Education

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Samantha Lanevi

Samantha Lanevi, 19, is a recent graduate of Durham Academy. She is currently a student at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Fayetteville State University, Nursing Program, FSU
Fayetteville State University

North Carolina has more nursing schools and programs than most states its size.  So when Fayetteville State University suspended its Bachelor’s Degree nursing program in 2009, it was a big deal for the state and the school.

Today, the nursing program is open and admitting students.  In fact, the first class of graduates have all passed their national board exam.

There's a radio ad playing on Fayetteville's commercial stations.

Image of the Russell School, the last Rosenwald School in Durham County.
Phyllis Mack Horton

In the early 20th century, Sears Roebuck CEO Julius Rosenwald teamed up with educator and civil rights icon Booker T. Washington to bring formal education to African-Americans in the rural South.

An image of the 2015 Youth Radio group
Charlie Shelton / WUNC

A group of teenage reporters is adding the final touches to their stories this week as a part of WUNC's Youth Reporting Institute. The interviews are transcribed, the scripts have been written and each piece of the story is getting its last polish. As they finish up their summers jobs at WUNC, the youth reporters took some time to reflect and preview what listeners should anticipate hearing on the air in the coming weeks.

Gavel, Court
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

A Wake County superior court judge is reviewing whether the State Board of Education is doing its part to provide every public school student with the opportunity of a sound, basic education.

A picture of an empty classroom.
f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l / Flickr

In Raleigh, Senate lawmakers are proposing a controversial tradeoff.

They want to cut funding for teacher assistants to hire more teachers and reduce classroom sizes in the early grades. Republicans argue that smaller classes will lead to better student outcomes, even if it’s at the cost of fewer teacher assistants.

Alberto G. via Flickr

The Wake County Board of Education- home to the state's largest school district- wants to cut back on the number of benchmark tests it requires students to take.

The district has been offering three CASE21 benchmark tests per year in subjects including math, language arts and science. These assessments have come in addition to the statewide End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests.

An image of a person typing on a computer
Public Domain

In an effort to bridge the digital divide, the Obama administration has selected Durham, as well as 26 other cities and a tribal nation, to help connect more public housing residents to high-speed internet.

Photo: The state Department of Public Instruction revealed a dramatic drops in student performance on standardized tests.
sandersonhs.org

State education leaders are slowly rolling out their ideas on how to reduce high-stakes testing in public schools.

The State Board of Education voted on Wednesday to conduct a study in the coming school year to examine whether their proposals are doable.

An image of the UNC School of Law
Caroline Culler / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The UNC Law Foundation is offering a new venture for people interested in researching causes and solutions for economic hardship in North Carolina.

Rick White, UNC-Chapel Hill's Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs, said the new North Carolina Poverty Research Fund will be overseen by an independent board.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

Local school officials are struggling to make budget decisions without knowing how much money they will receive from the state.

House and Senate lawmakers passed a temporary spending plan earlier this month to keep the state running until August 14.

For school officials, that's a tight deadline.

Reema Khrais / WUNC

In North Carolina classrooms today, students are dealing with far fewer textbooks. Over the last seven years, state money for books has dropped drastically. Those changes come as more classrooms become more digital friendly – a transition that won’t be cheap, or easy.

Image of the jacket cover image of The End of Consensus
UNC Press

School board elections usually garner little public attention, but in 2009, media outlets across the country were covering the contentious school board election in Wake County. The election occurred against a backdrop of increasing concerns over student assignment policies, tremendous population growth, and the rise of the state’s Republican party.

Charlie Shelton / WUNC

This week, six teenage reporters grabbed a microphone and went out into Durham to find a story. They encountered enthusiastic interviewees and some not-so-enthusiastic near a Durham bus stop on a hot summer’s day.

Hoodr / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Physics students at NC Central University will soon be able to pursue a dual degree in computer or electrical engineering at NC State beginning this fall. After three years at Central, a student could do two more years at State and finish with two undergraduate degrees.

NC State's Computer and Electrical Engineering Director Dan Stancil said State is excited to welcome the math and physics students from NC Central.

Image of Omar Currie
Andrew Tie / WUNC

The problem started on what Omar Currie thought was a normal day.

It eventually ended with Currie and a vice principal at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School resigning. What prompted the controversy? Currie chose  to read a fairy tale titled “King & King" to his class.

Omar Currie is a University of North Carolina graduate who learned of “King & King” during his training as a teaching fellow. He read the book to his third grade students at Efland-Cheeks in an effort to teach understanding and empathy as they struggled with a bullying problem. 

Lawmakers voted this summer to eventually eliminate teacher tenure, replacing it with temporary contracts. The State Board of Education will discuss a model contract this week.
cybrarian77 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cybrarian77/6284181389

Teacher pay is one of the biggest political items in the state's spending plan North Carolina lawmakers are currently debating.

House and Senate Republicans have different ideas over raising teacher salaries, though both want to give an average 4 percent boost.

Under the Senate’s plan, most of that extra money would go toward teachers with less than 15 years of experience. Those with 25+ years of experience would not see any increases to their current base salary from the state.  

Classroom
WUNC File Photo

The state commission charged with reviewing and proposing changes to the Common Core standards heard from a handful of parents on Monday. Many of them already attend the group’s meetings regularly and strongly oppose the Math and English goals.

The group, which first met in September, has been working on collecting feedback from stakeholders through surveys and now public meetings.

“It’s so critical for us to be not only transparent, but inclusive,” said co-chair Andre Peek.

LA Johnson/NPR

North Carolina’s high school graduation rate is at an all-time high at about 83 percent. State education leaders credit several reasons: early college high school, career counseling, credit recovery programs–just to list a few.

NPR Ed recently partnered with several member stations, including WUNC, to dig into why graduation rates have been climbing. The answer isn’t an easy one – many schools use thoughtful, long-term strategies, while others rely more heavily on alternate, and often easier, routes for struggling students.  

Image of June Atkinson, who has been the North Carolina state superintendent since 2005.
North Carolina Democratic Party

June Atkinson has served as the state superintendent for almost a decade.

During her tenure there have been a number of significant changes to the state’s public education system, including the adoption of common core standards, the proliferation of charter schools, and continued debates about where education fits in the state budget.

Moore County Schools

Updated Tuesday, June 9 at 6:30 a.m.

The Moore County School Board has reinstated the embattled schools superintendent, after four board members resigned.

The board voted suddenly Thursday to buy out the contract of Superintendent Bob Grimesy, who is popular among parents, teachers and government officials.

State Representative James Boles called for the resignation of five board members.

Multiple media outlets report that a smaller school board voted 4-1 last night to reinstate Grimesy.

Wednesday, June 8

Pressure is building on Moore County School Board members after the Board voted to fire the county's popular Superintendent. 

Without explanation, the school board voted 5-to-3 Thursday to fire Robert Grimesey.

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

Testing season is wrapping up for many public school students in North Carolina. They’ve spent hours bubbling in answer sheets, proving to teachers what they’ve learned.

But end-of-year exams only represent a handful of the dozens of tests students take throughout a school year. The assessments are part of a testing regimen that education leaders are trying to rethink.

Since at least the early 1990s, education critics, parents and students have questioned whether there are too many standardized tests.

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

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a state law to end tenure rights of public school teachers is unconstitutional, upholding a superior court decision last year.

In a 2-1 decision, the three-judge appeals court ruled that Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally took away contract and property rights by repealing tenure, also known as career status, in 2013.

Jockey's Ridge State Park
Dave DeWitt

Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head is North Carolina’s most famous giant pile of sand—and the tallest natural sand dune in the eastern United States.

But here’s a little secret: Even a remarkable all-natural phenomenon like Jockey’s Ridge needs a little man-made help.

Image of Chapman in Shanghai with Professor Meihua Zhu, on the left, a former visiting scholar at UNC.
Mimi Chapman

The power of art is not lost on Mimi Chapman. She is a professor at the UNC School of Social Work who believes that art can have a profound impact on people’s ability to empathize. She also studies how art can help illuminate conscious and unconscious biases and affect how people treat one another.

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