Dave DeWitt

Reporter @DaveDeWitt

Dave DeWitt is currently working on the year-long North Carolina Teacher Project. He came to WUNC in 2003 and spent four years on the staff of The State of Things.

He regularly files for NPR’s news magazines as well as Marketplace and Only A Game. He is a graduate of Denison University and formerly worked in college athletics, college admissions, and with the Tar Heel Sports Network. In 2001, he wrote the non-fiction book "True Blue".

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Education
3:59 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Republicans Plan To Pay Some NC Teachers More, Democrats Scoff

Gov. Pat McCrory speaks to the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Republican leaders in North Carolina have announced a plan to increase teacher compensation. It would raise the starting salary for new teachers, making North Carolina much more competitive in what it pays new teachers – especially when measured against southern states like Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Governor Pat McCrory chose his old high school, Ragsdale High in Guilford County, to announce the plan to pay new teachers a more competitive salary.

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Education
4:33 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Teachers Fight Over Loss Of Tenure, New Contracts

The public hearing on the proposed teacher contracts did not draw a large crowd.
Credit Dave DeWitt

There are 95,000 public school teachers in North Carolina, give or take. So how many, given their only chance to comment publicly on the end of tenure, would make their way to downtown Raleigh to voice their displeasure? Hundreds? Thousands, maybe?

Try four.

But maybe the low attendance wasn’t so much a reflection on teachers’ anger – it might just speak more to their sense of duty. The public hearing, after all, was scheduled on a Wednesday afternoon at 1 PM. Hardly convenient for a teacher.

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Education
4:45 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Training Teachers: The Growing Political Influence Of Teach For America In NC

Leadership for Educational Equity is a little-known 501c4 partner group of Teach For America.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Rob Bryan might not have needed the help. As the chairman of the Mecklenburg County Republican Party, he was well-positioned to run against, and defeat, a Democratic incumbent for a seat in the State Legislature in 2012.

But what turned out to be one of the more astute political decisions in his life happened more than 20 years ago, when he was a student at UNC-Chapel Hill and his roommate brought in a brochure for an organization he’d never heard of before.

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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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Education
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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Education
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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North Carolina Teacher Project
4:14 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Where We Are Going: Teaching In North Carolina

Jim Potter teaching a math lesson at Lockhart Elementary School.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Education is the family business for the Von Eitzens. Ben and Beth have been at it for about a decade; he’s a high school science teacher, she’s a guidance counselor. From all appearances, they had it made: They worked in the same building – Graham High School in Alamance County – and they liked their jobs, they liked their colleagues, and they felt like they were really making a difference with their students.

But one thing was missing.

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North Carolina Teacher Project
4:59 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Where We Are Now: Teaching In North Carolina

Credit Dave DeWitt

Earlier this year, as the North Carolina General Assembly was just beginning its session, Senate Leader Phil Berger stood before the media to explain what he hoped to accomplish. Not surprisingly, much of his efforts were going to be focused on education.

“The goal obviously is to make sure that our kids have every opportunity to succeed in their educational environment but also in life,” Berger said. “Right now, our public educational system is failing too many of our students and we need significant improvement there.”

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North Carolina Teacher Project
4:36 am
Wed November 20, 2013

How We Got Here: Teaching In North Carolina

William Campbell on his first day integrating Raleigh City Schools.
Credit NC Museum of History

Alice Battle was already a veteran teacher when integration finally came to North Carolina.

Thirteen years after Brown v. Board of Education, she was peering out the window of her second-floor classroom, watching as white and black students streamed into Chapel Hill High School – together, for the first time. Battle had previously attended and taught in segregated Black schools and was more than a little nervous.

A riot had occurred a few days earlier, and tensions were high.

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Education
3:35 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

North Carolina Teacher Project - An Overview

Credit Keith Weston / WUNC

 

The pressure on North Carolina’s 95,000 classroom teachers is mounting. Inside the classroom, teachers wrestle with an increase in child poverty, implementing the new Common Core curriculum, and diminishing resources. Outside the classroom, teacher salaries are stagnant, tenure is gone, and teacher assistants have been laid off.

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