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Student and teachers work in a physics lab at Central Piedmont Community College. Many first-generation students are low-income, and community colleges are the most affordable option for working towards a degree.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation / Flickr Creative Commons

When Judith Rosales visited UNC-Chapel Hill as a high school student through the Scholars' Latino Initiative program, she liked what she saw, but didn't quite know if there was a place for her at any college or university.

"I was never very confident that I would be able to go to was really intimidating," Rosales told Frank Stasio of WUNC's The State of Things. 

WUNC File Photo

House representatives in the state's General Assembly presented a bipartisan proposal on Thursday to create a scholarship program to help create highly-effective teachers.

The program, which received its first approval by a House Education Committee, would provide scholarship loans for individuals to attend “highly-effective” education schools. According to the bill, recipients would receive up to $8,500 per year.

“We need to attract and retain high-quality teachers and put them in the places where they’re needed the most,” said Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union).

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

A Senate committee approved a plan on Wednesday that would keep school employees from taking part in political activity during work hours.

Senate Bill 480 would prohibit school employees from campaigning for office while they're on the job or using any work resources, like telephones or computers, for political reasons.

Bill sponsors say state employees already follow similar rules, and that the measure is intended to mirror them. Currently, North Carolina’s 115 school districts abide by different rules for its employees.

N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State Representatives approved or considered bills on Tuesday that would address sexual assault on college campuses, as well as study the possibilities of giving college students fixed tuition and K-12 students competency exams. Representatives defeated a bill that could've given pay to college football and basketball players.

Addressing Sexual Assault On Campus  

Eighth-grade students Yasmine Boufedji, Angelycia Bogart, Dunya Alkaissi, and Nassir Jordan.
Reema Khrais

As principal Mussarut Jabeen makes her way to the playground, two very young girls run to her, pleading for undivided attention. The first shows off a temporary henna tattoo.

“Oh look at your henna, it’s so pretty,” exclaims Jabeen, principal of Al-Iman, a private Islamic school in Raleigh.

The other girl has just fallen and scraped herself.

“Oh, my little,” Jabeen says. “How about we wash it?”

Aerial view of Wayne Community College campus
North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees

Updated Friday, April 17, 1:46 p.m.

Wayne Community College in Goldsboro has closed for the weekend. The college website says it closed at 10 a.m. Friday morning after receiving "several threatening phone calls over the last two days."

College authorities say the campus was not in danger today and acted "purely from a precautionary perspective."

The book cover to "An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth."
Little, Brown and Company

Astronaut Chris Hadfield was first inspired to pursue a career in space travel at 9 years old after watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing on television. The desire to explore space led him to the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, the Canadian Armed Forces and eventually to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

WUNC File Photo

Despite concerns of overcriminalization, a Senate committee on Wednesday gave the first nod to a bill that would make it a felony offense for older students to assault school employees.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) said the provision would protect school personnel who faced more than 1,300 assaults in the last school year, according to the Department of Public Instruction.

“It needs some serious attention to highlight that this is a problem and you will get more than a slap on a hand if this occurs,” said Tillman.

Katherine Stewart's book investigates a Bible study club with chapters in thousands of U.S. schools.

In 2009, journalist Katherine Stewart heard that something called The Good News Club was coming to her daughter’s public elementary school in Santa Barbara, California.

At first she thought its mission seemed benign, but once she began to look into the organization and how it operated, she felt compelled to dig in further.

Duke People of Color Caucus Tumblr

Duke Officials say they have identified the person who hung a noose outside the Bryan Student Center yesterday. 

Officials did not release the name of the person, citing the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. They did say the person was an undergraduate student and is no longer on campus.

Tips from other students led campus investigators to the individual, who admitted to the act.

A picture of a spiral bound notebook.
Solja Virkkunen / Creative Commons

Durham County will move forward with a  program that offers educational services for incarcerated youth.

During a six-month pilot program, the Durham Literacy Center provided male inmates ages 16-to-24 with life skills and job readiness training.

Brian Jones from the Durham County Sheriff's Office says the program will now be expanded to include female inmates and will help prepare youth to take the General Equivalency Development (GED) test.

Flickr via Cynthia Ahrens / Flickr

Some North Carolina lawmakers are looking to make changes to the state's new A-F grading system for public schools. 

In February, public schools received their first-ever grade based on how well their students performed on standardized tests and how much academic growth they made. Almost 30 percent of schools received Ds and Fs, most of which had large populations of low-income children. 

The grades were calculated on a 15-point scale, so schools received As if they scored between 85-90 and Fs if they scored below 39.

Vivian Connell

When Vivian Connell was in college, she was already a teachers' advocate. She was on CNN in the network's early years to talk about a teacher's wrongful termination at the University of Georgia. But she wanted more people to hear her voice.

When Vivian became a teacher, she amplified it through her students. They advocated for land conservancies and against genocide in Africa. But she still wanted to be louder.

students with laptops in classroom
Enokson / Flickr/Creative Commons

Some North Carolina lawmakers are trying to pass a bill they say will help ease the burdensome paperwork teachers face. They want to get rid of “personal education plans," documents teachers are required to fill out to help students who are at-risk of failing.  

Many teachers and advocates see them as inefficient, raising questions about how to adequately support struggling students.

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
David Melchior Diaz / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1944, Nazi soldiers sent Zev Harel and his family to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was 14 years old.

Harel stayed alive by lying about his age, and he endured a 400-mile trip to the Ebensee concentration camp in Austria where he was forced to build underground storage tunnels for Nazi weapons.


Seventy years later, the horrific stories of survivors like Zev Harel live on through North Carolina's yearly remembrance of the Holocaust. 

Sweet Briar College in Virginia will close its doors in May, after 114 years of teaching women at its scenic campus in western Virginia.

A picture of Duke fans in the stands.
JR / Flickr

A new Duke University study reveals that most die-hard fans did not attend the universities they support. 

Charles Clotfelter researched which college sports teams were mentioned in obituaries. He is a professor of public policy at Duke University. 

Clotfelter says only about a third of what he calls "true believers" were alumni of their teams' universities.

Duke professor William "Sandy" Darity studies the economics of social inequality.
@SandyDarity / Twitter

The term “social inequality” points to disparities in economics. 

But in reality, social inequality means inequities in many spheres: health, law, education and culture. Dissecting Inequality: Disparity and Difference in the 21st Century, a conference at Duke this week, explores the reasons for social inequality and the scientific approaches to addressing it.

Speech-language pathologist Peter Reitzes produces the StutterTalk podcast.

The stigma of stuttering forces many people who have the speech disorder to avoid talking at all costs.

And for millions of people, the act of trying to suppress stuttering simply amplifies it, so the idea of stuttering on purpose in public seems out of the question.

But that's how stutterer and speech-language pathologist Peter Reitzes faced his demons.

He openly broadcasts his stutter in the weekly podcast, StutterTalkwhich he produces from his home in Carrboro. 

Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

State leaders in charge of recommending changes to the Common Core standards heard on Monday from two national critics who suggested a complete rewrite of the Math and English Language Arts goals.

Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram both served on the Common Core Validation Committee from 2009-10 and refused to sign off on them as being “rigorous, internationally competitive or research-based.” They were among five of the 29 committee members who didn’t approve them.

In his new book, Raising Kids Who Read, Daniel Willingham wants to be clear: There's a big difference between teaching kids to read and teaching them to love reading.

And Willingham, a parent himself, doesn't champion reading for the obvious reasons — not because research suggests that kids who read for pleasure do better in school and in life.

Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha were shot and killed in a Chapel Hill apartment complex.
deah.barakat /

Administrators at Al-Iman School in Raleigh where Yusor Abu-Salha, Razan Abu-Salha and Deah Barakat studied elementary and middle schools are creating a scholarship and awards fund in their memory.

The endowment, called "Our Three Winners," will be announced at an annual fundraiser on Saturday.

Yusor, her sister, Razan, and Yusor's husband, Barakat, were shot and killed in their Chapel Hill apartment on February 10. Prosecutors charged their neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, with three counts of first degree murder. They will seek the death penalty in the case.

UNC and Duke are hosting edit-a-thons in hopes of diversifying Wikipedia's edting pool.
screenshot from

Women have their fingerprints all over the history of mankind, but men have had a larger role in filling the pages of history books. 

J.B. Buxton
J.B. Buxton


J.B. Buxton began his career in education in an unlikely place: South Africa.

As a Morehead Scholar from UNC, Buxton taught in a South African school as apartheid began to crumble. The experience shaped Buxton's perspective on education and launched his long career in education policy.

He served as education advisor to Governor Easley and as Deputy State Superintendent of the North Carolina Schools. Buxton now leads the move for a charter school to serve Southeast Raleigh's neediest students.

Wren in Durham admires a snowman she and some neighbors made.
Catherine Brand

Wake County public school leaders say don't intend to change their decision to use spring break for snow makeup days, despite rising concerns from families and teachers.

Officials are assuring students and teachers that schools will do their best to make sure they aren’t penalized if they can’t attend those days.

An online petition has garnered more than 7,700 signatures, urging Wake County school leaders to “bring back spring break.” Many of the comments explain that they've already paid for their vacations and can’t get refunds.