Education

Credit CPB

Lawmakers voted this summer to eventually eliminate teacher tenure, replacing it with temporary contracts. The State Board of Education will discuss a model contract this week.
cybrarian77 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cybrarian77/6284181389

Teacher pay is one of the biggest political items in the state's spending plan North Carolina lawmakers are currently debating.

House and Senate Republicans have different ideas over raising teacher salaries, though both want to give an average 4 percent boost.

Under the Senate’s plan, most of that extra money would go toward teachers with less than 15 years of experience. Those with 25+ years of experience would not see any increases to their current base salary from the state.  

Classroom
WUNC File Photo

The state commission charged with reviewing and proposing changes to the Common Core standards heard from a handful of parents on Monday. Many of them already attend the group’s meetings regularly and strongly oppose the Math and English goals.

The group, which first met in September, has been working on collecting feedback from stakeholders through surveys and now public meetings.

“It’s so critical for us to be not only transparent, but inclusive,” said co-chair Andre Peek.

LA Johnson/NPR

North Carolina’s high school graduation rate is at an all-time high at about 83 percent. State education leaders credit several reasons: early college high school, career counseling, credit recovery programs–just to list a few.

NPR Ed recently partnered with several member stations, including WUNC, to dig into why graduation rates have been climbing. The answer isn’t an easy one – many schools use thoughtful, long-term strategies, while others rely more heavily on alternate, and often easier, routes for struggling students.  

Image of June Atkinson, who has been the North Carolina state superintendent since 2005.
North Carolina Democratic Party

June Atkinson has served as the state superintendent for almost a decade.

During her tenure there have been a number of significant changes to the state’s public education system, including the adoption of common core standards, the proliferation of charter schools, and continued debates about where education fits in the state budget.

Moore County Schools

Updated Tuesday, June 9 at 6:30 a.m.

The Moore County School Board has reinstated the embattled schools superintendent, after four board members resigned.

The board voted suddenly Thursday to buy out the contract of Superintendent Bob Grimesy, who is popular among parents, teachers and government officials.

State Representative James Boles called for the resignation of five board members.

Multiple media outlets report that a smaller school board voted 4-1 last night to reinstate Grimesy.

Wednesday, June 8

Pressure is building on Moore County School Board members after the Board voted to fire the county's popular Superintendent. 

Without explanation, the school board voted 5-to-3 Thursday to fire Robert Grimesey.

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

Testing season is wrapping up for many public school students in North Carolina. They’ve spent hours bubbling in answer sheets, proving to teachers what they’ve learned.

But end-of-year exams only represent a handful of the dozens of tests students take throughout a school year. The assessments are part of a testing regimen that education leaders are trying to rethink.

Since at least the early 1990s, education critics, parents and students have questioned whether there are too many standardized tests.

teacher in a blur with classroom
Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a state law to end tenure rights of public school teachers is unconstitutional, upholding a superior court decision last year.

In a 2-1 decision, the three-judge appeals court ruled that Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally took away contract and property rights by repealing tenure, also known as career status, in 2013.

Jockey's Ridge State Park
Dave DeWitt

Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head is North Carolina’s most famous giant pile of sand—and the tallest natural sand dune in the eastern United States.

But here’s a little secret: Even a remarkable all-natural phenomenon like Jockey’s Ridge needs a little man-made help.

Image of Chapman in Shanghai with Professor Meihua Zhu, on the left, a former visiting scholar at UNC.
Mimi Chapman

The power of art is not lost on Mimi Chapman. She is a professor at the UNC School of Social Work who believes that art can have a profound impact on people’s ability to empathize. She also studies how art can help illuminate conscious and unconscious biases and affect how people treat one another.

A picture of Saunders Hall
Mr. Granger / Wikipedia

Trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill voted 10-3 this morning to drop the name from Saunders Hall.

The building was named in 1920 for Confederate Colonel and UNC alumnus and trustee William Lawrence Saunders. Saunders served as North Carolina Secretary of State from 1879 until 1891. Saunders was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Jim Grimsley was an 11-year-old boy growing up in Jones County, North Carolina, when the first black children enrolled in his all-white school.

It was more than 10 years after Brown v. Board of Education and Grimsley’s whole world was about to change. Grimsley gets into this in his new memoir, in which he describes the racist environment in which he was raised and how he began to rethink his assumptions.

21-year-old Camirra Wilson graduated from N.C. State University this month. She was one of about 500 students across the state who were part of the last N.C. Teaching Fellows class.
Reema Khrais

This month, thousands of college students are walking across graduation stages and receiving their diplomas. Among them is a small group of 500 students across several campuses called North Carolina Teaching Fellows.

They’re the last of their kind to graduate – the state began dismantling the scholarship program in 2011. While the program has a 30-year-old legacy of recruiting teachers, filling classrooms remains to be a challenge that plagues the state today.

Wake Forest University

Stephen Colbert was at Wake Forest University this morning to give graduates a send-off with one of his trademark commencement speeches.

 

The comedian will soon make the switch from his own satirical political program to taking over David Letterman’s late-night talk show, but he first took some time to tell a new generation that the future looks, well… like a “dark chasm of yawning uncertainty.”

Wake Tech, Co-Curricular Transcripts
Melody Wiggins

Community college graduates at Wake Tech can now get a second transcript to show off their leadership, volunteerism and sports skills.

Wake Tech is the first community college in the state to offer Co-Curricular Transcripts or CCTs.

And Glenn Strumke is the first Wake Tech student to take advantage of the additional transcript that could help in a job search or school search.

UNC-Chapel Hill

In 1972, Frances Campbell was a mother of two, simply looking for a part-time job in Chapel Hill, when she stumbled upon what would be a groundbreaking study on early childhood education.

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill asked her to examine the benefits of early education on children from poor families. They called it the Abecedarian Project.

(Read a 1974 booklet that describes the project here.)

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