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


    Politics & Government
    6:08 pm
    Tue July 8, 2014

    Budget Writers Working, But End Not In Sight Yet

    Credit Dave Crosby / flickr

      Budget writers in the General Assembly are moving forward with their negotiations, but it's still not clear when they might finish putting together a spending plan adjustment for the fiscal year that has already begun.

    In an open conference committee Tuesday afternoon, legislators didn't reach an agreement on the size of teacher raises, though Senate budget writers have agreed to allow teachers to receive raises without forgoing career status protections. 

    Read more
    Arts & Culture
    3:08 pm
    Mon July 7, 2014

    Beat Making Lab: Behind-The-Scenes Blog

    Two of the teen participants in the chapel Hill Beat Making Lab
    Credit Beat Making Lab

    Beat Making Lab is a project where where music artists (producers and emcees)  travel around the world teaching young people to make hip hop and electronic beats. It's run by Pierce Freelon and Stephen Levitin aka The Apple Juice Kid.

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    Arts & Culture
    3:04 pm
    Mon July 7, 2014

    Listen: Teen DJ Remembers Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Jennah Jones is also known as DJ Twice
    Credit Beat Making Lab

    Chapel Hill, NC teenager Jennah Jones is also known as DJ Twice. She's part of a project in which teens listen to NPR news stories and and create alternate versions, with original hip hop soundtracks.

    Read more
    4:39 pm
    Thu July 3, 2014

    House, Senate Leaders Agree On Bill To Repeal Common Core

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

    House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a bill that could replace parts – if not all – of the Common Core academic standards in North Carolina.

    The two chambers drafted separate bills earlier this session that would create commissions to review the English and Math standards. The House bill recommended flat out replacing the standards, while the Senate legislation left open the possibility that parts of Common Core could continue.

    Read more
    8:50 am
    Tue July 1, 2014

    Senate Ad Attacks Tillis on State's Education Spending

    Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan will meet in November for a seat in the United States Senate.
    Credit NC General Assembly/US Senate

    House Speaker Thom Tillis is the target of a new ad that criticizes the state legislature’s cuts to education.

    The Senate Majority PAC spent $800,000 on the ad in support of U.S. Senator Kay Hagan in her bid for re-election against her Republican rival.  

    Read more
    10:13 pm
    Sun June 29, 2014

    UPDATE: After Shutdown Order, Carrboro Charter School Allowed To Stay Open

    Credit Reema Khrais

    State officials have agreed to grant a three-year renewal to PACE Academy’s charter, months after the State Board of Education voted to terminate the Carrboro school’s charter.

    WUNC reported on the status of the school earlier this year  in January and February

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    Arts & Culture
    10:04 am
    Thu June 26, 2014

    Teen Reporters: 8 Essential Summer Jams

    Credit Olivia Alcock / Flickr/Creative Commons

    WUNC is working with several teen reporters this summer. The young people are learning Journalism 101 from seasoned NPR and WUNC reporters.

    On their first day on the job, we asked each reporter to recommend a song. The idea is to pull together a fun 2014 summer playlist for you.

    Here are the recommendations.

    Jamayah Parrish: "Pumped up Kicks" by Foster the People:

    Read more
    8:39 am
    Thu June 26, 2014

    Gov. McCrory And NC House Leaders Try To Speed Up Budget Talks With Education Plan

    Governor Pat McCrory gathered with school leaders and legislators on Wednesday to show their support for a scaled-down spending plan that focuses on teacher pay.
    Credit Reema Khrais

    State House Republicans are teaming up with Governor Pat McCrory to help speed up slow budget talks. Legislators are supposed to make adjustments to the two-year state budget by July 1, but progress has been sluggish.

    Representatives say they want to at least pass a scaled-down spending plan that focuses on teacher pay. It would give teachers an average five-percent raise without relying on funds from the lottery. 

    Read more
    6:47 pm
    Tue June 24, 2014

    State Lawmakers Begin Budget Negotiations With Looming Deadline

    Credit Dave DeWitt

    Senate and House leaders are expected to begin meeting in conference committees this week to make adjustments to the two-year budget plan. 

    They have until June 30th to resolve differences and send their spending plan to Governor Pat McCrory.

    Medicaid funding and teacher pay raises are expected to be the key sticking points in negotiations. But many Republicans, like Representative Craig Horn (R-Union), say they’re optimistic about the process.

    Read more
    Arts & Culture
    4:51 pm
    Mon June 23, 2014

    WUNC Welcomes Six Teen Reporters

    (l-r) Emmanuel Johnson, Thar Thwai, Chelsea Korynta, Jamayah Parrish, Morgan Manson, Lilli Morales
    Credit Carol Jackson

    Where do you find those stories? That is one of the most-asked question of a radio reporter. Six young people will find out the answer this summer in WUNC's 3rd annual Summer Youth Radio Institute. The Institute kicked off Monday June 23 with an ambitious goal: teach the teens to find stories in their communities and give them the tools to tell those stories on the radio.

    More than 50 young people applied to be a part of the experience. The rookie reporters hired for the six positions come from Orange, Durham and Chatham counties.

    Read more