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NEWS RELEASES 1999-00

NEWS RELEASES 1999-00 :: SEPTEMBER 27, 1999

NORTH CAROLINA WINS STATE OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR EDUCATION INITIATIVES

State Board of Education Chairman Phil Kirk is in Washington D.C. today to accept a prestigious award from the National Alliance of Business (NAB). North Carolina is receiving the 1999 NAB Distinguished Performance Award for State of the Year. This award is given annually by NAB. Kirk is accepting the award on behalf of Governor James B. Hunt Jr.

The award is being presented at NAB's 31st Annual Conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington D.C. North Carolina is being cited for turning around its education and workforce development systems to ensure that students and workers have the skills needed to drive the state's economy forward into the 21st century.

"Under Governor Hunt's inspired leadership, North Carolina's schools have made more progress in more areas than any other state&emdash;early childhood development, teacher salaries and standards, school safety and student accountability," said NAB President Roberts Jones. The group cited the support of North Carolina's business leaders as a key to the education improvement efforts.

State Board Chairman Phil Kirk said that all education stakeholders can be proud of this award. "I've said many times that we're on the right track to improving our schools. It is gratifying for NAB to recognize the hard work and commitment that it takes to bring about such change in public schools."

North Carolina also is claiming three of five Coalition of the Year awards. The North Carolina Business Committee for Education, the Public School Forum of North Carolina, and North Carolina Partnership for Excellence all are being recognized.

State Superintendent Mike Ward said that while NC's garnering three of the five Coalition awards may have surprised NAB officials, it did not surprise him.

"The Forum, NCBCE and the Partnership for Excellence work hand-in-hand with our schools to help them find a better way of meeting the many challenges facing us today. It's no more business as usual in our schools, thanks in large part, to these three groups," Ward said.

NAB is the only national, non-profit, business-led organization focused solely on human resource issues. There are nearly 3,800 members, including representatives from 200 of the Fortune 500 companies.

To talk to SBE Chairman Kirk about the award, please call 919.836.1407.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.