American Graduate

My Teacher
5:30 am
Tue May 20, 2014

'We Sometimes Refer To You As Our Second Mother'

Chapel Hill High School Japanese teacher Yoshimi Aoyagi and senior Nell Ovitt
Credit Will Michaels / WUNC

WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're returning to the My Teacher series, exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

WUNC's My Teacher series continues at Chapel Hill High School, where Nell Ovitt is a senior. Nell's Japanese teacher Yoshimi Aoyagi gave her the opportunity to study in Japan during high school, and host a Japanese student at home.

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Education
4:55 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Test Stress And The Third-Grade Teacher

The "man" in the back of Dr. Elrod's third-grade class serves as a motivational tool for the students when they take tests.
Credit Dave DeWitt

In the back corner of Stephen Elrod’s third-grade classroom, a man is lurking who wants to take the children’s money. He’s not a real man, and it’s not real money. It’s a large cartoon drawing of a maniacal character clutching fistfuls of dollars. A plastic bin is attached to the wall below the picture, filled with play money.

“Every time we take a test like Case 21 or EOG we either give him money or we keep our money,” explains Joanne, one of the students. “And, if we don’t make our goal, we have to give him some money, and if we do make our goal, we get to keep our money.”

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Education
4:24 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Judge: Law Repealing Teacher Tenure Is Unconstitutional

Credit SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

 A Wake County superior court judge ruled Friday that a state law ending teacher tenure is unconstitutional, arguing the state cannot take away the due process rights of teachers.  

Judge Robert Hobgood ordered a permanent injunction against the law, which would eliminate career status – commonly known as teacher tenure – by 2018. His ruling also said that the law violated the constitutional protection of contracts, and the prohibition against taking a person’s property.

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Education
5:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

McCrory Unveils Budget, Teachers Call For Bigger Raises

Credit Wikimedia commons

Governor Pat McCrory released his $21 billion budget on Wednesday, setting aside $262.9 million for teacher raises and state employees. 

The governor and lawmakers have made it clear that teacher pay will be a major priority for this year’s short session, which is a time meant for lawmakers to adjust the budget approved last year. 

Teachers held their own “day of action” on Wednesday, the first day of the session. They outlined their demands and concerns in a morning press conference held by the North Carolina Association of Educators.

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Education
9:49 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

N.C. Supreme Court Allows Voucher Program To Continue

Credit SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

 The North Carolina Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s order to halt the state’s voucher program.

That means the program can go on – at least for now. It’s a program that gives low-income families scholarships of up to $4,200 to help send their children to private schools.

Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood issued an injunction earlier this year to stop the program, siding with critics who say it’s unconstitutional because the private school scholarships are funded with taxpayer dollars.

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Education
5:36 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NC Attorneys Say Thousands Of Students Not Receiving Basic Education

Credit Guilford County Schools

 Attorneys for some low-income school districts say the state is failing on its commitment to provide all students with a sound, basic education.

The lawyers are asking for a hearing in August and a written plan from the state as to how it intends to meet the basic education mandate outlined in the decades-old landmark lawsuit, known as the Leandro case.

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Education
8:49 am
Fri May 9, 2014

NC State University Expands Efforts To Attract Rural Students

Credit Scott Akerman via Flickr

Many studies show that students in rural counties are less likely to go to college, especially four-year or private institutions. Faced with that reality, some university leaders are reconsidering how to attract students from rural communities.

At North Carolina State University, leaders are expanding their current programs that serve and prepare high school students. Earlier this year, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received a $3 million endowment from a Raleigh couple to help rural students win admission to the university.

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Education
6:00 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Bill Which Would Allow Students To Attend Any Public School Postponed

State lawmakers voted on Monday to postpone a bill that would allow North Carolina students to attend any public school in the state, noting that more study is needed.

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Education
1:34 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Sweating Over Bubbles With A No. 2 Pencil: Three Families Tell Their Stories

Seamus
Credit mom Billie Lanigan

There's an 8-year-old boy in Fayetteville who gets worried, anxious and even angry when it comes time for testing. A middle schooler in Vass combats headaches and sleeplessness the night before a test. A 10-year-old boy in Mebane worries that he won't move on to the next grade. These are some of the stories that we heard from WUNC listeners when we posed a simple challenge online: "Kids and Testing: Tell us Your Story."

Seamus' Story

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Science & Technology
9:53 am
Mon April 28, 2014

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Reach Elite 8, National Academic Competition

The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics team participates in the academic competition of the 2014 National Science Bowl, Sunday, April, 27, 2014, in Washington, DC.
Credit Dennis Brack / U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

A team from Durham's North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics joined 23 other schools over the weekend to compete in the 2014 National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.  During the competition, students compete in a fast-paced Jeopardy-like forum. They must quickly solve technical problems and answer questions related to science and mathematics.

Team members include Michael An, Anne Feng, Kavi Jain, Sammy Luo, and Daniel Ren.  Their coach is Leslie Brinson.

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