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President Richard Brodhead says Duke University will end its salary freeze. In 2009, the school froze wages and made cuts to deal with a shrinking endowment.

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow community colleges to opt out of offering low interest federal loans to students. Legislation enacted last year would require all community colleges to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. It allows students to borrow directly from the federal government. But some community college presidents say if too many students fail to repay these loans it may jeopardize the institutions' ability to provide other federal financial aid.

Today is the five-year anniversary of the founding of the North Caroline Education Lottery. When it was created in 2006, North Carolina was one of the last states east of the Mississippi to create a lottery.

Research out of Duke University shows that a gifted curriculum has great benefits for students, even those students who aren’t originally identified as gifted.

The study placed 5,000 students across North Carolina into gifted programs, some of whom were not identified by educators as being gifted. Many of those students soon performed well-enough to be identified as gifted.

Bev Perdue
Office of the Governor

Leaders in business, education, and government gathered in Raleigh today to discuss the future of student readiness. They were there as part of the "Many Voices, One Goal" Education Conference.

The president of the national organization that represents community colleges visited Guilford County yesterday. Walter Bumphus was in the state as part of a national listening tour.

Bumphus included North Carolina in his travels because of the state’s robust and comprehensive community college system. There are 58 community colleges in North Carolina, serving nearly a million students. Scott Ralls is the president of the North Carolina Community College system.

He says the down economy has meant laid-off workers arriving on campuses in droves:

Teachers March For Jobs

Mar 18, 2011
Teachers protesting
Dave DeWitt

More than 1,000 teachers from around the state took to the streets of Raleigh today. They were in town for the North Carolina Association of Educators annual conference. They are protesting, in part, against possible budget cuts in the General Assembly that could lead to tens of thousands of teachers and school personnel being laid off. The Legislature is trying to plug a $2.5 billion dollar budget gap.

The North Carolina Association of Educators will hold its annual convention in Raleigh today. The teachers' group is also expected to march through the city streets.

North Carolina's teachers are facing thousands of potential layoffs across the state and a nationwide trend portraying them as entrenched and ineffective.

Wake County high schools have been placed on “accredited warned” status by the agency that accredits them.

The AdvancED report (pdf) states that the school board has"created a climate of uncertainty, suspicion, and mistrust throughout the community."

Imam Speaks At UNC

Mar 16, 2011

UNC-Chapel Hill is hosting a lecture later today by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. He's the man at the heart of a controversial plan to build an Islamic Center near ground zero in lower Manhattan. Bill Balthrop is a professor in the department of communication studies at UNC. He says the Imam will talk about religious tolerance and pluralism in the United States during this year's Weil Lecture on American Citizenship:

North Carolina State University is reorganizing many of its departments and services to prepare for more budget cuts. The plan includes eliminating at least five high-ranking positions and merging different student services under one roof. State officials have told public schools to prepare for budget cuts of as much as 15 percent. N.C. State has seen budget cuts every year since 2007.

Paying For The Future

Mar 15, 2011
School bus
Dave Dewitt

Today is child advocacy day at the State Legislature. Hundreds of people who support early childhood development programs like Smart Start and More at Four are expected to descend on Raleigh. They will argue that the programs provide much-needed support to low-income families.

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist University Hospital have been able to regrow simple body parts out of injured patients' own cells.  Anthony Atala and his colleagues at the Institute of Regenerative Medicine have been able to rebuild the urethras of boys injured or born with birth defects. The urethra is the tube that drains the bladder. Atala says he harvests cells from other parts of the patients' bodies. Then he uses a special mesh framework for the cells to grow around.

Tony Tata has been the Superintendent of Wake County Schools for 37 days. In that time, he has visited nearly 40 schools and met with countless groups. The past week was particularly busy for Tata. He met with some of the people who have been the most highly critical of the School Board majority that hired him - including NAACP President William Barber. Tata’s latest event took place at Martin Street Baptist Church, in front of an audience predisposed to dislike him.

Duke University announced today the largest gift in the school’s history. The Duke Endowment of Charlotte gave the University $80 million dollars.

The money will go to renovating West Union and the Page Auditorium on West Campus. West was the student union before the Bryan Center opened in 1982. The renovated building will be used for student social space and dining.

Page Auditorium will also undergo an extensive renovation as will Baldwin Auditorium on East Campus. Both spaces will be modernized and updated to hold concerts and speeches.