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NEWS RELEASES 2003-04 :: SEPTEMBER 10, 2003


The State's Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps is holding eight town hall meetings across the state in the coming weeks to raise the awareness of achievement gaps between groups of students. The meetings also will give citizens the chance to share their thoughts and ideas on gap-closing measures.

The first of the meetings is set for Tuesday, Sept. 16, at N.C. Central University, Durham. All the sessions will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m. with registrations from 4:30-5:00 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

The purposes of the meetings are to increase citizen awareness of the Commission's recommendations to close gaps; to create a forum for dialogue between Commission members and citizens; and to learn more about the development of local efforts to raise achievement and close gaps.

Pre-registration is not required to attend or to speak at the meetings.

Eddie Davis, chair of the Advisory Commission and a former member of the State Board of Education, encourages parents, educators and other citizens to attend one of the sessions. "There is no more important goal than to ensure that all children are prepared to enter college or work when they graduate from high school. Unfortunately, too many of our students and too many of their families are disengaged from school. Student achievement affects the quality of life we have as a state. That's why I hope everyone sees the importance of raising achievement for all students and closing achievement gaps that leave too many students behind."

The town hall meeting dates and locations are:

Sept. 16N.C. Central University, Education Building, Auditorium, Durham

Sept. 25Central Piedmont Community College, Grady-Cole Center, One block from Central Campus, 310 N. Kings Drive., Charlotte

Sept. 30Asheville-Buncombe Technical College, Enka Campus, Sandhill Road, Asheville

Oct. 2Appalachian State University, Student Union Ballroom, Boone

Oct. 9A & T State University, McNair Auditorium, Greensboro

Oct. 14Elizabeth City State University, Floyd Robinson Auditorium of the Fine Arts Complex, 1704 Weeksville Road, Elizabeth City

Oct. 21James Sprunt Community College, Auditorium, Kenansville

Oct. 23UNC-Pembroke, Moore Hall, Pembroke


The Advisory Commission was appointed by State Superintendent Mike Ward in 2000. It was charged with advising the Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education on ways to raise achievement for all students and to close the gaps that exist in student achievement between racial groups.

Members of the Commission are: Cathy Owens and Gladys Robinson, Guilford County; Tammie Sligh, Onslow County; Calvin Wallace and Bob Davis, Mecklenburg County; Forrest Toms, Catawba County; Karen Campbell and Virgil Smith, Buncombe County; Nolo Martinez, Matty Lazo-Chadderton, Aura Camacho-Maas, Ann McColl and Peter Leousis, Wake County; Olivia Oxendine, Moore County; Anthony Locklear, Orange County; Judy Grissom, Alamance County; Sammie Campbell-Parrish, Durham County; Tom Campbell, Chatham County; Sharon Pennell, Caldwell County; Leonard Peace, Granville County; Brenda Greene and Lucy Edwards, Northampton County; Mildred Wilson, Halifax County; Cathy Allen, Hertford County; Edwin Dominowski, New Hanover County; John Stokes, Wayne County; and Faye Riner, Cumberland County.

For additional information on closing achievement gaps, check the Web at: or contact Dee Brewer at 919.807.3444 or Dwight Pearson at 919.807.3607.

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.