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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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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Education
9:19 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

McCrory Creates Teacher Advisory Committee

Gov. Pat McCrory created the Governor's Teacher Advisory Committee.
Credit www.governor.state.nc.us

Governor Pat McCrory is seeking the advice of two-dozen teachers in developing education policy. The Governor's Teacher Advisory Committee met for the first time - a day after educators across the state protested against changes made in the most recent legislative session.

The teachers selected for the committee come from all corners of the state and all grade levels. In their first meeting yesterday, Governor McCrory asked them to come up with recommendations on a wide array of challenges, including teacher compensation, evaluation, and testing.

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Education
4:50 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Teachers "Walk-In" For More Respect, Resources

A student holds a sign in support of teachers outside a demonstration at Durham's EK Powe Elementary School.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Roger Schultz is a teacher. For 20 years, he’s taught severely handicapped students. Today, he’s standing outside Riverside High School, doing what he normally does – greeting every bleary-eyed, head-phone-wearing student who comes off the bus.

Usually the students nod or ignore him, but today is a little different. In his hands, Schultz is holding a hand-written sign. And what it says – “Stop Pushing Teachers Off The Plank” - catches the students’ attention.

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Education
6:13 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Teachers Demonstrating Against New Policies With 'Walk-in'

Teachers demonstrate Monday morning outside Riverside High School in Durham
Credit Dave DeWitt

Teachers are gathering outside of schools across the state Monday in protest.

The “teacher walk-in” is being staged before and after the school day by those who feel disrespected by changes to education policies in the most recent legislative session. 

Those policies include the elimination of tenure, discontinuing salary increases for teachers who earn master’s degrees, and no money in the budget for textbooks.

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Education
9:29 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Big Night For Bonds In Wake, Raleigh

The $810-million bond will go to improving schools in Wake County.
Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

Wake County voters have overwhelmingly passed an $810-million school bond referendum. 

The final margin wasn't even close. Wake voters approved of the new school bond by 16 percentage points. It was a big win for bond supporters, including Democrats and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Some Republicans had worked to defeat the bond, but they were greatly outspent during the campaign.

The money that will come from the ten percent increase in property taxes will be used to build 16 new schools and renovate dozens of others.

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Education
4:07 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Voters Decide Bonds' Fate Today

Voters will decide on the $810-million Wake School Bond today.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Voters in Wake County and Raleigh have two major bonds to decide on when they go to the polls today. 

The $810-million Wake School Bond has been dissected and argued over for months. Supporters say it is past time to build new schools and renovate old ones. They offer enrollment growth projections and low-interest rates as two reasons to pass the bond.

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Education
4:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Vote Likely To Be Close On Wake School Bond

Opponents have launched an aggressive effort to defeat the Wake School Bond.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The Marching Trojans from Garner Magnet High School aren’t marching this morning – they are sitting, and practicing, in the band room. Their bags and instrument cases are stacked in every corner of the tiny space, on pockmarked floors and against cracked walls.

After band class, many will make their way across a grass-less, uncovered field to the temporary, modular cafeteria. Or as they call it here, the “Trailer-teria.”

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Education
4:01 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Savings And Safety: Can NC's New School Bus Plan Have Both?

Mechanics must inspect every North Carolina school bus once every 30 days.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Consider the school bus. It’s big and yellow, a loud diesel engine spewing black smoke into the air. Lots of old gum under the seats. Maybe a surly but lovable driver. And plenty of spirited kids climbing on at the end of another long school day.

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