Education

Credit CPB

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.

Governor Bev Perdue plans to shift 20 million dollars into funding for the state's pre-kindergarten academic enrichment program.

Bill Friday
UNC Chapel Hill

More than a thousand people gathered today in Memorial Hall on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill to remember Bill Friday. The longtime UNC system president and TV show host died last week at the age of 92.

Remembering Bill Friday

Oct 12, 2012
Bill Friday
UNC-Chapel Hill

Former UNC system president Bill Friday has died. Friday passed away in his sleep this morning at his home in Chapel Hill. He was 92 years old. Friday was president of UNC for 30 years, and steered it through desegregation, unprecedented growth, and numerous political battles. He also hosted more than 18-hundred episodes of North Carolina People on UNC-TV.  Dave DeWitt has this remembrance of one of the most important and most visible North Carolinians of his time.

Raleigh School Closing

Oct 10, 2012

A controversial private school in Raleigh is closing its doors. The Upper Room Christian Academy High School opened in 2001.

Sara Carucci
The Monti

Our series of stories from The Monti concludes today with Sarah Carucci. She now works as a graduation coach at Communities in Schools -- but she got her start in education as a teacher. Her story was recorded in front of an  audience at Motorco in Durham as a part of WUNC's American Graduate collaboration with The Monti.

American Graduate & The Monti: Jonas Monast

Sep 27, 2012
Jonas Monast
The Monti

All this week we're featuring stories recorded in front of a live audience about critical moments at school. It's part of our on-going American Graduate project, a public media initiative looking at the drop out crisis and other issues in education. Everybody has a story about a turning point at school -- sometimes it's about a big test or academic triumph -- other times it's about something a little more intimate, like falling in love for the first time. That's the subject of this story from Jonas Monast. It was recorded in front of a live audience at The Monti.

American Graduate & The Monti: Casio Noell

Sep 26, 2012
Casio Noell
The Monti

All this week WUNC during All Things Considered we're hearing personal stories about education told live at The Monti. It's a performance storytelling group that hosts events around the Triangle and in Greensboro. As a part of American Graduate Week, we're featuring stories about the drop out crisis -- and other issues with public education. Today the story of Casio Noell -- he spoke to a live audience in Durham.

An advocacy group says it plans to file a lawsuit against the UNC system, alleging inconsistent and unfair treatment of veterans. Jason Thigpen is president of Student Veterans Advocacy Group.

"The UNC school system across the board - universities and community colleges - have invariably misclassified many of these student veterans and family members as out-of-state residents, when they meet all the qualifications to be considered an in-state resident for tuition purposes," said Thigpen.

Democratic leaders on the Wake County School Board say Tony Tata's leadership style led to his firing as superintendent. 

Gurnal Scott: Members of the Democratic majority gave some reasons for their vote in a news conference yesterday. But they declined to give specifics. Board chairman Kevin Hill pointed to what he says were operational failures.

Kevin Hill: We've had a disastrous start to the school year in implementation of our assignment plan beginning with the first week in July. We've had a mess with transportation.

Tony Tata
Wake County Schools

The Wake County School Board is looking for a new superintendent. The board's Democratic majority fired Tony Tata yesterday after less than two years on the job. They said little about their reasons. But Republicans blame partisan politics.


Gurnal Scott: A precariously-placed hammer over the head of Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata..finally dropped.

Kevin Hill: At this time I look for a motion from the board to approve the separation agreement between the board and Mr. Tata.

School can be hard -- and often it's not the academics that makes it so challenging. As a part of our weeklong American Graduate series of stories about education -- we hear from Patty Chase of Durham. In this story told live at The Monti, she remembers one life changing moment from elementary school.

Tony Tata
Wake County Schools

Wake County Schools superintendent Tony Tata may learn today if he still has a job.

Board members spent more than three hours yesterday in closed session. They made no decision. But Republican members who support Tata -- like John Tedesco -- left the meeting upset about where they were.

John Tedesco: In a closed session personnel item when I should be working on something like student achievement.

This week public radio stations across the country are taking part in American Graduate Week. It's a Public Media initiative that looks at the drop out crisis and other issues in the public schools. As a part of our coverage, WUNC partnered with the performance story-telling group The Monti for a series of stories about school. Our first one comes from Bill Kenyon -- he's a teacher from Hillsborough -- he told his story, without notes, in front of a live audience at The Monti.

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.

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