Education

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The average SAT score for North Carolina high school students has dropped below 1,000.

The average combined critical reading and math score of 997 is down four points from last year. Results are based off of more than 63,000 students who took the standardized test. The Department of Public Instruction said that average scores on both of those sections as well as the writing component dropped by two points.

Several hundred students, faculty members and alums held a rally today at UNC-Chapel Hill in an effort to get the university's chancellor, Holden Thorp, to reconsider his decision to step down. Thorp has offered to resign in the wake of a series of athletic-related scandals at the university. Seniors Maggie Sommers and Lauren Delaunay say they attended the rally to show their respect for Thorp.

Maggie Sommers and Lauren Delaunay:

Holden Thorp
UNC-Chapel Hill

The resolution came out of a closed-door meeting of the Trustees last night. It describes the Board’s “unanimous” support for Thorp and “emphatically” requests that he reconsider his decision to resign.

Thorp announced that resignation on Monday, saying he believed it was in the best interests of the university and his family. Thorp was on the teleconference with the Trustees and has not indicated whether he will reconsider.

Families in Wake County will soon have to learn the particulars of yet another student assignment plan.

Holden Thorp
UNC-Chapel Hill

The resignation of UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp is drawing a variety of reactions from those on-campus and off. Thorp has been at the helm for four years. During the last two, he faced growing criticism for how he has handled a series of scandals in the football program and the African and Afro-American studies department. And then last week, the school’s top fundraiser abruptly resigned after being confronted with a number of personal trips he took at university expense.

Holden Thorp
UNC-Chapel Hill

Holden Thorp has resigned as the chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill. His four-year tenure was marked by historic budget cuts and significant accomplishments in research and student achievement. But it will likely be the three scandals that occurred on his watch that will be most prominent in his legacy.

They involved academic integrity issues in the football program and the African-American studies department. And just last week, Thorp accepted the resignation of the school’s top fundraiser for using university funds for personal travel.

Holden Thorp
UNC-Chapel Hill

Holden Thorp is stepping down as chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill. Thorp said in a statement released earlier today that the decision "wasn't easy" but that he was resigning in the best interests of the university. Thorp resigns after a tumultuous last four years. Thorp has led the University through scandals in the football program, African-American studies department, and in fundraising.  His last official day will be June 30th, 2013.

The UNC Board of Governors voted today to change the way new tuition revenue can be allocated to need-based financial aid. The new rules allow individual campuses to determine what percentage of tuition revenue can be used to help low-income students. The old policy said 25 % of new tuition revenue had to be set aside for financial aid. The Board also fielded a lot of questions on the future of UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp. Thorp has dealt with scandals involving football, the department of Afro and African-American studies, and the school's top fundraiser.

Holden Thorp
UNC-Chapel Hill

This week, UNC-Chapel Hill was rocked by yet another scandal – this one involving the travel of two of the school’s top fundraisers. It follows high-profile incidents in the football program and the Afro and African-American Studies department.

That has led some to question the leadership of the school’s chancellor. In a conversation earlier today, Chancellor Holden Thorp talked with WUNC reporter Dave DeWitt. Thorp first addressed the school’s short-term fundraising prospects after the resignation of Vice Chancellor Matt Kupec.

Our series from the WUNC Youth Radio Institute concludes this morning with a story from Fontezia Walker. She's 19 and had a number of setbacks while working towards her high school diploma. As you'll hear in this report, she and her sister struck out on their own -- by deciding to stay home.

Fontezia Walker: I live in a 3-room apartment in North Durham. Our home is filled with squeaky stairways, and the sounds of noisy neighbors. I live with my older sister, her son - and the memory of my mother.

Former Governor Jim Hunt told a story of North Carolina's growth in education at the Democratic National Convention last night.

Jim Hunt made history as the state's longest serving governor. Last night, he gave a bit of a history lesson. He told delegates where North Carolina was many years ago.

Jim Hunt: "Poor, rural, and rigidly segregated."

And how far it's come...with students learning more now than ever before.

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.

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