American Graduate

The State of Things
12:05 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

June Atkinson On The Fight To Save NC Schools

Teachers demonstrate Monday morning outside Riverside High School in Durham
Credit Dave DeWitt

    

This week, North Carolina teachers protested funding shortages in the education system by staging walk-ins across the state.

Many were upset by budget cuts that affect instruction for the state’s more than 1.5 million students. Host Frank Stasio talks to North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson about the plight facing the state’s K-12 education system.

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Education
9:19 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

McCrory Creates Teacher Advisory Committee

Gov. Pat McCrory created the Governor's Teacher Advisory Committee.
Credit www.governor.state.nc.us

Governor Pat McCrory is seeking the advice of two-dozen teachers in developing education policy. The Governor's Teacher Advisory Committee met for the first time - a day after educators across the state protested against changes made in the most recent legislative session.

The teachers selected for the committee come from all corners of the state and all grade levels. In their first meeting yesterday, Governor McCrory asked them to come up with recommendations on a wide array of challenges, including teacher compensation, evaluation, and testing.

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Education
4:50 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Teachers "Walk-In" For More Respect, Resources

A student holds a sign in support of teachers outside a demonstration at Durham's EK Powe Elementary School.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Roger Schultz is a teacher. For 20 years, he’s taught severely handicapped students. Today, he’s standing outside Riverside High School, doing what he normally does – greeting every bleary-eyed, head-phone-wearing student who comes off the bus.

Usually the students nod or ignore him, but today is a little different. In his hands, Schultz is holding a hand-written sign. And what it says – “Stop Pushing Teachers Off The Plank” - catches the students’ attention.

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Education
5:09 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

15,000 Tablets To Be Replaced In Guilford County

Credit Jeff Tiberii

Guilford County Schools will get another set of tablet computers after thousands of devices broke.

The company Guilford hired to outfit the devices has agreed to pay for and replace 15,000 tablets.  Guilford issued the tablets to middle school students, staff and faculty earlier this year. But more than 2-thousand broke and there were also a small number of chargers that overheated and partially melted. Earlier this month school officials recalled all of the devices and the program was put on hold.  

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Education
4:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Vote Likely To Be Close On Wake School Bond

Opponents have launched an aggressive effort to defeat the Wake School Bond.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The Marching Trojans from Garner Magnet High School aren’t marching this morning – they are sitting, and practicing, in the band room. Their bags and instrument cases are stacked in every corner of the tiny space, on pockmarked floors and against cracked walls.

After band class, many will make their way across a grass-less, uncovered field to the temporary, modular cafeteria. Or as they call it here, the “Trailer-teria.”

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The Story
1:54 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

From The Classroom To The Graduation Stage

Credit Bailey Karpa

Over the past 20 years, the U.S. Department of Education has reported a steady decline in the numbers of students who drop out of school before graduating. It says the rate dropped from 12 percent in 1990 to 7 percent in 2011.

But a stark figure remains: On average, about one million students leave every year before graduation.

In this special program, American Graduate: Crossing the Stage, host Dick Gordon looks at ways – some innovative and some traditional – that educators are trying to keep students in school and help them succeed in the careers they choose.

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Education
4:01 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Savings And Safety: Can NC's New School Bus Plan Have Both?

Mechanics must inspect every North Carolina school bus once every 30 days.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Consider the school bus. It’s big and yellow, a loud diesel engine spewing black smoke into the air. Lots of old gum under the seats. Maybe a surly but lovable driver. And plenty of spirited kids climbing on at the end of another long school day.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Youth Radio: Grieving For A Lost Brother

Justavis Brooks was a Youth Radio reporter with WUNC this past summer.
Credit WUNC

Youth Radio reporter Justavis Brooks talks about grief her family experiences after the death of her brother.

This past summer WUNC worked with six youth reporters. Justavis Brooks decided to use the opportunity to face something everyone has to deal with at some point- the pain of losing a loved one. 

On December 7, 2006, my brother, Raphael Eason, was shot and killed. I was ten years old and I lived in Virginia. My brother lived with my dad’s side of the family in Elizabeth City, a town in the northeastern part of North Carolina. Since his passing he has been more of a mystery than a memory because no one has said much to me about him or the incident. This summer, I began to question the silence and the reasons behind it. I figured there was no better place to start than with my dad, Troy Brooks.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Youth Radio: How Shyness Can Be A Good Thing

Mashallah Salaam, a 16-year-old high school graduate from Chapel Hill, was a Youth Radio reporter this summer.
Credit WUNC

This summer we worked with a group of young reporters in the WUNC Youth Radio Institute.  They included Mashallah Salaam, a 16 year old high school graduate from Chapel Hill.

I’m someone who has always been labeled as shy. I used to get talked over and brushed off because I’m quiet. Growing up, I never spoke until I knew exactly what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. My mom, Damita Hicks, says it’s because I was around more adults than kids.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Youth Radio: What Does The Word "Ratchet" Really Mean?

Sunny Osment was a Youth Radio reporter at WUNC this summer.
Credit WUNC

Youth Radio reporter Sunny Osment explores the word ratchet.

This summer WUNC worked with six youth reporters as part of the Summer Youth Radio Institute in our American Graduate Project.

Have you ever heard of the word “ratchet”? I’m not talking about the tool you buy from Lowe's, but the “Ratchet” you use to describe Miley Cyrus’ dance moves, or someone’s out-dated flip phone?  Connie Eble, a professor in the English Department at UNC-Chapel Hill, collects college slang by asking her students to turn in terms as a class assignment.

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