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Mary D.B.T Semans
The Duke Endowment

A well-respected civic and philanthropic leader died yesterday in Durham.  Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was the great grand-daughter of Washington Duke - for which Duke University is named.   Family ties also include The American Tobacco Company and what is known today as Duke Energy.  Semans will be remembered for her role in growing the arts in North Carolina, preserving health care for others and her fight for equality for women and African Americans.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear arguments today in a case involving desegregation in Pitt County, the district that includes Greenville.

Dave DeWitt: Pitt County is one of just a few school districts in North Carolina still under a federal desegregation order from the 1970s. Because of that, the district must consider race when assigning students and teachers. Mark Dorosin is an attorney with the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Civil Rights. He says Pitt County's latest student assignment plan did not do that.

Lenovo has helped launch a new program that teaches mobile “app” development to high school students.

Leoneda Inge:  Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation are piloting the mobile “app” development program at five high schools across the country – including Apex High School.  Matthew Wight (white) is principal of Apex High School.  He hopes the program will help steer more students towards math, science and other STEM coursework.  He says they are excited.

Bennett College in Greensboro is looking to the future while noting recent growth from its past.

Jeff Tiberii: The all women’s historically black college will continue to grow in the next few years. Yesterday President Julianne Malveaux spoke to the board of trustees and several local officials about plans to raise enrollment to 1,000 students and build several new buildings on campus. All told, Malveaux estimates projects between 70 and 100 million dollars by 2020.

A new study out of UNC Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute shows that high-quality early childhood education has dramatic effects on quality of life.

Dave DeWitt: In academic circles, the Abecedarian Project is renowned for its rare length. For 30 years, researchers have followed the same group of high-risk, largely African-American children. Half received intensive pre-school and child care; the other half did not.

A new study by Disability Rights North Carolina says the state is failing disabled children with complex treatment needs. Vicki Smith is the advocacy group's executive director. She says the state isn't following its own guidelines for treating children with both a mental illness and developmental disability.

Vicki Smith: These are kids, so there should be really good robust cooperation and collaboration between education and mental health and social services, because we have to treat the whole child.

Teachers Strike Back

Jan 5, 2012

Members of the state’s largest teachers’ organization woke up to the news this morning that their dues would no longer be automatically deducted from their paychecks. Dave DeWitt reports.

The historic YMCA building on the Carolina campus will also serve as the home of a new Social Entrepreneurs initiative for students.  The Social Innovation Incubator officially opens in January and will provide space for three teams of students to nurture their projects.  Richard Harrill is the director of the Campus "Y" at UNC.  He says they are currently accepting applications from students who want to be the first residents to work out of the innovation incubator.

Superintendent Maurice ''Mo'' Green

Students in Guilford County Schools have a few weeks left to surpass a goal of collectively reading two million books in a year.

North Carolina has won $70 million more in the federal government’s Race To The Top grant competition. The second award will go to early childhood education.

North Carolina is one of only 6 repeat winners. The U.S. Department of Education made the announcement this morning. North Carolina’s total grant award from Race to the Top is now around $470 million.

The latest grant will go to funding improvements to early childhood programs for at-risk kids. It will also be used to improve student and teacher assessments.

Dropping Back In

Dec 16, 2011

North Carolina’s high school graduation rate is inching up. For the first time last year, the state ranked better than the national average. But still, about 1 in 4 high school students in the state drops out. And in a knowledge-based economy, those without at least a high school diploma are highly likely to struggle the rest of their lives.

Dean Jim Ryan gives a demonstration of the 3-D visualization room
Jeff Tiberii

Yesterday the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Greensboro cut the ribbon to its brand new 64 million dollar facility. Students from UNC-Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University have been using temporary facilities for the past year. Now, they have state-of-the-art technology as they research everything from diseases to the components of a cell phone.

Eric Becoats

The Durham Public Schools will delay a major overhaul of its magnet system. The announcement was made earlier today by Superintendent Eric Becoats.

School bus
Dave DeWitt

Five members of the Wake County School Board were sworn in last night. The board majority is now in the hands of Democrats, after two years of Republican control.

Thorp Meets With Obama

Dec 6, 2011

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp attended a White House summit yesterday in Washington. He and 11 other college leaders discussed affordability and college access with President Obama.

Thorp says Mr. Obama is well-versed on the issues universities are facing in a tough economy.