, reviewing and selecting aligned instructional materials; supporting local efforts to use high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials; and using data to continuously improve state efforts.

Technical Assistance

In April 2017, SREB launched a state accountability network with  monthly conference calls for SREB member states to share ideas and discuss questions about redesigning and implementing state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Five state education agency leaders from North Carolina participate.


SREB staff presented information on state efforts to align instructional materials and on state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act at SREB’s annual Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in September 2017. A stakeholder from North Carolina attended.

In July 2016, project staff facilitated a virtual meeting of state education agency leaders to discuss findings and implications of the Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Professional Learning reports. Two stakeholders from North Carolina attended. >

Career and Technical Education 

State Leaders Forum 

North Carolina attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum on policies for high-quality career and technical education in November 2016: 4 >

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals. SREB serves as a technical advisor to state education agencies, conducts needs assessments and focus groups to help states plan and evaluate implementation, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.

    Technical Assistance

    SREB partnered with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to support implementation of a statewide educator effectiveness strategy. The strategy includes elements such as training school leaders, administering a student survey instrument, and expanding a tool to improve district personnel and training decisions.

    SREB staff presented at the BEST-NC advisory meeting in September 2017.

    SREB staff responded to two information requests related to teacher compensation and teacher-led feedback conferences.

    In the last 12 months, SREB’s educator effectiveness team provided technical assistance, brokered expertise and provided policy and practice resources to North Carolina state legislators and their staff, state education agency staff, district administrators, principals and teachers.


    A state team from North Carolina attended the SREB Teacher Evaluation meeting, Improving Educator Effectiveness: Lessons Learned, in November 2017. State teams included multiple stakeholders: state agency leaders, teacher association representatives, district superintendents, principals and classroom teachers.

    Department staff attended a regional community of practice meeting following the multi-stakeholder meeting.

    SREB staff presented to attendees of the SREB Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in September 2017.

    The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction sent representatives to SREB’s fifth annual educator effectiveness convening in March 2017. They participated in working sessions with peers from nine other SREB states.

    North Carolina lawmakers at SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council meeting in December 2016 heard presentations on teacher preparation and teacher recruitment strategies.

    reports and data

    SREB produced resources for North Carolina leaders during the last 12 months including:

    Evaluator Training: A Guide for States, September 2017, spotlighting seven components associated with effective training for observers of teachers

    Feedback on Teaching: A Fresh Look, July 2017, with strategies for district and school leaders to establish and sustain better feedback practices

    Student Surveys: A Fresh Look, May 2017, covering thepractical implications for state, district and school leaders seeking to use emerging student survey tools

    Information Request Series, beginning January 2017, with responses to stakeholder questions on topics including educator evaluation, teacher certification, and principal recruitment and retention incentives

    Educator Effectiveness Bill Tracker interactive tool, updated weekly to allow constituents to track legislative bills across eight areas, including teacher preparation, evaluation and professional learning

    A bi-weekly educator effectiveness e-newsletter >

    Teacher Preparation

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission met during 2016, 2017 and will meet in 2018 to develop practical and effective statewide recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs.

    The Commission published its first report, More than the Numbers: Teacher Preparation Data Systems State Policy and Recommendations, in September 2017. The report features the University of North Carolina’s Educator Quality Dashboard.

    At their December 2016 meeting, members of the Commission members got a virtual tour of the UNC Educator Quality Dashboard, a data system that is researching how to prepare better teachers.

    Postsecondary Education


    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the Commission’s report, policymakers can draw on updated regional and individual state affordability profiles to understand how costs impact families at different income levels.

    State Services

    Connects policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff visited North Carolina to meet with legislators and staff, and attend committee meetings in 2017.

    Throughout 2016-17, legislators, legislative staff and governors’ staff from North Carolina requested assistance on topics including extended-year teacher contracts, career and technical education, college affordability, school improvement and comparative community college information.


    North Carolina staff were among those from 10 SREB states at the 2017 meeting of legislative and governors’ staff to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions. 

    SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council meets twice annually, once in the winter and again at the annual Legislative Work Conference. The conference is for legislators designated by their state leadership to attend. North Carolina legislators attended the 2017 Legislative Work Conference and Legislative Advisory Council meetings. >


    Curriculum and School Improvement

    Advanced Career

    A new approach to career and technical education that combines college-readiness academics with hands-on, project-based assignments focused on modern careers. Advanced Career helps prepare students for as many options as possible after high school: a high-value job, college, community college or technical school. 

    North Carolina participation in AC programs, 2017-18:

    Aerospace Engineering: 2 schools

    Clean Energy Technology: 2 schools

    Health Informatics: 2 schools

    Teachers trained: 8 >

    Readiness Courses:
    Math Ready and Literacy Ready

    Courses specifically designed to help underprepared students succeed in the next phase of their education. 

    Ready for college

    Courses to teach young adults the reading, writing and math skills they must have to succeed in college. Taught in an engaging way that leads students to learn and think independently, read for information and solve problems.

    North Carolina has trained over 100 teachers in SREB’s Readiness Courses since 2015, and over 200 high schools have implemented Literacy Ready and Math Ready to date.

    Math Leader

    North Carolina has been a leader in implementing Math Ready. SREB worked with North Carolina to develop Essentials of College Mathematics, aligned to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction standards. Essentials for College Math was adopted as a fourth-year math course and qualifies for University of North Carolina admission. Students who complete the course and meet GPA measures are not required to take remedial math when they enroll at a North Carolina community college.

    Pre- and post-test data from schools that offer Essentials for College Math show that students gained one placement level in preparedness for college mathematics.

    In July 2016, SREB honored two North Carolina educators:

    President’s Readiness Trailblazer Award
    Jennifer Curtis, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, oversaw implementation of Math Ready in over 300 North Carolina high schools in just two years. 

    Outstanding Math Ready Teacher
    Jeff McCulloch of Eugene Ashley High School
    in New Hanover County Schools has taught Math Ready since it was piloted and mentored other Math Ready teachers.

    Ready for high school

    New courses for the transition from middle grades to high school. Underprepared students take the classes in eighth or ninth grade.

    Over 40 teachers were trained in the Ready for High School courses in literacy and math in 2016, with selected high schools piloting the courses in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. >

    High Schools That Work

    The nation’s largest school improvement program. HSTW strategies transform high schools into places where all students master complex academic and technical concepts. More than 1,150 schools in 30 states use the framework, its six design features and nine key practices, to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

    HSTW State Network

    Member states select schools to receive services. The fee for state membership in the consortium covers several services and visits.

    North Carolina is a member of the state network. In 2016-17, 18 schools were active.

    Thirty North Carolina schools contracted for direct services in 2017-18. SREB is delivering 128 days of on-site coaching and 72 days of on-site staff development at the schools.

    HSTW Board Member: Jo Anne Honeycutt, State Director, Career and Technical Education, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

    HSTW Coordinator: Cheryl Cox >

    Making Middle Grades Work

    Engages state, district and school leaders in partnerships with teachers, students, parents and the community to raise student achievement in the middle grades. In addition to workshops and school visits, SREB links schools to the professional development resources they need. The network includes over 650 schools in 20 states.

    In 2016-17, 21 North Carolina middle schools contracted with SREB for direct services. >

    Counseling for Careers

    Awakens students to career goals and connects them to the high school and postsecondary programs of study to succeed in them. SREB offers workshops, materials and coaching for districts, schools and technology centers, which then involve teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and community partners.

    SREB is assisting two North Carolina districts with Counseling for Careers.


    Professional Development
    For Teachers, Principals and Counselors

    College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference

    Conference to share effective instructional strategies of the Literacy and Mathematics Design Collaborative frameworks. 

    North Carolina attendees at the July 2017 conference: 69 >

    Go Alliance Academy

    Strives to increase the postsecondary education and career success of all students by providing timely and relevant professional development in college and career readiness to school counselors, teachers, principals, career coaches and college access advisors. 

    Go Alliance Academy Representative: Cynthia Floyd, School Counseling Consultant, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction >

    High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference

    Annual conference for thousands of school leaders, teachers and counselors from middle grades, high schools and technology centers across the country.

    North Carolina attendees at the July 2017 conference: 235 >

    Learning-Centered Leadership Program

    Works with district, state and university partners to prepare aspiring principals and school leadership teams to lead school reform to ensure that students are ready for college and careers. This program offers training, guidance and technical assistance.

    North Carolina attendees at the 2017 Annual Leadership Forum: 3

    The LCLP is partnering with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to prepare principals to lead schools in rural districts. The Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools program will prepare 20 aspiring school leaders across 11 partner school districts in the North Carolina Piedmont region. >

    Literacy and Math Professional Development

    SREB is partnering with states on a large-scale effort to help districts and schools adopt, spread and sustain effective literacy and math teaching strategies to meet their state’s college- and career-readiness standards.

    The Literacy Design Collaborative framework empowers language arts, science and social studies teachers to build meaningful assignments aligned to their state’s college- and career-readiness standards. Teachers take ownership of their professional growth, and students take ownership of their learning.  

    “Their ability to express their understanding of very complex materials in writing is far greater than I ever anticipated.” — Atoniea Boykins, career management teacher at East Rutherford High School in Bostic

    The Mathematics Design Collaborative teaching framework uses formative assessment lessons — part assessment, part instruction — to help teachers know whether their students understand material they have been taught. Teachers learn to adapt assignments and engage students so they understand the hows and whys of math.

    “I thought I was doing a good job, but I felt like something was missing. When I started the FALs, I thought ‘Oh, my gosh! This is what I was looking for!’” — Claudia Rodriguez, mathematics teacher, North Asheboro Middle School

    During the 2017-18 school year, this SREB professional development reached North Carolina educators in 215 schools.

    North Carolina teachers, principals and trainers who participated in training and coaching: 2,590

     “Students find it disheartening when they are taught information with no idea of why they are learning it. Give them a goal, however, and you get to watch everything click into place.” — Katrina Zimmerman, science and technology teacher, Turrentine Middle School in Burlington


    In 2017, South Stanly High School in the Stanly County School District, was honored with the Outstanding LDC-MDC School Award.

    In July 2016Esther Hollingsworth-Shaw of Hoke County High School won the Outstanding MDC Teacher Award. Tammie Williams of Roanoke Rapids High School won the 2016 Outstanding LDC-MDC School Principal Award from SREB. >


    Postsecondary Education

    State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

    A nationwide system to open more high-quality distance education offerings for students and ease regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states. 

    North Carolina is an approved member of SARA.

    North Carolina SARA representative: Terrence R. Scarborough, Director of SARA-NC, North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority >

    Fact Book and Data Exchange

    Publishes one of the nation’s most comprehensive collections of comparative data through a cooperative effort of state postsecondary education agencies. Data are updated annually on topics including population demographics, college completion, tuition and fees, cost of attendance, state appropriations and faculty salaries. 

    North Carolina leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, as well as North Carolina: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and the annual SREB-State Data Exchange tables.

    North Carolina participating agencies and SREB-State Data Exchange Coordinators:

    Dan Cohen-Vogel, University of North Carolina-General Administration

    Courtney Burns, North Carolina Community College System >

    Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

    Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

    As of October 2017, four North Carolina institutions are members, listed here with their representatives to the Council:

    East Carolina University: Sylvia Brown, Dean 
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Dee Baldwin, Associate Dean/Director
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Donna Havens, Dean
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro: Robin Remsburg, Dean, SREB Nursing Council Nominating Committee >

    Doctoral Scholars Program

    Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,200 attendees.

    Scholars funded by North Carolina in 2016-17: 4
    2016 Institute attendees from North Carolina: 23

    Scholars North Carolina has supported since joining in 1993: 9

    Graduates since 1993: 3
    Graduates currently employed: 3
    Percent employed in education: 100

    North Carolina-supported Ph.D. students have attended these institutions since 1993:

    North Carolina State University
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro >


    Interstate Cooperatives

    Educational Technology Cooperative

    Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in education. 

    North Carolina representatives attended ETC’s spring and summer webinars. North Carolina sent two attendees to the 2017 annual meeting on teaching and technology.

    North Carolina ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on the working groups for revisions.

    Verna Lalbeharie of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is a member of the ETC executive committee.

    In May 2017, North Carolina sent a team of educators and policymakers to the SREB and digiLEARN Personalized Learning Regional Meeting to learn more about how to develop a comprehensive and sustainable effort in their states. Verna Lalbeharie was a member of the North Carolina team at the meeting, representing technology interests for K-12 education.

    North Carolina ETC representatives and member agencies:

    Katherine Davis, Learning Technology Systems Business Analyst, North Carolina Community College System

    Verna Lalbeharie, Director of Digital Teaching and Learning, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction >

    Technology Purchasing Savings

    Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $3.3 million on over $33 million in technology purchases during fiscal year 2017 — double the FY2016 savings — through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.

    North Carolina saved $444,780 on $4,439,021​ in technology purchases in fiscal year 2017. >