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."

A man walks out of the Art Institute at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham on Monday, July 2, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The Art Institute campuses in Durham and Charlotte are expected to close sometime this year, according to a memo sent to employees Monday and obtained by the News & Observer. The decision, as well as the expected closing of South University in High Point, could affect approximately 3,000 students.

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

Updated at 2:25 p.m.

UNC-Chapel Hill has been found in violation of federal law in the way it responded to complaints of sexual assault and harassment. The finding is the result of a five-year investigation into the university’s policies surrounding Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law.

An hour or so before sixth grade student Tucker composed a metaphor poem in his language arts class, he started his school day off with soccer. Much of the learning at The Catamount School happens through creating and experiences.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a recent spring morning, kids at the Catamount School in Sylva kick soccer balls into multiple goals on a field outside their school. The day has just begun at the school, which is nestled in the mountains of Jackson County in western North Carolina.

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

A Robeson County elementary school damaged by Hurricane Matthew will close for good. The decision came after a group of parents pleaded to keep it open.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

More North Carolina teachers have responded to a working conditions survey than ever before. The results reveal 40 percent of participants don't believe class sizes are conducive to meeting the needs of all students.

During the last week before EOG testing, third grader Eleanor raises her hand to answer a word problem in her classroom at Smith Elementary School in Burlington.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Third graders at Smith Elementary School in Burlington took a break from class on a recent Friday afternoon to reflect on what school had been like lately.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

A state senate committee has approved a bill giving four North Carolina communities the power to create their own charter schools. Critics say the legislation would re-segregate public schools in those areas.

Harry Smith, center, was elected as the new UNC Board of Governors chairman.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The panel that oversees North Carolina's public universities is changing leadership.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Thursday elected Greenville businessman Harry Smith as chairman.

Lucero is finishing up the third grade at her school in Alamance County. It's a high-pressure year -- not just for her, but for her mom too.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Every day when Ismari Molina was pregnant with her first daughter, she saw what she calls “the big star” on her way home from work.

YouTube / Durham Public Schools

The Durham school board has voted 6 to 1 to close schools to students on May 16. That's the date of a planned teacher demonstration at the state legislature in support of increased public school funding.

Peter Hans, the newly elected president of the N.C. Community College System, delivers remarks while North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, from left, House Speaker Tim Moore and Gov. Roy Cooper listen during a news conference in Raleigh
Gerry Broome / AP

A Raleigh-based government relations expert has been chosen to lead North Carolina’s community college system. The last president resigned after a little more than a year on the job.

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.

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