Reema Khrais

Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.

A North Carolina native, Reema began her radio career with Carolina Connection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an anchor and reporter. She later interned at The Story, and traveled to Cairo, Egypt to produce stories from the 2011 revolution. Her work has also appeared on CNN, The Takeaway and On The Media.


7:10 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Crime, Dropouts, Suspensions Down In NC Public Schools

Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

Crime, violence, dropout rates and out-of-school suspensions declined across North Carolina public schools last school year, according to a report released by state education officials.

The report shows 10,630 reported acts of school crime and violence last school year, a 4.8 percent decrease from the 11,161 acts in 2011-12. The most common reported acts involve illegal possession of drugs or alcohol, weapons or assault.

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7:09 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Report Shows Challenges For African-American, Latino Kids

Credit Wikimedia Commons

African-American, Latino and American-Indian children in North Carolina face greater obstacles to success than their peers, according to a new policy report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report is based on indicators that measure a child’s success from birth to adulthood, such as birth weight, academic performance, teen pregnancy and family income level. 

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1:06 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

450 Teachers Will Get Bonuses To Share What They Know

Credit Carol Jackson

Governor Pat McCrory says he plans to reward more than 400 teachers with bonuses in exchange for sharing their techniques. 

The plan is called the Governor's Teacher Network. Teachers apply and those who are selected will serve for one year as content experts and facilitators.

Those 450 teachers will get a bonus of $10,000 dollars each for sharing their best work with their colleagues. The money comes from a federal Race to The Top grant that is meant to improve teaching and learning in North Carolina.

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5:53 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Common Core: 'Disaster' or A Useful Tool? Speaking To Lawmakers

About 60 people had the opportunity to share their thoughts on Common Core to lawmakers during Thursday's legislative meeting.
Credit Reema Khrais


Dozens of parents, teachers and education leaders expressed their strong opposition and support of Common Core Thursday to a group of lawmakers considering whether to repeal or revamp the new educational standards.

The state adopted the standards in 2010, but they were implemented in public schools last school year. The standards lay out what students need to know and be able to do from kindergarten through high school.

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9:24 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

One-Fourth of School Districts Oppose Law Repealing Teacher Tenure

Credit Karin Vlietstra via Flickr

At least 28 school districts across the state have voiced opposition to a new law that repeals teacher tenure and replaces it with a plan that rewards the top teachers, according the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Cumberland County Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools are among the latest to reject the law, which is meant to phase out tenure for all teachers by 2018.

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8:33 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

State Testing Change Could Mean More Students Passing

A new change to how students are labeled based on standardized test scores will likely lead more students to be considered proficient in skills and courses.
Credit Alberto G. via Flickr

  The State Board of Education voted this week to approve standards that will lower the scores needed to pass end-of-grade and end-of-course exams.

In an 8-4 vote, the board expanded the number of achievement levels from four to five for this year’s standardized exams. The change will allow school leaders to get a better sense of a student’s level of achievement, said Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson.

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8:35 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Gov. McCrory To Review Law Repealing Teacher Tenure

Credit NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory says his staff will consider making changes to a new law that offers raises to top teachers who give up tenure rights.

Under the law, teacher tenure will be phased out by 2018 and replaced with a plan that requires local school districts to pick the top 25-percent of teachers who will be offered four-year contracts and bonuses.

“I think it’s an example of passing a policy without clearly understanding the execution,” McCrory said.

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5:00 am
Thu March 6, 2014

North Carolina Scores On Civil Rights Education: From "F" To "B" In 2 Years

Members of the North Carolina Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, shown at the Tottle House lunch counter in Atlanta in 1960, sparked sit-ins across the South.
Credit U.S. Embassy The Hague via Flickr

  North Carolina outperforms most states when it comes to teaching civil rights education to K-12 classrooms, according to a new study by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project.

The center assigned A-through-F grades to each state based on their education standards and resources available to teachers. North Carolina scored a “B,” a drastic improvement from the “F” it received in a similar report from 2011.

Twenty states received “F’s,” while 14 received “D’s.” The study notes that twelve states require no teaching of the civil rights movement at all.

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2:06 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Study: Retaining Students Means More Discipline Problems In Other Students

Credit Gordon Lew via Flickr

Middle school students are more likely to face discipline problems when surrounded by large numbers of students who are repeating grades, according to a new study from researchers at Duke University.

The findings explain that suspensions and behavioral problems, including substance abuse, fighting and classroom disruption, escalate among students across the school community as the number of older or retained students increase.

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8:15 am
Wed February 26, 2014

'16 Years To Reach $40,000 Salary': Considering Pay Incentives For NC Teachers

Teachers protest
Credit Dave DeWitt

State lawmakers and education leaders are considering paying North Carolina teachers based on their individual performance, despite  concerns from stakeholders who argue it could harmfully affect students and teacher morale.

Republican Senator Jerry Tillman, an education budget writer, is helping lead a newly-formed legislative task force that will develop recommendations for alternative pay plans. Members, whom include legislators and education leaders across the state, must factor in teacher evaluation measures and student performance outcomes.  

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