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Statewide lesson plan

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North Carolina has no comprehensive plan for providing all its public school students a fair shot at a quality education, a new study says.

Given the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind laws and the state lawsuit mandating that all students receive a sound basic education, the existing system is lacking, says a report by the Education and Law Project, a program of the N.C. Justice Center in Raleigh.

The report, “Common Ground: An Equal Opportunity for a Sound Basic Education,” calls for the creation of a basic education planning commission to study the current system and develop a comprehensive plan detailing how the state will comply with the laws.

Most states have created commissions and more than 30 have conducted studies to determine how best to provide all students with a good education, the study shows.

The report recommends that members of the commission represent all groups involved in public education, including parents, students, teachers, administrators and public officials, and should draw from diverse geographic, racial and ethic groups.

Goals for the study should include defining standards for students, outlining how schools meet those standards, identifying how progress will be measured and estimating costs of meeting the standards, the report says.

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