This opinion article originally appeared in The News & Observer. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
In pursuing testing and accountability as the route to school improvement, North Carolina has overlooked the benefits of collaboration and innovation. The following two examples of innovation illustrate both the challenge and the opportunity.
During the recession, when funds were cut for after-school transportation, a high school had to change its after-school tutoring program. It adopted a new program, Smart Lunch, which provided additional time for tutoring to occur in the middle of the day. This change brought several advantages: Tutoring was no longer an add-on at the end of the day; it did not have to compete with after-school programs or students who had jobs or family responsibilities; and it was not dependent on transportation.