Schools group in quiet drive

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake Education Partnership has begun the quiet phase of a capital campaign that could total $15 million.

The campaign will seek private funds to support the partnership’s efforts to provide innovative approaches to improve the quality of public education.

Specifically, the partnership aims to build its endowment, support its teaching-quality initiative and fund programs and a home for the leadership academy for teachers, principals and administrators it runs in partnership with the Wake County public schools.

Ann Goodnight, who is married to SAS Institute chief Jim Goodnight, chairs the campaign, which has been underway quietly for about a year.

The partnership, which has not set a goal for the campaign, launched the teaching-quality initiative and leadership academy to address high turnover expected among Wake teachers, principals and assistant principals, says David Lane, vice president for development.

Launched three years ago and headed by Joe Peel, retired superintendent of the Pasquotank County public schools, the academy offers 25 courses and last year involved more than 8,000 Wake educators.

The academy also teamed up last year with N.C. State University to develop a master’s degree in school administration, a three-year program offered to Wake teachers and administrators who have worked in the system for at least four years and agree to remain for at least four more.

The teaching-quality initiative is developing “career pathways” for teachers to give them more challenging assignments and opportunities.

“For public education to respond to the needs of its community for changes in student accountability, for developing leaders that are adaptable, entrepreneurial and understand how to create vision and goals, and to drive towards measurable outcomes for student success, additional private resources need to be invested,” says Lane.

The partnership in January also kicked off its $1 million annual fund drive that is chaired by Barry Eveland, IBM state executive.

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