Education

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multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's class of 2016 had an average score of 19.1 on the ACT, slightly higher than the class of 2015's average score of 19.0 The average score has increased slowly, but steadily since all students began taking the test in 2013. But it remains below the national average of 20.8.

Campbell University
Campbell University

Campbell University opened its doors to two new schools this week, welcoming 96 engineering and 46 nursing students on the first day of classes.

Triangle-Area Universities Welcome Class Of 2020

Aug 24, 2016
North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

College students are back in the Triangle. UNC-Chapel Hill begins classes this week and the class of 2020 is settling in at Duke.

Newly hired teachers and staff attend an orientation for Wake County Public Schools. Wake County teachers make more than most teachers in North Carolina.
Jess Clark / WUNC

School districts across the state say they have somewhat fewer teacher vacancies going into this school year than they did in 2015. But  many students will still have substitutes for the first weeks of school.

classroom
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Wake County school board members have made some creative cuts to fill a $17.5 million budget gap.

Board members approved a 2016-2017 operating budget this week that they say manages to avoid any layoffs, but reduces air conditioning usage slightly, cuts the number of days schools are swept and vacuumed and increases class sizes.

Guilford County fourth grade math teacher Diana Watson scopes out the shelves of donated markers and highlighters at the Guiford Teacher Supply Warehouse.
Jess Clark

Guilford County second grade teacher Nicole Batts-Elder scoped out shelves stacked with spiral notebooks, multicolor folders and bundles of unsharpened pencils at the Guilford County Teacher Supply Warehouse on a recent afternoon.

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

In two weeks, most of North Carolina's public school students will head back to the classroom. We talked to two Duke University researchers to get some tips for how parents can start the year off with their best foot forward.

Wake Tech Breaks Ground On New RTP Campus

Aug 10, 2016
Wake Technical Community College

Governor Pat McCrory joined business leaders and other elected officials on Wednesday to break ground on an expansion for Wake Technical Community College.

Wake Tech President Stephen Scott said the new campus in the Research Triangle Park will focus on job training for workers looking to move into high-tech industries.

This image from the governor's office shows teacher pay increasing starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
Office of Governor Pat McCrory

Governor Pat McCrory has made the rise of teacher pay a centerpiece of his bid for reelection. The image above shows the upward climb in average teacher salaries since the 2013-2014 school year. It has appeared behind the governor at public events, including the signing of the 2016-2017 state budget.

Debra Saunders-White
NCCU

North Carolina Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White will take a medical leave of absence to receive cancer treatment, university officials said Monday.

a nationwide collaboration between NPR’s Ed Team and 20 member station reporters exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.
Leigh Ann Cross

State Board of Education members voted Thursday to approve eight new charter schools.

The schools got the green light, but they will still have to meet a number of requirements by next summer before being allowed to open for the 2017-2018 school year. Those requirements include hiring staff, finding a facility, recruiting board members and drafting policies.

An image of Dorothy Day
Public Domain / Wikipedia

Note: this segment originally aired April 7, 2016. 

Journalist and social activist Dorothy Day challenged the structure of the Catholic church when she co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement in the 1930s.

The group advocated for direct aid to the poor and civil disobedience on their behalf. Today, Day's granddaughter Martha Hennessy continues Day's work.
 

The old well at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Tim Schleicher / flickr, Creative Commons

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has filed its latest response to the NCAA in an ongoing case over academic fraud involving athletes.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Office

Inmates at the Cumberland County Detention Center can now study for a high school equivalency test while they await release or trial.

Major Tandra Adams said the program offers inmates a way to improve their lives while they're incarcerated.

UNC-Chapel Hill Takes Aim At Campus Alcohol Abuse

Jul 22, 2016
A picture of beer bottles
Pixabay

Officials at UNC-Chapel Hill hope a new initiative will change the way students think about alcohol.

The school's revised alcohol policy takes a public health approach to problem drinking, emphasizing education, prevention, treatment and recovery.

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Wake County school board members are considering where they can make cuts in order to fill a $17.5 million budget gap. A proposed plan would increase class sizes, freeze teachers' local salary supplements and cut back on custodial services.

Studies show later school start times for teens improve health and academics.
Wikimedia Commons

Students in Durham's year-round traditional public schools head back to the classroom today. They'll be the first group of students to experience the district's new bell schedule.

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

More than half of the state budget is spent on public education.

In the latest budget adjustments, state lawmakers approved an average 4.7 percent raise for teachers.

House lawmakers propose small increases in teacher pay based on years of experience.
www.audio-luci-store.it / Flickr

In their budget compromise, lawmakers have allocated millions of dollars to give certain teachers bonuses for how well their students perform. Top third-grade reading teachers would earn thousands of dollars extra, and Advanced Placement teachers would receive $50 for each of their students who passes an AP or other advanced test.

Photo of a ball and chain with "student loans" written on it
thisisbossi / Flickr

Forty-two million people in the United States owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, according to a recent report from Reveal radio program in conjunction with the Center for Investigative Reporting.

In 2014 in North Carolina, 61 percent of students graduating from public and private four-year institutions graduated with loans amounting to an average of $25,000 per individual, according to The Project on Student Debt. The privatization of Sallie Mae and the continued disinvestment in public higher education at the state level contribute to the problem.

Mugshot photos of Leah Hendershot and Anca Stefan
Leah Hendershot/Anca Stefan

Earlier this month, 14 public school teachers were arrested outside of Gov. Pat McCrory's office after they linked arms and blocked a downtown Raleigh intersection. The demonstration was a response to what the teachers say is a lack of funding for North Carolina's public schools.

In the days since the protest, teachers have posted their mugshots to social media along with their reasons for demonstrating. One teacher wrote, "I've taught World and U.S. history without a textbook for the past four years." Those posts have gone viral.

Lawmakers are considering a number of education changes.
Courtesy of Pixbay.com

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the most recent action from the state Legislature. 

Changes to the charter school renewal process have cleared both the state House and Senate, and are on their way to the governor's desk.

NC Senate Passes Charter School Takeover Bill

Jun 24, 2016
Student, Classroom, school, class
Tom Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the most recent action from the state Legislature. 

Lawmakers in the state Senate have passed a bill that would turn over five of the state's struggling elementary schools to charter school organizations.

The bill goes back to the House for an up-or-down vote.

The new center in Tacoma, Washington comes after years of complaints from service members that it’s nearly impossible to find autism therapy for their children.

a nationwide collaboration between NPR’s Ed Team and 20 member station reporters exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.
Leigh Ann Cross

A provision in the Senate's budget proposal would force some year-round schools to change their calendars within the next couple months.

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