American Graduate Series

WUNC's American Graduate Project is part of a nationwide public media conversation about the dropout crisis. We'll explore the issue through news reports, call-in programs and a forum produced with UNC-TV. Also as a part of this project we've partnered with the Durham Nativity School and YO: Durham to found the WUNC Youth Radio Club. 

These reports are part of American Graduate-Let’s Make it Happen!- a public media initiative to address the drop out crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and these generous funders:

    Credit CPB
      Project Funders:

    • GlaxoSmithKline
    • The Goodnight Educational Foundation
    • Joseph M. Bryan Foundation 
    • State Farm
    • The Grable Foundation
    • Farrington Foundation

    More education stories from WUNC

    Pages

    Education
    6:13 pm
    Wed August 27, 2014

    Advocates Ask NC Supreme Court To Release School Voucher Funds

    Credit SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

    Supporters of private school vouchers are trying to put the state’s program back on course. Attorneys are asking the North Carolina Supreme Court to overturn a recent ruling that halts the program.

    A superior court judge ruled last week that using taxpayer dollars to help send children to private schools is unconstitutional.

    But critics say the program gives low-income families school choice and that freezing the funds has put hundreds of families in limbo.

    Read more
    Education
    6:52 pm
    Tue August 19, 2014

    Judge To Rule On Legality Of Private School Voucher Program

    Credit SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

     After hearing lengthy arguments on Tuesday, Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood says he will make a ruling on the legality of the state's private school voucher program Thursday morning.

    The program, also known as Opportunity Scholarships, uses taxpayer dollars to help low-income families send their children to private schools. The annual grants go up to $4,200 per student.

    Read more
    Politics & Government
    7:52 am
    Tue August 19, 2014

    Incentives Bill Spurs Debate Among Legislators

    Credit Matthew Lenard

    State lawmakers are at odds over intertwined bills that many argue are postponing the adjournment of the legislative session.

    One of those measures -- House Bill 1224 -- is loaded with job-creation incentives aimed at luring businesses to the state. It would also cap local sales taxes. 

    Read more
    Education
    8:33 am
    Fri August 8, 2014

    Explaining NC's Teacher Pay Raises

    Credit cybrarian77 / Creative Commons/Flickr

    Governor Pat McCrory has signed a $21 billion dollar state budget that includes pay increases for teachers. He and other Republican leaders have been trying to send a loud and clear message that teachers will be getting a historic pay raise, the first major one in years.

    They’ve been touting it as an average seven percent increase. But there’s been a lot of confusion over how that’ll actually pan out and whether all teachers will see a pay bump.

    Read more
    Education
    11:59 am
    Thu August 7, 2014

    The Year Of The Teacher

    Jim Potter teaching at Lockhart Elementary School in Wake County.
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    This is The Year of the Teacher, a documentary from North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC looking back at an extraordinary year in public education in the state.

    Just before lunch, the kids in Jim Potter’s third-grade class are sitting at attention, engaged and enthusiastic. This isn’t his classroom – he’s doing his student teaching here at Lockhart Elementary in Wake County – but it sure seems like it. His energy is up, the kids are with him, and the minutes fly by.

    Read more
    Politics & Government
    8:21 am
    Tue August 5, 2014

    Wake Commissioners Reject Sales Tax Increase To Raise Teacher Pay

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

    Wake commissioners voted Monday against a referendum that could have raised the county's sales tax by a quarter-cent to generate about $28 million to go toward public schools.

    Some Wake Commissioners wanted to hold the vote because the General Assembly might limit their ability to raise sales taxes. Lawmakers want to cap the local sales tax rate to 2.5 percent. The measure would allow some of the large urban counties, including Wake, to bypass that requirement if they levy a quarter percent tax this November.

    Read more
    Education
    5:00 am
    Thu July 24, 2014

    Common Core: Is It ‘Developmentally Inappropriate’?

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

    Since the beginning of this year, many legislators and critics have dubbed Common Core "developmentally inappropriate."

    They argue that the new Math and English standards should be repealed because they are not suitable for some students.

    "I know there is some age and grade inappropriateness,” said Republican Sen. Jerry Tillman at a legislative meeting earlier this year. “I’ve talked with teachers.”

    Read more
    Education
    6:28 pm
    Wed July 23, 2014

    Houston School District Back In NC, Looking For More Teachers

    Credit cybrarian77 / Creative Commons/Flickr

      The Houston Independent School District is looking to recruit more teachers from North Carolina.

    Recruiters first visited in May, where they made 12 on-the-spot offers and later hired about 8 more teachers, according to Shaleah Reed, a spokesperson from HISD.

    The district is offering $49,100 as a starting salary. North Carolina’s starting salary is among the lowest in the nation at $30,800.

    Read more
    Education
    9:45 pm
    Tue July 22, 2014

    Governor McCrory Signs Bill To Rework Common Core

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

      Governor Pat McCrory has signed a bill designed to review and potentially replace the Common Core academic standards.

    McCrory referred to the bill as a “Common Core review bill,” despite lawmakers who say that the legislation will work to replace the standards.

    Read more
    Education
    4:27 pm
    Wed July 16, 2014

    North Carolina On Its Way To Replacing Common Core

    Credit sandersonhs.org

    The NC House gave final approval to a measure on Wednesday that would review and change the Common Core standards. The bill is now before Governor Pat McCrory, who says he will sign it.

    Lawmakers have argued that they want to rewrite the English and Math standards to better suit North Carolina students. They say they’re responding to critics and parents who have complained that the standards are flawed and academically deficient.

    Read more

    Pages