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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: DECEMBER 6, 2004


For more information, contact:

M. Anthony Habit
Executive Director, New Schools Project

Jane Worsham
Executive Director, State Board of Education
Janice Davis
Deputy Superintendent, NC Department of Public Instruction



State, public, and private agencies work together to launch community leadership and involvement for changes in high schools.

Raleigh, NC...The face of high school education in North Carolina needs to change. At conferences held on Thursday, December 2 in Raleigh and Friday, December 3 in Charlotte, educators, public officials, business leaders, parents, and community leaders were presented with both the case for why high schools in North Carolina need to change and the process to be used to change them.

"High schools, as we now have them, were created to serve a world that no longer exists," said Howard Lee, Chair of the State Board of Education. "Jobs are changing. Technology is changing the way we live and work. Students need to be better prepared to live and work in this world, to be prepared for jobs that will exist tomorrow."

According to Tony Habit, executive director for the New Schools Project, a nonprofit organization funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, "Communities need to come together to determine the future of their schools. Parents, teachers, community and business leaders, and the students themselves need to examine how their current high school works, or doesn't work, in preparing students for college and the workplace. There are models of new high schools that are working - helping all students succeed. These models can help communities see that things can be different, but each community must develop a plan that addresses their specific needs."

At the conference, a video was shown featuring North Carolina high school students sharing what is working or not working at their high schools and how they believe they are being prepared for college and work. The students' case is compelling. They believe change is needed - now.

Each participant in the conferences was provided a copy of the dvd and a companion workbook that both outlines the need for change and presents a step-by-step process to be taken to enact change. Plans call for dvds and workbooks to be distributed to educators and citizens in all 100 of North Carolina's counties, and to statewide policy makers over the next six months.

Thursday's conference in Raleigh was held at the North Raleigh Hilton. The conference in Charlotte was held at the Adams Mark Hotel.

The video can be viewed online at:, and the workbook is available as a pdf at

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.