Gov. Roy Cooper this week tapped UNC Charlotte urban education professor Chance Lewis to participate in a statewide task force on educational equity and inclusion. Lewis, who leads the UNC Charlotte Urban Education Collaborative, joins a 32-person group composed of parents, educators, administrators, education advocates, representatives of state and local government, University of North Carolina and North Carolina Community College system, and employers with a presence in the state.
“North Carolina is committed to living up to our responsibility to deliver a quality education to every student in every county,” said Cooper, in a news release. “This group of experts knows how to tackle the inequities across our state in order to ensure quality education.”
In North Carolina, the traditional K-12 student population is close to 50 percent students of color, but only 20 percent of public school teachers are of color. Research shows that all students, particularly students of color, are more successful in school when they have a diverse teaching population leading their classrooms. Representation and inclusion lead to equity for all students.
“My priority is to provide expert advice on research-based practices that have been shown to be effective in recruiting and retaining teachers of color in public schools,” Lewis said. “It is my hope that my contribution to this task force will assist in providing all public school districts with guidance on how to get high-quality diverse teachers in every school.”
Executive Order 113, which establishes the task force, calls for the team to submit a report to the governor's office that assesses the state’s progress on educator diversity and recommends strategies for increasing diversity over the short and long-term. The group will also identify resources and determine how best to measure success.
DRIVE: Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education, is co-hosted by the Office of the Governor, the North Carolina Business Committee on Education and the Hunt Institute.
As the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education, Lewis is a leading voice on educational equity. He has consulted more than 100 school districts, universities and other organizations on school turnaround and published numerous articles to peer-reviewed journals, while earning more than $7 million in research funding to date. With his team at the Urban Education Collaborative, Lewis is publishing a new generation of research on improving urban schools.
The full list of DRIVE task force members can be found here.