Education

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Landen Gambill
Dave DeWitt

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp has asked the student honor court to suspend its case against a female student. Landen Gambill claimed the proceeding was in retaliation for her speaking out against the university's handling of sexual assault cases.

School bus
Dave DeWitt

The search for a superintendent for the Wake County Schools enters an important phase today, as public meetings begin.

The meetings serve as an opportunity for anyone and everyone to express what qualities they’d like to see in the next superintendent. The meetings will last three days and include stops in Cary and Raleigh.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

As he unveiled his proposed $20.6 billion dollar budget yesterday, the banner behind Governor Pat McCrory trumpeted the three initiatives he wanted to emphasize. It read: “Economy. Education. Efficiency.” In reality, though, education should have been number one, because it’s by far the largest expenditure and the area where the biggest fights are likely.

NC Center for Safer Schools
State Dept of Public Safety

Governor Pat McCrory has introduced a new initiative to improve school security.  He has created the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools within the state Department of Public Safety.  McCrory says the center will work with school administrators, law enforcement and state mental health experts to minimize serious threats in and around schools.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Educators don’t often get a chance to celebrate publicly, so it was understandable when State Superintendent June Atkinson stood up at a news conference last fall and bragged a little about North Carolina’s 80 percent high school graduation rate.

“This is excellent news for our state and one more step toward ensuring that all of our students graduate from high school career, college, and citizenship ready,” said Atkinson.

A controversial charter school that was approved to open its doors in Chapel Hill this fall has hit a road block. The managing company that was supposed to run the day-to-day operations of the Howard and Lillian Lee Charter School has pulled out.

National Heritage Academies, Inc. runs more than 70 charter schools across the country, including six in North Carolina. The Lee School would have been number seven, but NHA has backed out of the project.

quinnipiac.edu

When we talk about human rights, we’re usually solidly in the expertise of political scientists. But professors of English and philosophy may have a role to play, too. That’s the goal of The Second Annual Conference on Human Rights and the Humanities. It’s being held by the National Humanities Center, and it brings together a variety of experts to discuss human rights.

Walter Dalton
Isothermal C.C.

Former lieutenant governor Walter Dalton waits for approval from the state Board of Community Colleges to become a community college president.  The members of the Isothermal Community College Board of Trustees chose Dalton last week to be the school's fifth president.  Dalton would succeed Myra Johnson who has been president of ICC for the past six years.  Dalton was one of a half-dozen finalists for the position.  School spokesman Mike Gavin says Dalton's history with the college could have been a factor in his selection.

NCSU students study an array of solar panels on top of the NSF FREEDM Systems Center.
Marc Hall / North Carolina State University

Duke and N.C. State Universities are among eight schools in the country now providing scholarships for British students to study engineering in the US.

Eric Becoats, Superintendent Durham Public Schools
Dave DeWitt

Local school districts are bracing for funding cuts due to the federal sequestration. In Durham, the cuts from sequestration could be as much as $1.7 million. In Wake County - a much larger district - the same sequester cuts would total about $11 million.

And it's the most vulnerable students who will be affected.

"Most of the items that would be impacted would be some title one funding," said Eric Becoats, Durham's superintendent. "We would also expect to see some decreases in our exceptional children's funding that we receive from the federal government as well."

School Bus in Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The State Board of Education has given final approval to 23 charter schools to open this fall.

Last year, 63 applicants began the process of applying to start a charter school, with an eye toward opening this fall. Twenty-five made it to this final round.

Landen Gambill
Dave DeWitt

When she decided to bring allegations of rape against a former boyfriend in the spring of 2012, UNC-Chapel Hill student Landen Gambill had three options available to her. She could file charges with the UNC-Chapel Hill judicial system, she could file a civil lawsuit, or she could file a criminal complaint.

She chose the first option – to keep the case on-campus – and from the start of the investigation through the final verdict and up until the present day, she felt violated and betrayed by the system.

And now she’s fighting back.

Seventy new charter schools have applied to become part of North Carolina’s growing population of alternative public schools. For the longest time, the number of charter schools in the state was capped at 100, but lawmakers changed that back in 2011.

Library
NCSU.edu

The James B. Hunt Library at North Carolina State University is a revolution in information storage.


At the Hunt, robots fetch the books. Two million volumes are folded into one ninth of the space they would have taken up in a conventional library because room for humans to walk through the aisles is unnecessary.

Jeff Tiberii

On a crisp February afternoon, students watched as a fictitious emergency scene played out at Western Guilford High School. Several hundred students sat in bleachers and watched the staged horror of a car accident in the school parking lot. The program, called “message 2 die 4” was an effort between the school, local law enforcement and some Greensboro businesses. It was designed at educating teen drivers about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel.

Graphic of laptops imposed on world map
UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill will start offering free online classes to the public this fall. The university announced Thursday it's partnering with the California-based company Coursera to provide four massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

"What we're hoping is that what we learn and what we develop through these MOOCs will help to enhance our face-to-face campus-based courses," says Carol Tresolini, vice provost for academic initatives at UNC.

Holden Thorp
UNC-Chapel Hill

  Holden Thorp will serve as provost at Washington University in Saint Louis after he steps down as chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Thorp announced the move in a campus-wide e-mail Monday morning.  Thorp had said he would stay at UNC to teach and conduct research in the chemistry department, but he says the new position will allow him to return to teaching and research while keeping administrative duties.

A UNC Board of Governors panel says it agrees with most of the findings from an earlier investigation of academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill.

''Home'' by Toni Morrison
UNC News

“Home,” the latest novel by Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, will be the 2013 summer reading book for incoming students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Christopher Putney, associate professor of Russian in the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures and chair of the selection committee that chose the book, said that students will be able to relate to “Home.”

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory says he has instructed his staff to write legislation that would revamp how state universities are funded. McCrory told the Bill Bennett radio show Morning in America that universities should be funded not by how many students they enroll, but how many students get jobs after college.

"I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we're offering courses that have no chance at getting people jobs," McCrory said. 

ucpress.edu

Deborah Hicks  grew up in an Appalachian paper mill town she hoped to escape. Her education opened doors for her to leave and travel to other parts of a country, but she returned time and again to Appalachia as a teacher. Deborah has dedicated her life to educating those that need her most - focusing on young girls in poor neighborhoods. She is the founder and director of PAGE, Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education, in Madison County.

It's the beginning of the Spring Semester and sorority and fraternity in-take season is about to begin on many college campuses.  This has traditionally been an exciting time at historically black colleges and universities where many of these Greek organizations are turning 100 years old.  

But entry into these close-knit groups have sparked major out-cry because of hazing.  And administrators say the sometimes violent and mentally taxing pledge process has spilled over into other campus groups, like the band, sports teams and even honor societies. 

Duke University is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first five black students to attend the school.  Organizations are planning several events over the next nine months leading up to the anniversary this fall.  Nat White, Jr. is one of the three surviving members of the group of five.   He said on WUNC's "The State of Things" that he didn't know quite what to make of the experience as it happened.

A Duke University study finds the state's schools are becoming less racially segregated and more economically segregated.

For decades, race has been the most common measure of school segregation.  But 10 years of observation by some Duke professors shows there is a bigger divide in school populations even if ethnic disparity has leveled off.

Charles Clotfelter teaches law, economics and public policy at Duke.  His team looked primarily at students getting free lunch and found that some counties handled the divide better than others:

The UNC School of Medicine has a new laboratory designed to prepare students and faculty to perform eye surgery. The university received a donation of one-million dollars from a company based in Winston-Salem called the North Carolina Eye Bank. The organization harvests and distributes eye tissue for surgery. The new lab has 19 stations that simulate cornea transplants and other procedures. Doctor Don Budenz is the chair of UNC's ophthalmology department.

Students are beginning classes today at the new High Point campus of a for-profit university.

South University has more than 22,000 students across the country. It has 15 campuses, but the majority of students take classes on-line. South has a graduation rate of just more than 30-percent, which is better than most for-profit schools. Michael Trembley is Campus President in High Point. He expects about 85 students on this inaugural day:

The findings of a review of academic fraud were presented this morning to UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.

Former Governor Jim Martin led the independent review. The findings reveal problems within the UNC-Chapel Hill African and Afro-American Studies department began in 1997. They involve more than 200 courses, and hundreds of students. Martin said the fraud peaked in 2007 and did not include a disproportionate amount of student athletes.

Jim Martin: "This was not an athletic scandal. This was not an athletic scandal it was an academic scandal - which is worse."

Some of the country’s premier universities are partnering to form an innovative online classroom program.

A student at Duke or Wake Forest or UNC-Chapel Hill has a dizzying array of classes to choose from on campus. But some of those classes might not be exactly what they want or need, or the classes may not be offered when they need them.  A new partnership called Semester Online aims to change that. The idea is to teach certain classes online, creating an even larger pool of courses for students not only at Duke, Carolina, and Wake, but also at Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and a dozen other elite universities.  Duke Provost Peter Lang says it will be a great opportunity for students.

On November 6th, North Carolina voters will elect a new governor. They'll also make selections for Council of State offices. Isaac-Davy Aronson has this look at the two candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

WTCC

Voters in Wake County will decide the fate of a $200 million bond for Wake Tech Community College.

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