Dave DeWitt

Managing Editor

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Managing Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.

He has filed storites for NPR’s news magazines as well as Marketplace and Only A Game. He formerly worked in college athletics, college admissions, and with the Tar Heel Sports Network. In 2001, he wrote the non-fiction book "True Blue".

 

Ways to Connect

The Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Western North Carolina contributes almost $400 million to the local economy. That’s according to a new report from UNC Chapel Hill.

Washington Duke
Duke Homestead

Before the Civil War, North Carolina was a poor, agrarian state. The people who lived here were renowned for their independence. It was a quality that would serve the state well after the war.

Washington Duke was a penniless, ambivalent Confederate soldier in the spring of 1865 when he was released from a Union prison in New Bern. Ahead of him was a 130 mile walk home to Durham - waiting for him there were 4 children, no wife, and a ransacked farm.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has released more documents compiled in its investigation into the football program. UNC

The races for Wake County School Board are heating up. Five seats are up for grabs in this fall’s election.

Wake County Parents are getting a chance to test drive one of the two proposed student assignment plans.

Teaching The Civil War

Jun 13, 2011
Brick wall At Stagville
Dave DeWitt

The first public school in North Carolina was created in 1840. Before the Civil War, those schools were reserved only for Whites. And then, four years after the war ended, the system was revived.

Segregated schools were the law in the state for much of the 20th century. And as you might imagine, the Civil War was taught much differently depending on the color of the students’ skin.

Gov. Bev Perdue
Office of the Gov.

  Governor Bev Perdue and state education officials are touting the state’s improved high school graduation rate  - and criticizing Republicans for making cuts. 

Last month, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Durham-Chapel Hill area as the best place in the country for gender equality in the workplace. As one reason, the magazine cited the area’s percentage of highly-educated women. It might seem obvious that the area’s progressive universities are part of the reason… but the truth is, universities are lagging in equal pay for women. 

Nan Keohane was a young, ambitious political science professor at Swarthmore when she got her first taste of gender inequality. 

Tony Tata
Wake Schools

Educators across the state are reacting to the state budget making its way through the legislature today. 

 Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata prepared his budget on the premise that the state’s largest school district would receive 5 percent less than it did the previous year from the state. The current budget is more like 6 percent. But Tata isn’t complaining. 

 The State Board of Education voted unanimously on a resolution that sharply criticizes the budget passed by the state senate today. They say it will lead to thousands of teachers and teacher assistants being laid off. 

Officials with Wake County Schools are visiting high schools across the county this week. They are holding public hearings on two very different proposed student assignment plans.

Two bonds being considered by the Raleigh City Council may end up on the ballot this fall. If passed, they would total $52 million for transportation and housing projects.

The transportation bond would be the largest, at $37 million. It would include the usual road paving projects, but for the first time, a transportation bond would also include money for greenways and bike lanes. Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker explained the need when he gave his state of the city address in March.

Wayne Early Middle College High School will hold its graduation tonight in Goldsboro. The school is one of many early college high schools graduating students who already have some college credit. 

Tony Tata
Wake Schools

  Residents in Wake County will finally get a chance to review nine proposed student assignment plans. The choices will be posted later today on the schools’ website. The plans were developed by a special task force made up of school district staff.  Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata says it’s time for the public to get involved. 

Maggie Hurt
The Today Show

  Wake Forest University officials are reacting to a report that aired yesterday on The Today Show. In the story, former student Maggie Hurt claims the school mishandled a sexual assault investigation in 2009. 

To Tax Or Not To Tax?

May 19, 2011
Gov. Bev Perdue
bevperdue.com

  Governor Bev Perdue is finishing up a whirlwind tour of the state this week, touting the importance of public education. She is on the road as the state legislature considers cutting the education budget by nearly $1 billion.

At the center of the debate is a temporary one-cent sales tax. Enacted in 2009, it is set to end in June. Republicans want to let it lapse, the Governor and education advocates want it continued.

Reynolds Price
Duke University

  Duke will celebrate the life and work of Reynolds Price today. Price died in January at the age of 77.   

Colleagues, students, and friends will gather this afternoon at Duke Chapel to remember one of the school’s most beloved writers and teachers. They are expected to read from some of Price’s work, tell their favorite stories, and listen to music performances. 

Raleigh will host a benefit concert for tornado victims. The city hopes to raise money to give to charities, including the Salvation Army and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.  

The “Rise Up Raleigh concert” will include 11 bands and take place at the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater - just 200 yards north of a spot where one of the tornadoes touched down.

Rick Wagoner is the new Chair of the Board of Trustees at Duke University. Wagoner is the former CEO at General Motors. 

It was a little more than 2 years ago that Wagoner resigned as CEO at GM after being asked to do so by the White House. During his 13 years in charge of the company, it lost about $85 billion.

Another wave of students is set to graduate from area colleges and universities this weekend. Commencement ceremonies will be held at North Carolina Central, Duke, and NC State. 

Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis will give the commencement address at NC Central on Saturday. Across town and a day later, Duke will hold its graduation. Cisco CEO John Chambers will speak to the Duke graduates.

  A small group of citizens came to the Wake County School Board’s public hearing last night. They were there to voice concerns over the proposed redistricting process. 

It was a much different scene than in previous public hearings, when hundreds of angry demonstrators descended on the board meetings. Those protests were against the change in the student assignment policy. And while there’s been some disagreement over the process of re-drawing the precinct lines for board elections, it has been drawn nothing close to the level of anger. 

Attorneys with the UNC-Chapel Hill Law School’s Center for Civil Rights say the three separate school districts in Halifax County are inherently unequal. 

Commencement season begins in earnest this weekend, as several area colleges and universities hold graduation. 

UNC - Chapel Hill graduation takes center stage on Sunday morning, as the main university ceremony takes place in Kenan Stadium. Pulitzer Prize-winning entomologist E.O. Wilson will be the commencement speaker.

Federal civil rights investigators are in Raleigh tonight to host a public-comment session on possible violations by the Wake County School system. 

The visit is part of the Department of Education’s investigation into the School Board’s abandonment of socio-economic diversity in its student assignment policy. The complaint that launched the investigation was filed by the North Carolina NAACP and other groups.

Charles Meeker
charlesmeeker.com

  Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker will not seek another term in office this fall. He made the announcement earlier today. 

Charles Meeker is known for staying very calm under pressure and not letting his emotions get the best of him. This morning, though, he cracked a little when talking about the success of his pet project - the opening of Fayetteville Street.

Class Gift

Apr 26, 2011

High School graduation is right around the corner. Seniors are busy with end of year exams, getting a graduation gown, and getting ready for what comes next.

Nikea Randolph remembers the moment when she decided music was going to be her life. 

Raleigh has been named the winner in a national sustainability contest. The city took the top prize in the Siemens Sustainable Community Awards in the mid-size community category.

150 years ago today shots rang out at Fort Sumter South Carolina, marking the beginning of the Civil War. In Charleston, Re-enactors will play out the day's events. Here in North Carolina, the state office of historical records will re-release documents that tell the story of the state's older confederate soldiers. The "Senior Reserves" were men between 45 and 50 years old who were drafted in the last year of the war.  Also, UNC Chapel Hill is launching a website, Civil War Day-to-Day.

Waiting For Super Geek

Apr 11, 2011

This is a period of unrivaled education reform. Charter schools, teacher merit pay, diversity policies - all efforts to improve what many see as a failing public school system. But every effort needs evidence as to whether it is working. Much of it comes from standardized testing. That puts even more emphasis on the most effective way to analyze the growing amount of data. The information is being used in all kinds of ways, from what classes a student takes to teacher merit pay and, in some cases, termination.

Tata
Wake School Choice

Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata says the task force he created to come up with a new student assignment plan is making progress.

Tata re-assigned 6 staff members to work on the plan full-time. He says they are working on specific plans now, checking to see how viable they might be.

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