Lisa Philip

Education Reporter

Before joining WUNC as the station's education reporter, Lisa Philip covered schools in Howard County, Maryland for the Baltimore Sun newspapers. She traveled from school playgrounds to the state legislature, writing about everything from a Girl Scout friendship bench project to a state investigation into local school officials' alleged hiding of public records.

Lisa initially became interested in education reporting while working for an after school music education program in five Baltimore City schools. In her former life, she trained and worked as a professional violist and arts administrator. She has been telling stories since age 5, when she wrote and (poorly) illustrated her first book, "Mary and the Key Lime Pie."

The paddle Robbinsville High School principal David Matheson, and previous principals, have used to discipline students.
Jess Clark / WUNC

An attempt to ban corporal punishment in Robeson County schools has stalled. The effort was led by parents and child advocates.

To Jayla Hagans, a student organizer in Raleigh, school resource officers represent a big shift in school discipline that has disproportionately impacted students of color.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

This August, students at four elementary schools in rural Stanly County will return from summer vacation to fresh pencils, notebooks, and signs announcing the presence of armed officers on campus.

Thousands of people march down Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in support of gun control.
Alex Kolyer / For WUNC

High school students and allies seeking stronger gun control laws in North Carolina following last month's Florida school shooting are walking through downtown Raleigh in solidarity with a similar weekend rally in Washington.

A student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., attends a news conference about gun violence, Friday, March 23, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, ahead of the Saturday March For Our Lives.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

This Saturday, students across North Carolina will join their peers from around the nation, yet again, to call for safer schools.

Elizabeth DeKonty, a fellow with the Public School Forum of North Carolina, speaks with Pattillo Middle School’s resilience team about strategies for supporting students, many of whom live in poverty.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

One day last fall, teachers sauntered past a wall in W.A. Pattillo Middle School in Tarboro as if they were studying works of art. Really, they were looking at the names of all 265 of their students, each written neatly on an index card.

Raul Jimenez, one of the alleged Durham confederate monument topplers, was acquitted of all charges Monday. He spoke about his continued fight against racism on Thursday in front of the spot where the monument used to stand.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The nine activists accused of toppling a confederate monument in Durham are no longer facing criminal charges. But they say their fight against racism will continue.

Third grader Dylan Ward works on a reading exercise in his classroom at Marvin B. Smith Elementary School in Burlington. Literacy is a special focus in the third grade.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Third grader Dylan Ward says that when he goes to college, he’s going to be a “professional football player, that’s it.”

Several hands of different colors raised.
John LeMasney / Creative commons

A group of education organizations is calling on states in the South to improve schools for all students and to do so at a faster pace. Their report out Tuesday identifies widening gaps in achievement between wealthy, white students and their black, Latino and low-income classmates.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

Tensions on the UNC Board of Governors remain high, a month after the board's chairman wrote an op-ed calling for the board to be united.

In the December op-ed, Chairman Louis Bissette called on the board to unite while allowing UNC system leaders to 'do their job.'

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

More than one hundred educators, parents and state residents are expected to demonstrate at the state legislature on Saturday afternoon. They want lawmakers in Raleigh to repeal a class size mandate that has school districts across North Carolina scrambling.

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A state advisory board has signed off on the opening of a trade-focused charter school in Union County. The State Board of Education will vote on whether or not to give final approval in January.

Wake School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

North Carolina is still spending much less on public education than it did before the Great Recession. That's according to a recent report from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Eleanor holds the new book she received from Dr. David Tayloe during her one year check up. Tayloe's New Bern clinic gives books to kids at each of their well visits from six months to five years of age, as part of the Reach Out And Read program.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Sometimes Dr. David Tayloe’s patients are less than thrilled to see him. Take two-year-old Kenai. When Tayloe walks into the room and says hello, the toddler whimpers.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Updated Dec. 15 | 3:53 p.m. 

On Friday the University of North Carolina Board of Governors heard from a conservative scholar advocating against 'campus illiberalism,' and also voted to approve a controversial free speech policy.

Members of a new Board of Governors task force discussed a survey meant to collect feedback from stakeholders at the system's 17 campuses during a meeting On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The UNC Board of Governors is taking a closer look at what President Margaret Spellings and her staff do. Its mostly Republican members want to identify inefficiencies. And now they want university stakeholders to weigh in.

A class of West Lumberton Elementary kindergartners meets in their temporary building at Lumberton Junior High. The school's enrollment is down from 150, pre-Matthew, to 90.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Wake County parents have been very active in fighting a class-size law they say will hurt student learning. They've even come up with a hashtag that has gained some traction.

Since the recession, school districts are increasingly relying on donors and foundations, like the Guilford Education Alliance, to stock their classrooms.
Jess Clark / WUNC

A recent analysis of five decades of data shows that high-quality early childhood education has lasting benefits for kids. Yet in North Carolina, less than one out of two young children participates in a qualifying program.

Naloxone kit
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

With the opioid epidemic touching the lives of one in three North Carolinians, what can schools do to help? A lot, according to school nurses.

Courtesy of Terrance Ruth

As a black boy growing up in Florida, Terrance Ruth was inspired to become a teacher not by anyone at his school, but by his mother. She was a nurse at a youth psych ward and often brought her children with her to work.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Board of Trustees held a public hearing Wednesday to gather opinions on Silent Sam. That’s the Confederate monument sitting near the entrance to the UNC campus that has become the focal point of protests and denouncements by students, faculty, and even entire university departments.

Sebastian Gorka
Susan Walsh, File / AP

A former advisor to President Donald Trump will speak at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill tonight.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Members of the UNC Board of Governors are split on whether or not to hire their own staff. A related motion failed in committee Thursday, but some members want the full board to weigh in.

University of North Carolina system logo
University of North Carolina

Updated 10:38 a.m. | Nov. 3, 2017

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors is moving ahead with a controversial free speech policy for its sixteen college campuses. It calls for the discipline of students who 'substantially disrupt' others' first amendment rights.  

Glenn Elementary parents Tamara and David Vanie address the crowd at a parent rally against the Innovative School District, which could bring a state takeover to their East Durham school.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Update on Friday, October 13: Glenn Elementary is no longer being considered for state takeover through the North Carolina Innovative School District, according to Durham school board chairman Mike Lee. Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County is the only school that will be recommended for inclusion in the new district in the 2018-2019 school year, according to an announcement from the state Department of Public Instruction.

It’s a Monday night and Tamara Vanie, who’s nearly seven months pregnant, and her husband David, who just got off of work, are knocking on doors in a mostly black and Hispanic neighborhood in East Durham. They’re talking to anyone who will listen about the possible state takeover of their neighborhood elementary school.

A sign in front of West Lumberton Elementary, the only Robeson County school that remains closed a year after Hurricane Matthew. The storm dumped about three feet of standing water into the building, and destroyed many of its students' homes.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Robeson County second grader Niveah Barnes remembers one detail in particular about Hurricane Matthew.

"I wanted to talk about dinosaurs when I was in first grade, but we couldn't do that, because the flood was in the middle of the school," she said.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Parents at a Durham school facing possible takeover are criticizing state officials' handling of the process. In a video posted to YouTube, they called state efforts to engage parents inauthentic.

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

School officials in Johnston and Durham counties say they want to retain local control over their underperforming schools. That’s after four elementary schools in Durham and a middle school in Johnston were named to a list of schools being considered for the Innovative School District.

A Wake County Public Schools building.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Wake County school officials say they need $1 billion to build new schools and renovate older ones. Homeowners may be asked this spring if they want to fund the projects.

That depends on whether or not Wake County commissioners and school board members agree to put a school bond referendum on the May 2018 ballot. If passed, the county’s property taxes would go up.

Supporters of the UNC Center for Civil Rights protest outside of a committee meeting of the UNC Board of Governors meeting on August 1, 2017.
Dave Dewitt / WUNC

Updated at 10:56 a.m., September 8, 2017

The UNC Board of Governors has passed a resolution that bans university-based centers from filing lawsuits. The resolution means the Center for Civil Rights, based at the UNC Chapel Hill Law School, can no longer sue on behalf of low-income and minority clients. 

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The State Board of Education will take a final vote on Thursday on its plan for evaluating North Carolina public schools, a requirement of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The document must include grading formulas that tell parents and the federal government how well each school is educating its students.

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