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:

    American Graduate Logo
    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


    8:30 am
    Tue December 16, 2014

    NC Panel Identifies Top Priorities For Revising Common Core Standards

    Credit Enokson / Flickr/Creative Commons

    Members of a state commission have identified their top priorities for revising the Common Core academic standards used for North Carolina’s public school students.  

    At a meeting Monday, they said they want to focus on increasing flexibility for teachers and school districts, rewriting the standards so they’re clear and understandable, and identifying standards that are developmentally inappropriate.

    Read more
    9:02 pm
    Wed December 10, 2014

    North Carolina: Conservatives, Educators Debate Content Of AP U.S. History Class

    Melissa Hayden teaches her AP U.S. History class in Pittsboro, North Carolina at Northwood High School.
    Credit Reema Khrais

    At a high school in Chatham County, Melissa Hayden reminds her students about tomorrow’s big history test. They’re learning about the populism movement and western expansion.

    But before they delve into those lessons, Hayden begins class with something she read in the news.

    “Let’s see, this is an article that I printed off in Newsweek last week,” says Hayden, an Advanced Placement U.S. History teacher at Northwood High School.  

    Read more
    5:00 am
    Thu November 27, 2014

    Cary Considers Overcrowded Schools In Rezoning Talks

    Credit Dave DeWitt

     Members of the Cary Town Council are calling on county officials to help address the issue of overcrowding in Wake County public schools.

    Earlier this month, the council tabled a request to rezone about 58 acres in west Cary that would have created 130 new homes.

    Some members say they don’t feel comfortable moving forward with the plan just yet – at least not while many of the nearby schools are at or above capacity.

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    7:20 am
    Sat November 22, 2014

    Wake County Schools To Ask Students To Bring Electronic Devices

    Credit Sean MacEntee / Flickr/Creative Commons

    Thirteen public schools in Wake County will soon be asking students to bring their tablets, smartphones, iPads and laptops to class.

    The elementary, middle and high schools are participating in a pilot program called BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, that will be rolled out over the next couple of months.

    Read more
    5:00 am
    Fri November 21, 2014

    Here's How Education Cuts Are Affecting NC Teacher Assistants

    Fayetteville teacher assistant Grace King works with 1st graders on sight words.
    Credit Reema Khrais

    Public school districts throughout the state have fewer teacher assistants in the classrooms this academic year than the previous year, despite assurances from lawmakers that the state budget would not lead to TA reductions.  

    Since the 2008-09 recession, state funding for TAs has been reduced by more than 20 percent, leading to thousands of cuts.

    In Cumberland County Schools, teacher assistant Grace King begins her day driving a school bus.

    Read more
    8:26 pm
    Mon November 17, 2014

    Still No Money For NC Group Reviewing Common Core Standards

    The Academic Standards Review Commission met for their third meeting on Monday.
    Credit Reema Khrais

      A commission charged with making changes to the state's Common Core academic standards is facing a very elemental question: how will it get the money it needs to complete its work?

    Legislators passed a bill this summer to create a commission to review and recommend changes to the Math and English academic standards for public school students.

    In the legislation, lawmakers outlined that the commission should have money to hire staff and conduct research, but did not make clear how much money the commission will receive and where it will come from.

    Read more
    8:16 am
    Fri November 7, 2014

    Wilmington NC Charter Schools Refuse To Release Salaries, Could Face Sanctions

    Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

      The State Board of Education on Thursday placed Charter Day School Inc. on “financial probationary status” for not turning over salary information of school employees to the Department of Public Instruction.

    The state gave all 148 charter school operators until the end of September to provide salaries of school employees who are hired by for-profit companies.

    Charter Day, which oversees four charter schools in the Wilmington area, was the only operator to not comply.

    Read more
    5:41 pm
    Fri October 31, 2014

    NC Teacher Turnover Rate Slightly Down, But More Leave Because Dissatisfied

    Credit Reema Khrais

    Slightly fewer teachers left North Carolina last year than the year before, but more left because they were dissatisfied with teaching or wanted to teach in another state, according to a state Department of Public Instruction draft report.

    Of the 96,010 public school teachers employed last year, 1,011 said they left because they were dissatisfied with teaching or had a career change. The year before, nearly nine hundred teachers left for those reasons.

    Read more
    7:50 am
    Fri October 31, 2014

    Education: The Topic Is Headlining NC Legislative Races

    Credit Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

    With Election Day almost here, it’s become clear that one issue has headlined almost all of the races: education.

    Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger Thom Tillis have traded barbs over issues of teacher pay and education funding, while similar conversations are playing out in legislative races throughout the state.

    Read more
    8:47 am
    Tue October 21, 2014

    NC Commission Reviews Common Core, Raises Concerns

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

    A state commission in charge of reworking the Common Core academic standards has begun reviewing them.  

    Members spent hours on Monday learning what's expected under Common Core in terms of English and language arts. Some of those goals include when students should know how to explain their ideas or comprehend certain texts.  

    The 11 members were politically appointed to review and possibly make changes to the academic standards after lawmakers heard complaints from parents and teachers that they do not progress in a natural or developmentally appropriate way.

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