North Carolina Teacher Project
4:33 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Training Teachers: Teach For America Draws Praise, Criticism

Ethan Tillman, a first-year teacher and Teach For America corps member, puts his own college graduation gown on one of his students in Kinston.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Teaching may be in Ethan Tillman’s blood – his mother is a teacher in Charlotte - but in college at the University of South Carolina, he dreamed of being a television reporter.

But a few months after graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism, Tillman wasn’t beginning his career at a small TV station somewhere, he was in Mississippi, at an intensive six-week training session for new Teach For America recruits.

Not long after that, he was on the second floor of Rochelle Middle School in Kinston, teaching Language Arts to sixth graders.

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12:00 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Happy Holidays Teacher, Here's A Toe Ring

What visions of sugar plums dance in teachers' heads?
Credit Miracle on 34th Street movie

Update 12/17/13, 10:00 a.m.:

In recent days we've asked teachers to tell us about unusual gifts they've received from students. The stories keep coming in.

Sue Edelberg is an ESL teacher at Clayton Middle School. She writes:

I'm a first year teacher so I've yet to receive a strange gift, but last week I received a very unique and creative gift: it was a little box made out of notebook paper, from a 6th grader who loves origami and magic tricks.  It had an X on it, so he said it was supposed to be  an X Box.

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4:19 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Training Teachers: Mid-Career Teachers Bring Experience To Classroom

Lateral and alternative entry teachers make up about one-third of all teachers in North Carolina.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Marci Harvey never dreamed of being a teacher. She was a scientist - a recent graduate of the Ph.D. program at the University of South Carolina - when she got married and moved to the Triad and found herself looking for a job.

“It was kind of a fluke,” she says. “I saw an ad in the paper, it said ‘chemistry teacher needed, must have a license or be able to get one.’ And I thought, since I’ve got a degree in chemistry, I should be able to get a license.”

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College Debt
4:28 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

N.C. Students Have Enough College Debt To Buy 20 Llamas

$24,000 in debt could buy you: 15 - 20 Llamas from Four Ladies and Me Llama Farm in East Bend
cogdogblog Flickr

North Carolina's students are graduating with more debt than ever before.

The average student graduating from a public, or private-non-profit school will graduate with $23,893 dollars in debt. In 2008, the average student had just $18,000 in debt.

We wondered...just what could you buy with $24,000?

How about a Toyota Camry L with keyless entry?

Or perhaps you prefer more than 1,700 bottles of wine from GlenMarie Vineyards in Burlington, NC.

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4:07 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Training Teachers: Schools Of Ed Produce Effective Teachers, Face Declining Enrollment

Students in ED100 class at NC State.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Exams are looming for the freshmen students in ED 100, the introductory class in NC State’s School of Education. But instead of looking stressed or worried, the first-year education majors have a spring in their step as they settle into the lecture hall on this late afternoon.

Maybe it’s because most know exactly why they are here: to become a teacher.

That resolve has been tested, of late.  

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The State of Things
11:47 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Teachers React To State Of Education

  In the wake of the most recent General Assembly session, some teachers across the state are expressing concern about policies that affect the classroom, like voucher programs and budgetary restraints.

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC Reporter Dave Dewitt; Wilmington Star-News education reporter Pressley Baird; and Carolina Public Press reporter Jon Elliston.

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10:00 am
Fri December 13, 2013

What's On The State Of Things Today? (Friday)

Ethan Tillman is a first-year teacher in Kinston, NC. Here, he helps a student put on his own college graduation robe as part of a “vision statement” class assignment.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Why do teachers stay and why do they go? Dave DeWitt has been reporting on this subject around the state in recent weeks. He's been meeting teachers and students and today he'll preview his series with Frank.

Plus the latest in the court battle over the state’s controversial new voting laws.

And, "rockin' country" with Raleigh's Erin Nenni Band.

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5:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

NC Groups Sue State Over ‘Unconstitutional’ Private School Vouchers

While opponents of the voucher law argue that it will tear taxpayer money away from public schools, proponents say that it will give low-income students school choice.
Credit Flickr via Chengyin Liu

With the support of two advocacy groups, 25 plaintiffs across the state filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a private school voucher law passed earlier this year.

The N.C. Association of Educators and N.C. Justice Center are sponsoring the lawsuit, arguing that the vouchers are a broad assault on the state’s public schools as it funnels taxpayer money to private schools.

Scheduled to start next fall, the vouchers – also known as the Opportunity Scholarship Program - will provide $4,200 in taxpayer dollars for low-income families to send their children to private schools.

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7:26 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Eight N.C. Schools Up for Charter Renewals

N.C. schools with charter terms coming to an end go through a renewal process that involves a review of their governance, fiscal history and academics.
Credit Flickr via Cynthia Ahrens / Flickr

Eight North Carolina charter schools are up for consideration for 2014 renewals.

Representatives of the schools will present in front of the newly formed Charter School Advisory Board today and Tuesday to address concerns that the board might have regarding the schools' fulfillment of academic and fiscal standards.

In North Carolina, public charter schools must seek renewals every ten years, though some receive shorter terms because of compliance problems.

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5:00 am
Thu December 5, 2013

One In Seven NC Teachers Left Job Last Year, Report Says

A new report shows that the teacher turnover rate has been steadily climbing since 2010.
Credit Gates Foundation via Flickr

An annual report shows that more North Carolina teachers left their jobs in 2012-13 than in previous school years.

Out of the 95,028 teachers employed, 13,616 teachers left their districts, resulting in an overall state turnover rate of about 14 percent, or about one out of every seven teachers.  

That number is a slight increase from the previous year’s turnover rate of 12 percent and 11 percent in 2010-11.

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