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
5:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Fixing a "Dropout Factory"

Dave DeWitt

In 2009, Governor Bev Perdue and the State Department of Public Instruction took over the Halifax School System in Northeastern North Carolina. At the time, only about one third of students in Halifax high schools passed end of grade tests, and only about one-half graduated.

Things have improved. Graduation rates have risen by 16 percent. But there’s still a long way to go. As part of our American Graduate series, Dave DeWitt visited Halifax Northwest High School to see how the turnaround is going.

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Education
4:50 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

McCrory Lays Out Education Plans

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory laid out his education platform today. As Dave DeWitt reports, the former mayor of Charlotte is in favor of expanding school choice and teacher merit pay, among other things.

Dave DeWitt: McCrory was careful not to wade into the current debate between Governor Bev Perdue and the Republican led Legislature over school funding. He refused to say if schools were adequately funded under the current budget, but instead offered outlines of new programs that he said may save money.

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Education
4:10 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Duke Delays Kunshan Campus

Duke University

The opening of Duke University’s campus in Kunshan, China has been delayed.

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Education
3:50 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Fight Over Education Spending Intensifies

There’s a renewed fight over education funding. Dave DeWitt reports that the loss of federal stimulus money has republicans and democrats picking sides ahead of the legislature coming back to Raleigh.

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Education
3:27 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Schools Seek To Plug Budget Holes

School districts are looking at every option to find funding for next year. This summer, a federal stimulus funding package ends, and could lead to teacher layoffs.

Dave DeWitt: Not every school district has what Wake County has a rainy day fund. Now, school board members are considering using a good chunk of the $35 million or so that’s in it to save 500 teacher jobs.

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Business & Economy
2:11 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

PNC Puts Name On Arena

PNC Arena
Dave DeWitt

The last remnant of RBC Bank in the Triangle was removed earlier today. Governor Bev Perdue and others officially renamed the RBC Center the PNC Arena at a ceremony in Raleigh.

Dave DeWitt: Today, PNC officials and Governor Perdue were all smiles as the very last RBC sign came down, and a PNC Arena logo took its place. But tomorrow, the company is expected to start laying off employees in Raleigh and Rocky Mount – perhaps more than 600.

Governor Perdue says the job losses are a temporary setback.

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Education
6:31 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Wake Schools Budget Discussions Begin

Under a new proposal from Superintendent Tony Tata, The Wake County Schools budget will shrink by $24 million next year.

Dave DeWitt: Even with the cuts, Tata says there will be no teacher layoffs. In fact, he expects to be able to give teachers a one percent raise - their first in four years.

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Education
5:57 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Test Prep: Juniors Take ACT Today



Forgive high school juniors if they're a little cranky this morning. Today is a major test day across the state and it's the first time juniors will be required to take the ACT. It's usually a test used by college admissions counselors to determine academic aptitude. But starting next year, the state Department of Public Instruction will use it to track student readiness for post-secondary education.

The ACT is one of two major college aptitude tests. Historically, more students in North Carolina have taken the SAT.

Science & Technology
6:43 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Building A Smarter Grid In Raleigh

A major center for Smart Grid technology will be dedicated today in Raleigh.

Dave DeWitt: Engineers, faculty, and political leaders say the Triangle is fast becoming the east coast’s “Smart Grid Valley.” The comparison to Silicon Valley comes a little closer to reality today, when the first-ever demonstration center and testing lab for electric utilities in the nation is dedicated on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus.

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Education
12:33 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

New Charter Schools Approved

Nine new charter schools have been approved by the State Board of Education. They were fast-tracked after the legislature eliminated the cap on charter schools last summer.

Dave DeWitt: All nine schools were eventually approved by the State Board of Education, after some discussion. Many of the questions raised came from State Treasurer Janet Cowell, who wondered, among other things, about the future bond ratings for school districts that lose students to charters.

But in the end, the separate votes on each school were mostly unanimous.

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