Education

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East Chapel Hill High students Sahmoi Stout and Sydney McLean lead fellow students in a march for gun control as part of the National School Walkout, holding the banner that says "Enough."
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

About 200 students from several Chapel Hill area schools marched together up a hill, and nearly five miles across their town behind an orange banner that said "Enough."

Elizabeth Ferguson Hollifield, a teacher from Princeton W.Va., holds a sign as she walks to a teacher rally Monday, March 5, 2018.
Tyler Evert / AP

Teachers in Arizona are protesting for higher pay, while Kentucky educators rallied at their state capitol this Friday. The same day, Oklahoma teachers ended a 9-day walkout, rivaling the length of time West Virginia teachers left their classrooms last month. Distressed teachers seeking higher pay and better funding for education have created a movement in red states, leaving some to wonder, will North Carolina teachers join in next?

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A legislative committee studying possible gains and liabilities from breaking up large public school districts completed its work Wednesday without making judgment on whether deconsolidation is ultimately good for North Carolina's students.

The paddle Robbinsville High School principal David Matheson, and previous principals, have used to discipline students.
Jess Clark / WUNC

An attempt to ban corporal punishment in Robeson County schools has stalled. The effort was led by parents and child advocates.

Lynn Makor is a school psychology consultant for the NC Department of Public  Instruction and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. She addressed the House Select Committee on School Safety's Student Health Subcommittee.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

School psychologists want legislators to know that there aren't enough of them to go around.

A subcommittee of the House Select Committee met Monday to consider improvements to school mental health services. One of the resounding recommendations from school pyschologists and counselors: they need more support.

UNC System President Margaret Spellings in her office
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings updated the joint legislative education oversight committee Tuesday on a new commission to develop statewide education goals.

File photo of Southside-Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The State Board of Education will vote this week on an operator for the first school in the state's Innovative School District, and the recommended contender's board of directors includes a former legislator who sponsored the bill to create the new district.

School bus
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Educators and education policy leaders are weighing many options when it comes to improving school safety in an age of mass school shootings and other threats of violence. Add to that list strengthening penalties for anyone who threatens a school and its students.

To Jayla Hagans, a student organizer in Raleigh, school resource officers represent a big shift in school discipline that has disproportionately impacted students of color.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

This August, students at four elementary schools in rural Stanly County will return from summer vacation to fresh pencils, notebooks, and signs announcing the presence of armed officers on campus.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

The North Carolina General Assembly’s answer to the Parkland shooting and a still-simmering national conversation about school safety began Wednesday with a legislative committee. The House Select Committee on School Safety met for the first time to discuss measures to keep public school students safe.

photo of a young boy with electronics
Courtesy Kelly Hinchcliffe / WRAL

More than 100 public schools in North Carolina have applied and been granted approval to participate in a scholastic experiment called Restart. The Restart program allows low-performing schools to operate like charter programs without having charter status.

Zainab Antepli, a junior at Chapel Hill High School, calls for tougher gun laws in front of a large crowd at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Since the mass school shooting in Columbine, America has seemed almost powerless against rogue gunmen attacking defenseless suburban schools. After the tragic killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, many declared that if America did not make changes after Newtown it never would. 

An image of hands raised
Creative Commons

A new report from the left-leaning NC Justice Center has found that schools in the state have become slightly more segregated in the past decade. The report Stymied by Segregation found that the number of racially or economically isolated schools has gone up in that time.

Memorial and calls for gun control cover a fence outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Many North Carolina students will join fellow students across the country in walking out of classes Wednesday. The day marks one month after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Area schools are taking a variety of approaches to the expected protests.

A sign indicates the janitor closet inside a Wake County public school.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The Durham Board of Education has voted to make custodians Durham Public Schools employees once again. This means ending its contract with an outsource management company, acquiring cleaning equipment, and giving custodial staff higher pay and benefits. The change will cost DPS about $1.1 million.

Academic Knowledge For All

Mar 8, 2018
photo of stacks of library books
Creative Commons

The world of academic publishing is all about credibility, and most scholars want to be published in the nation’s most reputable academic journals. But accessing those journals can be very expensive. While large universities can often afford to foot the bill, researchers at smaller colleges, or those in developing countries, may find themselves unable to afford access to the latest scientific research.

A graph showing poll results.
Elon Poll

North Carolina teachers do not want their colleagues — not even trained ones — to carry guns in school, according to a new Elon University Poll.

gun with lock
Associated Press

The North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force voted Wednesday to recommend that the General Assembly support a statewide firearm safety initiative. That effort would focus on spreading awareness of safe firearm storage and would distribute free gun locks. The recommendation will go into the task force’s action agenda for the legislature’s short session in the spring.

Elizabeth DeKonty, a fellow with the Public School Forum of North Carolina, speaks with Pattillo Middle School’s resilience team about strategies for supporting students, many of whom live in poverty.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

One day last fall, teachers sauntered past a wall in W.A. Pattillo Middle School in Tarboro as if they were studying works of art. Really, they were looking at the names of all 265 of their students, each written neatly on an index card.

In this Dec. 27, 2012 file photo, Cori Sorensen, a fourth grade teacher from Highland Elementary School in Highland, Utah, receives firearms training with a .357 magnum
Rick Bowmer / AP

State Superintendent Mark Johnson is asking teachers whether or not they would like to be armed. So far, most say no. Johnson sent an informal, online poll in an email to all of the about 100,000 public school teachers across the state Thursday morning and received more than 19,000 responses in the first 24 hours.

photo of a round table discussion, 'Black Issues Forum' banner in the background
UNC-TV

For more than 150 years, historically black colleges and universities have fostered African-American leaders and fueled social movements. Spurred by the release of Stanley Nelson’s new PBS documentary “Tell Them We Are Rising,” UNC-TV hosted a conversation with leaders of HBCUs in North Carolina on its weekly program “Black Issues Forum.” That episode, called “HBCU Legacy and Leadership,” takes a look at the continued relevance of HBCUs in today’s educational landscape.

Classroom
WUNC File Photo

High school students across the state have been staging or planning walkouts to protest gun violence after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., but some worry that colleges and universities will not admit them if they are suspended for doing so.

The entrance to the Wake County Public Schools administration office.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A legislative committee studying the pros and cons for students and local governance of splitting up North Carolina school districts won't recommend breaking up specific school systems, a panel leader said Wednesday at its first meeting.

boy holds gun control sign
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

 

Thousands marched in Raleigh Wednesday night to remember the people killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Students took center stage as they called for North Carolina elected officials to toughen gun restrictions.

A class of West Lumberton Elementary kindergartners meets in their temporary building at Lumberton Junior High. The school's enrollment is down from 150, pre-Matthew, to 90.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore is expected to form a new House committee on school safety on Tuesday. That comes days after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.

Two university leaders signing an agreement at a wooden table
Brian Long

The North Carolina Community College System and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities signed an agreement Thursday that could make it cheaper and easier for nursing students to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Students wearing yellow scarves for National School Choice Week
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The General Assembly passed a bill Tuesday primarily to address issues with a prior law that reduces class sizes in kindergarten through third grade. While the measure to phase in and better fund those reductions had bipartisan support, Democrats have criticized the bill for tacking on a number of other provisions.

Photo of Carlton-LaNey teaching a class
Courtesy of Iris Carlton-LaNey

Iris Carlton-LaNey is often impressed by the resourcefulness and strength of those living in poor, underserved and rural communities. As a social worker, she has spent a career observing how many in those communities have a strong commitment to hard work, family and religion. And those are values she recognizes from her own upbringing on a tobacco farm in southeastern North Carolina, where education was valued above all. 

Third grader Dylan Ward works on a reading exercise in his classroom at Marvin B. Smith Elementary School in Burlington. Literacy is a special focus in the third grade.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Third grader Dylan Ward says that when he goes to college, he’s going to be a “professional football player, that’s it.”

N.C. Supreme Court Building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear a case Wednesday over a power struggle between Republican State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the Republican-led State Board of Education. Shortly after Johnson's election in 2016, the General Assembly passed a law to shift powers from the governor-appointed board to the superintendent.

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