Education

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New rules that take affect today at Duke aim to clarify and strengthen the University's protections for children. Officials say discussions were underway before the child abuse scandal at Penn State brought more attention to the issue. Kyle Cavanaugh is the Vice President for Administration at Duke. He says the new policy requires every member of the university community to report any suspected abuse of minors to campus police immediately.

On Fridays we've been listening to a series produced by young people involved in WUNC's first ever Summer Youth Radio Institute. This week 15-year-old Akib Khan tells the story of his sister, who decided to start wearing the hijab, the traditional Islamic headscarf, when the family immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh. As our youth reporter tells us it's a decision that was met with some skepticism.

A review panel is meeting to take a closer look at how academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill was investigated and handled.

Dave DeWitt: The five-member panel was created by the UNC Board of Governors. They are meeting today behind closed doors to investigate an academic scandal that involved no-show classes, changed grades, and other improprieties in the African and Afro-American Studies department at UNC Chapel Hill.

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have published a paper on the importance of diversity in higher education.

Dave DeWitt: The paper, published in the current issue of Rutgers Race and Law Review, surveyed 6,500 law students over ten years, on 50 different campuses. The results were clear: students reported a distinct benefit in their learning environments when students of diverse backgrounds were present.

Youth Radio Institute: Jasmine Farmer

Aug 24, 2012

Our series from the WUNC Summer Youth Radio Institute continues this morning with a story from 18-year-old Jasmine Farmer. She's a poet and recent high school graduate who's involved with the slam poetry group Sacrificial Poets. Once a month the group hosts an open-mic night in the back room of Chapel Hill Fly Leaf Books. As Jasmine reports it's become a place where young people can perform their writing to a welcoming audience.

Jasmine Farmer: When you go to an Open Mic,

Terrence Foushe: So like

It’s a busy time for parents and students as many prepare to go back to school. It’s also an important time for decision-makers in the state’s largest school district.

Dave DeWitt: Wake County Schools have gotten plenty of attention the past few years, most of it unwanted. As the School Board has bickered over school assignment, calendar issues, and other topics, students have continued to perform above the state average. That has occurred despite the fact that Wake spends less per-pupil than the state average.

Common Core Coming To NC

Aug 21, 2012

Public school students and teachers are busy getting ready for the start of the traditional school year. There are going to be significant changes in every public school in the state.

Dave DeWitt: This is the first year that North Carolina will implement the Common Core curriculum. It's designed to align K-12 lessons with college and work as well as standardize student achievement across the states. North Carolina is one of 48 states that have signed on to the Common Core.

Students are moving back into Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill as classes are starting at Triangle Universities.

Dave DeWitt: Heavy rain over the weekend didn't make things easier for the tens of thousands of college students and parents lugging boxes up flights of stairs. Several schools were forced to cancel some outdoor activities over the weekend designed to welcome students to campus.

Classes begin today at William Peace University in Raleigh. Men are taking their seats as undergraduates at the school for the first time.

Youth Radio Institute: Dontá McCormick

Aug 17, 2012

It's Friday and time for the next installment from our series from the WUNC Summer Youth Radio Institute. Donta McCormick was one of our youth reporters this summer. He and his brother grew up in North Durham -- in neighborhoods where most of their friends never made it out of high school. But as Donta reports -- the support of a mentor helped make sure his brother's path would be different from their friends.

A former governor will lead an investigation into academic irregularities at UNC Chapel Hill.

Some area community colleges are reporting increased enrollment for the coming semester, among them Durham Tech and Wake Tech. Numbers for Wake Tech Community College are already over 20-thousand with a few days left to register. Wake Tech President Stephen Scott credits the steadily-improving economy to the a surge in enrollment along with class affordability and quality in the programs. Placement, he adds, is nearly 100 percent in many fields of study including medical, IT, and engineering. Scott says part of the success may be due to how the college looks at a technical education.

More than 150 Parent Teacher Association leaders from across the country have gathered at the White House. They're being recognized for their work, and getting the chance to hear from and question federal education officials. Debra Saunders-White, a former vice chancellor at UNC-Wilmington, is with the Department of Education's Office of Post-secondary Education. Speaking at today's event, she stressed the importance of Pell grants.

Youth Radio Institute: Addie Malone

Aug 10, 2012

This Summer WUNC established its first ever Youth Radio Institute. We hired five young people and two mentors  to produce reports from their communities. We'll be hearing their work over the next several Friday mornings. First up is a report from 19-year-old Addie Malone. She brought us this story from the Rogers Road neighborhood in Chapel Hill. This summer, a couple of older residents started a community center for kids in the historically black neighborhood. But they did it without adhering to local zoning or safety ordinances. So this weekend the facility is closing.

Two new single-gender academies are set to open in Wake County. The schools are designed to serve students from low-income areas.

Dave DeWitt: More than 800 students applied to be in the first classes at the Wake Leadership Academy for Boys and a similar school for girls. Just 300 will walk through the doors when they open on Monday.

Guilford county schools held a two-part symposium this week examining disparities for African-American students.

Jeff Tiberii: The event focused on disproportionate levels of discipline and below average literacy rates. Students who are black were more than three times more likely to be suspended than white students. Beth Folger is Chief academic officer for Guilford County Schools. She says several key factors led to the discrepancies.

North Carolina hit an all-time high graduation rate in 2012. More than 80 percent of high school seniors earned their diplomas.

Dave DeWitt: The 4-year graduation rate went up by more than two full percentage points from 2011. In six years, the graduation rate has gone up by nearly 12 percentage points.

School officials pointed to a wide range of local efforts to propel students to graduation. Hispanic students made the largest gain in the graduation rate.

N.C. Central is getting ready to search for a new permanent replacement for Chancellor Charlie Nelms, who abruptly announced his retirement late last week.

Dave DeWitt: When James Moeser announced he was stepping down as UNC-Chapel Hill's chancellor in 2007, he did so eight full months before he officially left the job. Chancellors at other UNC system schools typically give at least several months' notice, even if they are leaving for other positions.

A lower percentage of North Carolina's young adults are getting college degrees. That's according to census data released earlier this month.

Dave DeWitt: At the end of 2009, 37.9 percent of the state's 25-to-34 year old residents had some sort of college degree. A year later, that number fell by three-tenths of a percentage point. That comes as the national trend is going the other way.

North Carolina Central University chancellor Charlie Nelms is retiring.

Gurnal Scott: Five years to the month after becoming chancellor Nelms will step away. His colleagues describe the decision as shocking.

Kevin Rome: It's almost like a death when you don't expect it.

There's a new Dean of the Duke University Chapel. The Reverend Doctor Luke Powery is the first African-American to hold the position.

Dave DeWitt: Powery comes from the Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was an assistant professor. He replaces Samuel Wells, who left Duke Chapel to return to England.

Powery was one of several who gave guest sermons at Duke Chapel in recent months. The one he delivered in June was called "Why Are You Afraid?"

A former professor at UNC-Chapel Hill has resigned from the University of Michigan amid allegations he fabricated research while in Chapel Hill.

Dave DeWitt: Lawrence Sanna is a social psychologist. In 2011, he published several papers that showed people who stood in an elevated position were more altruistic. One of his experiments showed that people who rode to the top of an escalator were more likely to give to the Salvation Army than those who rode the escalator to the bottom.

Duke to Offer Free Online Classes

Jul 18, 2012

Duke University will begin offering free online classes to the public this September.

Asma Khalid: Duke faculty have signed up to teach eight internet classes. They range from neuroscience to astronomy.  So why fork out more than $40,000 a year for tuition if you can access these high-quality Duke professors for free?  Lynne O'Brien is organizing the partnership at Duke. And she says these online classes won't replace the on-campus experience.

Wake County School officials are praising students and staff at 4 of the district’s elementary schools for demonstrating higher proficiency on test scores.

Dave DeWitt: The four “Renaissance Schools” are Barwell, Brentwood, Creech Road, and Wilburn. They’re located in different parts of the county, but all serve a predominately low-income population.

UNC Receives Digital Humanities Grant

Jul 6, 2012

The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has received a nearly 1.4-million-dollar grant to expand digital humanities research.

Asma Khalid: If you're like me, you might be wondering what exactly is digital humanities research.

Well, once upon a time, academics researched without computers, they physically had to go to an archive. These days, there's a hyper-abundance of information online.

Robert Allen: Huge quantities of data, more data than any one scholar can possibly go through in a lifetime

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