Education

Credit CPB

Rural Schools, Vance County Schools, Western Vance
Leoneda Inge

Rural counties across the state are not experiencing the economic recovery underway in the Triangle, Triad or in the Charlotte Mecklenburg region.  The unemployment rate is higher, the poverty rate is higher and the high school drop-out rate is higher.

teacher
Jaine / Flickr Creative Commons

A tentative pay schedule from the Wake County school board bumps up Wake’s local contribution to teacher’s salaries. Teachers would see increases from $875 to $3,202, depending on experience and specialty.

The plan also gives a 3-percent raise to non-faculty employees, such as bus drivers and maintenance workers and increases additional pay for teachers with extra duties, such as coaching and advising.

Amy Thompson lives in teacher housing for Hertford County Schools.
Jess Clark

Amy Thompson lives in a seemingly typical two-bedroom apartment.

There's wall-to wall carpet, neutral walls, a comfy looking couch set, and a dining room table arranged with bright autumn leaves.

Student, Classroom, school, class
Tom Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

More teachers are leaving North Carolina to teach in other states, according to a report from the Department of Public Instruction.

It shows 1,082 of the state’s teachers left for classrooms in other parts of the country last year. That’s more than triple the number that left for other states in 2010.

Flickr via Cynthia Ahrens / Flickr

Lawmakers pushed a bill through the Senate that would divert more money from school districts to charter schools.

Under current law, school districts have pots of funding they don’t have to share with charter schools. These pots include supplemental property tax revenues, as well as federal funding for providing school lunches and transportation, which most charters don’t provide.

teacher in a blur with classroom
Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

Many school districts in North Carolina are looking for ways to fund some of their teacher positions after changes in the state budget.  

Under the spending plan passed last week, school officials are no longer allowed to use money set aside for teacher assistants to pay for teachers.

An image of UNC's Old Well
yeungb / Wikipedia Creative Commons

It may seem like the school year just started, but pretty soon high school seniors and other aspiring college students will start submitting applications for next year’s college enrollment.

George Gopen, professor emeritus of the practice of rhetoric at Duke University
Duke University

George Gopen thought it was a riot when he beat his college roommate in a pun contest.

"If you keep maltreating your girlfriend, she will send you a dijon letter that says poupon you."

While he loves to pun, Gopen does not take words lightly.

He has spent 45 years teaching literature, composition and rhetoric; the complexities and eloquence of the English language.

So when he heard President George W. Bush give a muddled speech in 2001, George Gopen felt compelled to write the White House.

College graduates in 2013 at Syracuse University. Say Yes has another partner community in Syracuse, New York
Chris Becker / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of donors is going start paying for Guilford County students’ in-state college tuition next year. 

Several Guilford County organizations and Guilford County schools have partnered with a national foundation called Say Yes to Education. Together they've raised $32.6 million in private donations for an endowment to cover tuition costs for the district's students at all in-state public colleges and universities, as well as 100 nation-wide private universities, including Duke University and Harvard University.

condoms sex ed
Courtesy of Pixbay.com

Lawmakers want to allow more types of experts to weigh in on sex education materials under a bill that advanced through the House Wednesday.

Under current law, experts in sexual health education are the only experts who can approve materials for sex education courses in public schools. But the bill the House approved Wednesday allows schools to use materials approved by experts in several additional fields.

Reema Khrais

This summer, North Carolina senators pushed a plan to cut thousands of teacher assistants. Educators from across the state rallied against the idea, and in the budget compromise unveiled this week, lawmakers decided to keep funding for teacher assistants.

But there’s a catch, and it’s one that many educators say is problematic.

Under the budget deal, schools would be required to use money for teacher assistants for only that. Nothing else.

school bus
wikimedia commons

Wake County schools is transporting more students with fewer buses this year.

The school district cut 70 buses from its routes—even while the number of riders jumped by about 1,500.

"Our transportation funding has decreased at the same time that our student ridership has increased," said Lisa Luten, a spokeswoman for the district. "And so those two factors really pushed us to look at our transportation and see how we could improve it. "

As a new teacher for Wake County Schools, Vasti Rodriguez earns one of the highest local salary supplements in the state.
Jess Clark

Schools faced teacher shortages as students returned to the classroom last month. School districts across the state have different challenges when it comes to finding teachers, depending on where they’re located.

Rural districts, most of which offer lower salaries than urban districts, can find it especially tough to recruit new teachers, but they’re coming up with some creative solutions.

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

School is back in session for the new year but assessment of last year's grades is ongoing. The report card for statewide performance in the 2014-2015 school year is out.

The Department of Public Instruction released their findings yesterday: graduation rates are up but fewer schools are hitting their targets.

  Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with WUNC education reporter Reema Khrais about the test results.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

Almost thirty percent of public schools in North Carolina have received D and F grades, according to data the state released today.

Most of those D and F schools have high percentages of students who come from poverty. Last year’s scores showed a very similar trend. Democratic leader Larry Hall said he’s not surprised, and that the state needs to invest more in public education.

Fingers on a keyboard, computer,
Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in North Carolina, public school students can take all of their classes online by logging on to their computers at home.

This summer, the state opened two virtual charter schools, N.C. Connections Academy and N.C. Virtual Academy. Both schools have met their enrollment caps of 1,500 students, and families are on wait lists, according to the principals.

Shaun Harper
University of Pennsylvania

A new report reveals that across the South, school districts are disproportionately suspending and expelling black students.

The study out of the University of Pennsylvania shows that while black students represented about a quarter of students in the thirteen southern states in the 2011-2012 school year, they made up nearly half of the students suspended.

teacher in a blur with classroom
Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

Parents and local groups have filed a lawsuit against the Halifax County Board of Commissioners, arguing that it fails to offer every student with the opportunity of a sound, basic education, as required by the state constitution.

Plaintiffs, which include three parents/guardians, the local NAACP chapter and the Coalition for Education and Economic Security, contend the board should merge the county's three school districts into one system. 

Newly hired teachers and staff listen during an orientation meeting for Wake County Public Schools.
Jess Clark

Hundreds of thousands of North Carolina public school students return to the classroom Monday. But many districts are still scrambling to find teachers for them.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district is among many districts seeing an increase in the number of open teaching positions. District spokeswoman Alex Hoskins says many of its 68 vacancies will be filled by substitute teachers.

Jean Christian Barry, Graduate, College, Black Male
Leoneda Inge

Thousands of college freshmen have been settling in to their dorm rooms and classrooms across the state this week.  The drop-off can be especially emotional for parents sending their first child off into the world. 

I have been planning and dreaming of this day since my sons's birth.  But as all parents find out, plans don’t always come out as you expect.

It seems like Jean Christian Barry has been washing clothes, towels and sheets for weeks. Every time I turn around, he’s folding or packing something.

An image of a UNC student
Tia Holmes

This week, Tia Holmes began her first days at college. She is an incoming first-year this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is already planning to major in computer science.

But her passion does not stem solely from computers. Since she was in middle school, Holmes has been working to promote inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities across the country.

Holmes was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy as a child. The disability affects her speech and movement, but not her drive to spread her message.

Classroom
Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina education leaders are proposing dramatic changes to the state's public education system.

A group tasked with retooling the Common Core standards met yesterday to present their preliminary recommendations

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Glenwood Elementary students
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

 A state commission reviewing the Common Core standards is proposing major changes to the Math and English goals.

The 11-member group presented draft recommendations on Monday that call for a restructuring of high school math, a stronger emphasis on writing and, overall, clearer goals that are more “developmentally appropriate.” 

The 'Old Well' UNC-Chapel HIll
Caroline Culler / Wikipedia

College students are heading back to campus over the next week, which usually means lugging futons up stairwells, battling the chaos in dorm parking lots and enjoying many ice cream socials.

Here is some information and tips for students and parents as they come to campus. This list will be updated as more information on various schools’ events becomes available.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A quick look at the incoming class:

Main Building of the former Black Mountain College, on the grounds of Camp Rockmont, a summer camp for boys.
Howard Morland

In the 1940's and 1950's, several professors at Black Mountain College in Western North Carolina attracted the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigations for their progressive political beliefs.

  Increasing anti-communist paranoia fueled a federal investigation, along with suspicion about whether or not the school was inappropriately using funds from the G.I. Bill to pay for tuition.

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