Innovative School District

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The Robeson County School Board has come out against the State Board of Education's decision to select one of its elementary schools to be the first school in the state's new Innovative School District.

Glenn Elementary parents Tamara and David Vanie address the crowd at a parent rally against the Innovative School District, which could bring a state takeover to their East Durham school.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Update on Friday, October 13: Glenn Elementary is no longer being considered for state takeover through the North Carolina Innovative School District, according to Durham school board chairman Mike Lee. Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County is the only school that will be recommended for inclusion in the new district in the 2018-2019 school year, according to an announcement from the state Department of Public Instruction.

It’s a Monday night and Tamara Vanie, who’s nearly seven months pregnant, and her husband David, who just got off of work, are knocking on doors in a mostly black and Hispanic neighborhood in East Durham. They’re talking to anyone who will listen about the possible state takeover of their neighborhood elementary school.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Parents at a Durham school facing possible takeover are criticizing state officials' handling of the process. In a video posted to YouTube, they called state efforts to engage parents inauthentic.

Phil Roeder / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/agLDmm

The state Department of Public Instruction released a shortlist of six low-performing public schools last week that are candidates for its Innovative School District. The new program will turn over control of schools to charter school operators. 

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

School officials in Johnston and Durham counties say they want to retain local control over their underperforming schools. That’s after four elementary schools in Durham and a middle school in Johnston were named to a list of schools being considered for the Innovative School District.