American Graduate

Re-Mixing The News
7:25 am
Mon February 17, 2014

[VIDEO] NC Teens - Re-Mixing News Project Goes National

Pierce Freelon (left) and Apple Juice Kid with students from the community and UNC
Credit Beat Making Lab

There is a curious project happening in after-school sessions in recent days. It's called "Re-Mixing the News." A group of middle and high school students from Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC are tlistening to WUNC news reports and adding inspiration: beats, sound effects, and music -- creating a fresh, new take on traditional journalism.

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Education
7:43 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Gov. McCrory Hopes To Give Schools Flexibility With Make Up Days

Governor Pat McCrory says he'll work with education leaders to help give schools more flexibility in making up for time lost due to the winter storm.
Credit NC Governor's Office

In light of the winter storm, Governor Pat McCrory says he will work with education leaders to review laws on make up days for public schools.

This week's snow storm led to closings that lasted up to three days for many schools across the state, forcing school officials to make tough decisions on how to make up for the lost time. Many schools still need to make up time from last month's snow. 

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Education
5:34 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pay Cuts, End Of Tenure Put North Carolina Teachers On Edge

Elementary school students in North Carolina stand outside their school in November, during an event organized by teachers to protest changes in public education.
Dave DeWitt WUNC

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:00 pm

Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina.

Jennifer Spivey has been a teacher for three years at South Columbus High School, on the north side of the border between the Carolinas. She's been recognized as an outstanding teacher; she has a master's degree, and last summer she won a prestigious Kenan fellowship to improve education. But she still lives in her parents' basement.

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Education
4:07 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

The Teacher's Room BLOG: You Know What Teachers Do. Right?

Credit WUNC File Photo

2/24/14:

Fascinating article published over the weekend by the Washington Post entitled "You Think You Know What Teachers Do. Right? Wrong." The author, Sarah Blaine, spent two years teaching English Language Arts at a rural public high school. She left to be a lawyer.

Here's an excerpt from the middle of the post:

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Education
5:00 am
Fri February 7, 2014

NC Board Of Ed Calls Two Schools ‘Not High-Quality,’ Doesn’t Renew Their Charters

The State Board of Education voted to not renew PACE Academy's charter for another year after finding issues of noncompliance and accountability. Leaders of the school, however, intend to appeal the decision.
Credit Reema Khrais

Citing poor performance and compliance problems, the State Board of Education voted to not renew the charters of two schools in Carrboro and Morehead City.

The state’s Charter School Advisory Board recommended to the Board of Education in December to terminate the charters held by PACE Academy and Coastal Academy for Technology and Science.

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Education
10:36 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Under Pressure, NC Schools Request Different Third-Grade Reading Tests

School districts say current assessments under the Read to Achieve mandate are excessive and take away from teaching time.
Credit Judy Baxter via Flickr

Calling the current testing mandate excessive, school districts are asking the State Board of Education if they can implement their own tests to fulfill the state’s new reading law for third-grade students.

Under the Read to Achieve law, passed last year, third-grade students are required to attend summer reading camps if they are not reading at grade level by the end of the year.

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Education
6:00 am
Wed February 5, 2014

How NC Funding Of Schools Differs From Most States

North Carolina's public schools receive 58% of their funding from the state government.
Credit Dave DeWitt

North Carolina ranks eighth in the nation in the percentage of state funding schools receive, according to officials.

The state’s public schools receive 58% of their revenues from the state government, compared to nation’s average of 44%. The remaining profits come from local and federal sources, though most states receive about 50-50 from state and local levels.

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Education
4:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Black Child In A Mostly White School: Story Spans 13 Years

Idris Brewster and Seun Summers
Credit American Promise film

Over the course of 13 years, Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson filmed their son's progress through the elite New York City prep school called Dalton. As an African-American family in a predominantly white school, the years were challenging for everyone.

Their documentary American Promise airs on  UNC-TV Thursday 2/6/14 at 10 p.m.

A year ago, Dick Gordon talked with Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson when they were in Durham N.C. for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

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Education
10:19 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Private School Vouchers Become Available, Despite Lawsuits

Parent DeNille Amendola hopes to send her 11-year-old son to a private school next year with help from the state's new voucher program.
Credit Reema Khrais

A new program that will help low-income families afford to send their children to private schools has started accepting applications, despite harsh criticisms and legal challenges that have plagued it.

Critics of the voucher program insist it will tear money away from public schools, while supporters have hailed it as a way to give low-income families school choice.

Parent DeNille Amendola doesn’t involve herself in the sticky details of the dispute.  All she cares about is how it could finally provide a “better education” for her children.  

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Education
6:22 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

NC Teacher Of The Year Attends State Of Union, Has Unexpected Highlight

NC Teacher of the Year Karyn Dickerson, being interviewed at the State of the Union, with Senator Kay Hagan (right).
Credit via Twitter

Karyn Dickerson had a night most teachers dream of. She'd been invited to the State of the Union address in Washington.

Dickerson had a dinner with the senators, had a great view of President Obama. He even led off the night talking about teachers:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America's graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades....

But the highlight of the night?

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