Education

Credit CPB

The State Legislature has reversed course on how many low-income four-year olds are eligible for pre-kindergarten programs.

Dave DeWitt: As part of its effort to cut costs and streamline pre-k programs in the state, the Legislature last year appeared to cap the number of low-income kids at 20 percent. Proponents of Pre-K programs brought the case before Judge Howard Manning, who ruled that the law was unconstitutional. He ordered the state to admit all eligible at-risk four-year olds.

Walking Classroom
Walking Classroom

A Chapel Hill non-profit has been recognized nationally for developing a program that targets childhood obesity while helping students learn.  The program is called “The Walking Classroom.”

Leoneda Inge:  The Walking Classroom Institute is about one year old and was started by former 5th grade teacher Laura Fenn.

Laura Fenn:  What I did is one day, when I was home after school, I went out for a walk and I was listening to a podcast while I was walking and I thought to myself, my students can do this.

American Graduate: Poetic Justice Part 1

Jun 1, 2012
Poetic Justice visit WUNC.
WUNC

WUNC is part of the American Graduate Project. It’s a public media initiative looking at education and the drop out crisis in North Carolina. It’s a big issue, by some measurements, an estimated 1-in-4 high school students will drop out before graduation day. As a part of this project WUNC commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to host an after-school writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham. Today we begin a series of poetic reflections on their classroom experience.

NC Gets NCLB Waiver

May 30, 2012

North Carolina is one of eight states that have been granted a waiver from some of the most significant requirements of the education law "No Child Left Behind."

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger introduced an education reform package to lawmakers today. Capitol Bureau Chief Jessica Jones reports if passed, it would cost 440 million dollars over five years.

Jessica Jones: Berger explained the legislation earlier today in a committee meeting. It has attracted controversy because it would end teacher tenure, to the chagrin of some educators. Berger says bad teachers should be weeded out. The measure would also require evaluations of all entering kindergarten students.

Friday Improving

May 18, 2012
Bill Friday
UNC-TV

Bill Friday's condition is improving. But the former UNC system president still remains in critical condition at UNC Hospitals.

The Orange County District Attorney has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the activities of a UNC-Chapel Hill professor. Julius Nyang'Oro is accused of being paid for classes he did not teach.

Thousands of graduating seniors will get their degrees this weekend. The three largest universities in the Triangle: Duke, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill, all hold commencement ceremonies.

Dave DeWitt: Last-minute preparations are ongoing for the big events, including building stages, arranging chairs, and families checking into hotel rooms.

But for those graduating, like Mohammad Saad at UNC Chapel Hill, these last few days elicit conflicting emotions.

An academic department at UNC-Chapel Hill is under fire after a scathing internal report discovered numerous no-show classes and grade changes from 2007 to 2009.

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower-court ruling that dealt with student assignment in Pitt County Schools. The 4th Circuit said the school district that serves the Greenville area did not adequately consider race when drawing attendance boundaries.

Dave DeWitt: Pitt County is one of a handful of school districts in North Carolina that is still under a federal desegregation order from the 1970s. As such, any major changes it makes to student assignment must consider race.

Students in Wake County Schools who seek technical skills that could lead to jobs may soon have a new school to consider. The Wake School Board has approved the creation of a new career technical high school.

Dave DeWitt: The Career Technical High School would be a partnership with Wake Technical Community College. It would offer classes and certificates in areas like automobile repair, biopharmaceuticals and cosmetology.

UNC Hospital School
UNC Hospital School

Among the vast, winding hallways inside the UNC Hospital complex, there’s a school. It's small, by public school standards, but it serves a vital purpose.

As Dave DeWitt reports, it offers young patients the chance to remain students, and retain a sense of normalcy during a difficult time in their lives.

Loretta Rowland-Kitley
Jeff Tiberii

North Carolina had a high school graduation rate that ranked 25th in the nation last year. The state statistics are showing improvement, but still about 27 out of every 100 students do not receive their diploma on time. Of all the large and urban school districts in the state, Guilford County has the best graduation rate. Part of the reason is a growing number of the district's early and middle colleges. Students at those schools are now earning degrees at a near perfect pace. Jeff Tiberii reports as part of our American Graduate series.

A possible change to how university employees are classified has the UNC system and employee rights groups bickering.

Dave DeWitt: About 22,000 employees who work on the UNC system’s 17 campuses are classified in one of two categories. EPA employees are exempt from the state personnel act, SPA employees are not.

The UNC Board of Governors wants to streamline, and create one category. They say it will allow more local control and create a system that rewards the best employees and allows universities more flexibility in recruitment.

Roy Dawson
UNC-Chapel Hill

Dropping out of high school is usually a lifelong ticket to a low-paying job, or worse. As more and more businesses require employees to have at least a high-school degree, those who do not are getting left behind. In response, public schools, community colleges, and universities are creating new ways for drop-outs to re-enter the education system. As part of our American Graduate series, Dave DeWitt tells the story of a student who found one of these new roads to success.

Dave DeWitt: School always came easy to Roy Dawson.

The second-largest school district in North Carolina is close to choosing a new leader. The search for a new superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools enters a public phase this week.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system is considering eliminating one of its most iconic academic programs. A report commissioned by the district recommends eliminating the Chinese dual-language emersion program.

NCSU
NCSU

Birthday cake and ice cream will be served on NC State’s campus today.   The Wolf-pack is 125-years-old.

Dave DeWitt

In 2009, Governor Bev Perdue and the State Department of Public Instruction took over the Halifax School System in Northeastern North Carolina. At the time, only about one third of students in Halifax high schools passed end of grade tests, and only about one-half graduated.

Things have improved. Graduation rates have risen by 16 percent. But there’s still a long way to go. As part of our American Graduate series, Dave DeWitt visited Halifax Northwest High School to see how the turnaround is going.

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory laid out his education platform today. As Dave DeWitt reports, the former mayor of Charlotte is in favor of expanding school choice and teacher merit pay, among other things.

Dave DeWitt: McCrory was careful not to wade into the current debate between Governor Bev Perdue and the Republican led Legislature over school funding. He refused to say if schools were adequately funded under the current budget, but instead offered outlines of new programs that he said may save money.

Most North Carolina school districts will not have to add five days to their upcoming school year. It's the second year that waivers have been granted from an extension mandated by the General Assembly. The State School Board authorized the waivers. Ninety-one of the state's 115 school districts have gotten them so far. Board Chairman Bill Harrison says teachers need those five days to prepare for new national curriculum standards. Plus, he says it would cost $14 million system-wide. State Senator Jerry Tillman is a major proponent of the school year extension.

A group of students from Greensboro is in Washington D.C. today helping First Lady Michelle Obama plant her White House garden.

Jeff Tiberii: Last year students at Sumner Elementary school students decided to plant their own garden, and sent letters to the First lady seeking advice. Last week the White House called and extended an invitation for five third graders, two teachers and the principal to visit the White House and receive gardening tips first hand. Principal Thyais Maxwell says the children are excited and the families emotional

In the Jim Crow South, the black community faced frequent violence and intimidation. Today in our series Voices for Civil Rights, hosted by Eric Hodge, we hear stories of encounters with the Ku Klux Klan.

Seth Kotch shares excerpts of three oral histories conducted by the Southern Oral History Program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Robert Hayling experiences sudden, horrific violence at a Klan rally in Florida.

Duke University

The opening of Duke University’s campus in Kunshan, China has been delayed.

There’s a renewed fight over education funding. Dave DeWitt reports that the loss of federal stimulus money has republicans and democrats picking sides ahead of the legislature coming back to Raleigh.

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