Education

Education leaders in Guilford County are looking at how private donations would affect public schools.

Jeff Tiberii: A group of parents at one Greensboro Elementary School wants to go beyond the average book or bake sale. They’re hoping to raise $1.5 million for a new building. School board members are considering both sides of an issue that would likely provide some schools with more private money than others. Chairman of the board Alan Duncan:

Poetic Justice P.S.: American Graduate Part 3

Jun 15, 2012

Graduation ceremonies are pretty much done but we have a P.S. for you, A poetic P.S. As part of WUNC's participation in the American Graduate Project, we commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to host an after-school writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham. And they did- for ten weeks. They're here to tell the stories of two young people who grabbed onto words and held tight.

The Chapel Hill - Carrboro school district will get its first magnet school school in 2013. But not all parents are happy about it.

Dave DeWitt: The Chapel Hill - Carrboro School Board voted 5 to 1 to turn Frank Porter Graham Elementary into a magnet school. It will offer a Spanish-English Dual Language program.

Some parents at Frank Porter Graham had opposed the change. Parents at other schools that will lose their dual language programs also fought the decision.

WUNC is a part of the American Graduate Project. It's a public media initiative looking at the drop out crisis across the country. As a part of this project we commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to teach a writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham. Over the last 10 weeks, Kane and Will taught a group of students how to use poetry to tell their own stories. Today is graduation day at Northern and three of the students from our workshop will be receiving their diplomas.

Eleven colleges and universities, big and small, public and private, are teaming up today to form the Eastern North Carolina Consortium for Higher Education.

Asma Khalid: There's a saying that "collaboration is king."

And Jim Gray believes it. He uses that phrase a lot when talking about this new plan.

Gray is the president of North Carolina Wesleyan College. He's also leading the consortium.

Tens of thousands of high school seniors will graduate this week across North Carolina. In a few months, many will start college. Not only will that be the next step in their educational lives, but also the end of a college search process that, for some, took years. It’s a process that has gotten more and more complicated, both for students and for the people who read the college applications. The rapid expansion in the number of high schools in the state is having unintended consequences in college admissions.

The State Legislature has reversed course on how many low-income four-year olds are eligible for pre-kindergarten programs.

Dave DeWitt: As part of its effort to cut costs and streamline pre-k programs in the state, the Legislature last year appeared to cap the number of low-income kids at 20 percent. Proponents of Pre-K programs brought the case before Judge Howard Manning, who ruled that the law was unconstitutional. He ordered the state to admit all eligible at-risk four-year olds.

Walking Classroom
Walking Classroom

A Chapel Hill non-profit has been recognized nationally for developing a program that targets childhood obesity while helping students learn.  The program is called “The Walking Classroom.”

Leoneda Inge:  The Walking Classroom Institute is about one year old and was started by former 5th grade teacher Laura Fenn.

Laura Fenn:  What I did is one day, when I was home after school, I went out for a walk and I was listening to a podcast while I was walking and I thought to myself, my students can do this.

NC Gets NCLB Waiver

May 30, 2012

North Carolina is one of eight states that have been granted a waiver from some of the most significant requirements of the education law "No Child Left Behind."

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger introduced an education reform package to lawmakers today. Capitol Bureau Chief Jessica Jones reports if passed, it would cost 440 million dollars over five years.

Jessica Jones: Berger explained the legislation earlier today in a committee meeting. It has attracted controversy because it would end teacher tenure, to the chagrin of some educators. Berger says bad teachers should be weeded out. The measure would also require evaluations of all entering kindergarten students.

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower-court ruling that dealt with student assignment in Pitt County Schools. The 4th Circuit said the school district that serves the Greenville area did not adequately consider race when drawing attendance boundaries.

Dave DeWitt: Pitt County is one of a handful of school districts in North Carolina that is still under a federal desegregation order from the 1970s. As such, any major changes it makes to student assignment must consider race.

Students in Wake County Schools who seek technical skills that could lead to jobs may soon have a new school to consider. The Wake School Board has approved the creation of a new career technical high school.

Dave DeWitt: The Career Technical High School would be a partnership with Wake Technical Community College. It would offer classes and certificates in areas like automobile repair, biopharmaceuticals and cosmetology.

UNC Hospital School
UNC Hospital School

Among the vast, winding hallways inside the UNC Hospital complex, there’s a school. It's small, by public school standards, but it serves a vital purpose.

As Dave DeWitt reports, it offers young patients the chance to remain students, and retain a sense of normalcy during a difficult time in their lives.

Loretta Rowland-Kitley
Jeff Tiberii

North Carolina had a high school graduation rate that ranked 25th in the nation last year. The state statistics are showing improvement, but still about 27 out of every 100 students do not receive their diploma on time. Of all the large and urban school districts in the state, Guilford County has the best graduation rate. Part of the reason is a growing number of the district's early and middle colleges. Students at those schools are now earning degrees at a near perfect pace. Jeff Tiberii reports as part of our American Graduate series.

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory laid out his education platform today. As Dave DeWitt reports, the former mayor of Charlotte is in favor of expanding school choice and teacher merit pay, among other things.

Dave DeWitt: McCrory was careful not to wade into the current debate between Governor Bev Perdue and the Republican led Legislature over school funding. He refused to say if schools were adequately funded under the current budget, but instead offered outlines of new programs that he said may save money.

Most North Carolina school districts will not have to add five days to their upcoming school year. It's the second year that waivers have been granted from an extension mandated by the General Assembly. The State School Board authorized the waivers. Ninety-one of the state's 115 school districts have gotten them so far. Board Chairman Bill Harrison says teachers need those five days to prepare for new national curriculum standards. Plus, he says it would cost $14 million system-wide. State Senator Jerry Tillman is a major proponent of the school year extension.

There’s a renewed fight over education funding. Dave DeWitt reports that the loss of federal stimulus money has republicans and democrats picking sides ahead of the legislature coming back to Raleigh.

A first-of-its-kind report describes corporal punishment practices across the state.

Jeff Tiberii: The study by Action for Children North Carolina details nearly 900 instances of corporal punishment that took place in the state last school year. Robeson, Columbus and McDowell counties accounted for 87-percent of all the corporal punishment. Tom Vitaglione wrote the study.

Perdue Boosts Pre-K

Feb 22, 2012
Governor Bev Perdue
NC Governor's Office

Two thousand more at-risk kids will be able to attend pre-kindergarten classes, starting in March. Governor Bev Perdue made the announcement today at a pre-school in Raleigh. Dave DeWitt reports.

Dave DeWitt: The state funds about one-third of the at-risk kids who qualify for pre-kindergarten. Last year, Superior Court Judge Howard Manning said that was illegal, and directed the legislature to fund all eligible children.

Superintendent Maurice ''Mo'' Green
gsnc.com

Students in Guilford County Schools have a few weeks left to surpass a goal of collectively reading two million books in a year.

When organizers of North Carolina's public Governor's School summer enrichment program learned that the state General Assembly had cut their funding, they went to work raising money. So far, the group has secured more than $100,000 in hopes of keeping the program afloat, but not every public educational program at risk has the ability to keep itself funded. What problems arise when we rely too heavily on private donations to pay for public school programs?

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