Lisa Philip

Education Reporter

Lisa Philip
Credit Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

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."

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.

A crowd gathered at the 'Silent Sam' statue at UNC - Chapel Hill on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Updated 11:45 a.m., August 23, 2017

Three people are facing charges related to a demonstration against a Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina.

Senate lawmakers have passed a budget calling for total defunding of the Governor's School. It's a summer program offering students from across the state the chance to dive into a variety of subjects -- from natural science to history to drama.

Wright School
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Senators have again threatened to close North Carolina’s only state-run residential school for kids with severe mental illness. The Senate’s latest budget is the sixth to propose defunding the facility.

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

North Carolina public school students missed more than one million days of classroom instruction while suspended during the last school year. That's according to a new brief on school discipline released Wednesday by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

Fifth-graders at Mariam Boyd Elementary in Warrenton, North Carolina, use Chromebooks to answer questions about a story they’re reading. Their teacher, Charis Shattuck, says the technology allows her to review her students’ work in real-time and give them
Lisa Philip / WUNC

North Carolina lawmakers are banking on the benefits of digital learning. Four years ago they passed legislation requiring that state funding for textbooks be replaced by funds for digital materials.

The deadline is this summer. But educators and student advocates say the transition threatens to leave behind the many kids who can’t access high-speed internet at home.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

For the first time in three years, researchers will be able to compare how students in North Carolina's voucher program compare to their peers in public school.

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

Graduates. Cheer up!

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute paints a more hopeful picture for those wearing caps and gowns than in several years.

A view of the Wake Forest University campus
Ken Bennett / Wake Forest University

Six Winston-Salem colleges and universities will establish funds to support campus entrepreneurship.

Each institution will award between $25,000 and $100,000 in grants to student, staff or alumni startups.

Housing
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A new report ranks Raleigh 22nd among 50 U.S. cities in terms of housing affordability for teachers. Charlotte ranked 30th. The analysis compared average rent in each city to local teacher salaries.

Cedar Fork Elementary in Wake County would have to add three more kindergarten classrooms under the class-size change scheduled to go into effect in the fall.
Jess Clark / WUNC

A recent study of North Carolina students found positive long-term results from exposing minority students to teachers of the same race.

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Students riding Wake County school buses will soon have a new reason to smile: They'll be on camera.

The district plans to install security cameras on 740 of its buses by June.

Fourth-grader Alexa has been taking lessons with Musical Empowerment volunteer Mai Riquier for the past three years. She says that without violin lessons, she’d be “so stressed out,” and that they make her “feel like [she] can do anything in the world.”
Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a recent evening in a second-floor room of the University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, Joshua Pongsitiphon tries out the final chords of a funeral march on a slightly out-of-tune piano. His teacher, Katharine Batchelor, sits next to him on the piano bench. She asks him how the new piece feels.

Students at Eno Valley Elementary School in Durham work on homework during a free afterschool program. It's entirely funded by a federal education grant that the Trump administration wants to scrap.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The Trump administration wants to cut $1 billion in federal education funding for after-school programs. Many of these programs provide low-cost or free academic opportunities for low-income students.

White House officials say those programs have not been effective. But some local educators, parents -- and kids -- disagree.

pediatric mobile dentist
Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a recent morning, two third-graders from New Hanover County get their teeth cleaned and examined in the dentist's office that's parked next to a dumpster, under a stand of pine trees behind their school. The mobile clinic was at another school the day before.

East Chapel Hill High School students organized a bake sale on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

If this was a typical Wednesday afternoon, Leah Steiner would be in her AP Art History class at East Chapel Hill High School. But after a friend told her about “A Day Without A Woman,” she decided to do something different.

A screenshot from a cell phone video taken at Wake Forest High School shows an altercation between a black and a white student.
YouTube / VIRAL NET

A video of an altercation between a white student and black student at Wake Forest High School has been shared more than 6,000 times on Twitter and viewed more than 6,000 times on Instagram.

a teacher in a classroom
Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

State Board of Education members voted Thursday to revoke Kestrel Heights Charter School's right to serve high school students. The Durham K-12 charter school is on thin ice after it uncovered a long-running diploma scandal.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, high schooler Antoinette Ray tried to vacuum her dorm room without bumping into anything.

For the 16-year-old, the task isn't just a chore.

“If I want to live by myself, I’m gonna have to learn how to vacuum my own floor without somebody being there,” she said.

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