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

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    Education
    6:52 pm
    Wed January 22, 2014

    'Building A Mini-Silicon Valley': Ex-Gov. Perdue Launches Digital Learning Initiative

    Former Governor Bev Perdue will lead a digital education nonprofit to focus on increasing personal learning options for students.
    Credit NC Governor's Office

    A year after leaving office, former Governor Bev Perdue is returning to the public stage with the launch of a new project focused on digital learning. 

    In partnership with Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer, Perdue founded the Digital Learning Institute, dubbed DigiLEARN. She says the idea is to bring together teachers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and students to develop the most effective digital learning tools.

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    The State of Things
    11:38 am
    Wed January 22, 2014

    Program Highlights The Need For Early Childhood Literacy

    The State of Things discusses the importance of early childhood literacy.
    Credit Adwriter via flickr.

    Most people know it's a good idea to read to their children. 

    But a program called Reach Out and Read highlights just how early parents should start the practice. Reach Out and Read gets doctors to write reading prescriptions for families in the hopes of helping them jump start their children's chances for literacy.

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    Education
    5:00 am
    Tue January 21, 2014

    Will PACE Academy Make The Grade? Charter Serving Special Needs Kids Could Shut Down

    Teacher Caleb Smith is the lead Exceptional Childrens teacher and organizes the Occupational Course of Study instructional programming.
    Reema Khrais

    When founders Jane Miller and Rhonda Franklin got the news that their charter school may not be around next year, they were overcome with the same feeling.

    “Just utter shock,” says Franklin:

    We were shocked because we know what has happened within these walls in the last 10 years. We know the growth of our students.

    The state’s Charter School Advisory Board unanimously recommended to the State Board of Education that it reject PACE Academy's application for a renewal of its 10-year charter.

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    Education
    11:11 am
    Sat January 18, 2014

    ‘We’re Not Paying Our Teachers As Much As Surrounding States': Panel Will Review

    North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation in average teacher pay.
    Credit www.audio-luci-store.it via Flickr

    If there's one thing likely to come out of the legislative session this year, it's to figure out a way to improve teacher pay.

    A new 18-member panel that will help advise North Carolina lawmakers on the topic made its final appointees this week. The group includes representatives, senators, a principal, community members and teachers.

    According to the bill, the committee was created last year by the House and Senate for two reasons:

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    Education
    4:33 am
    Thu January 16, 2014

    Teachers Fight Over Loss Of Tenure, New Contracts

    The public hearing on the proposed teacher contracts did not draw a large crowd.
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    There are 95,000 public school teachers in North Carolina, give or take. So how many, given their only chance to comment publicly on the end of tenure, would make their way to downtown Raleigh to voice their displeasure? Hundreds? Thousands, maybe?

    Try four.

    But maybe the low attendance wasn’t so much a reflection on teachers’ anger – it might just speak more to their sense of duty. The public hearing, after all, was scheduled on a Wednesday afternoon at 1 PM. Hardly convenient for a teacher.

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    Re-Mixing The News
    4:28 pm
    Wed January 15, 2014

    Re-Mixing The News With Fresh Beats

    Re-mixing the news with Pierce Freelon (front left) and Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) and a group of students

    Q: What would happen if you put WUNC News stories in the hands of youth armed with laptops and infectious hip hop beats?  

    A: You'd get Re-Mixing the News -- it's a new project WUNC launched in 2014 as a part of its American Graduate Project.  
     
    WUNC is teaming up with renowned beatmakers and educators Pierce Freelon and Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) for this special project that will engage young people in Chapel Hill over the next several months. 

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    Education
    10:52 pm
    Tue January 14, 2014

    First-Grade Transgender Student Incites Fayetteville Leaders To Talk School Accommodations

    Cumberland County School leaders are considering developing a policy that can provide accommodations to transgender students.
    Credit Karin Vlietstra via Flickr

    After events involving a six-year-old student who identifies as the opposite gender, a Cumberland County school board member says he hopes to develop a policy on how to accommodate transgender and gender nonconforming students. 

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    My Teacher
    4:30 pm
    Tue January 14, 2014

    My Teacher: Connecting Students With Memorable Teachers

    Credit Dave DeWitt

    The North Carolina Teacher Project is WUNC’s yearlong look at the state of the teaching profession in North Carolina. It includes policy discussions on The State of Things and through feature reports, multimedia presentations, and intimate conversations between students and their teachers called My Teacher, as part of the American Graduate Series.

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    Education
    5:00 am
    Sun January 12, 2014

    VIDEO: 5 Minutes, One Common Core Math Class, Deconstructed

    Teacher Katherine Pardue's instructions to her class
    Credit Carol Jackson

    Katherine Pardue teaches 6th grade at Guy B. Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill. She's one of many teachers across the state who are beginning to use new strategies in the classroom as a part of the newly adopted Common Core curriculum.

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    Education
    8:24 am
    Wed January 8, 2014

    With 48 Hours, Duke Students ‘Rethink’ Education And Find New Ideas

    First-place winners of Duke University's 'Rethink Education: The Innovation Challenge' Winter Forum pose for a picture. The team proposed an online database that can be shared between schools in North Carolina and India to improve STEM education.
    Credit Reema Khrais / WUNC

    A high tech pen-pal system shuttling messages,  knowledge and know-how between schools in Durham and those in India. A program that would have students repair bicycles as a part of their studies. How about older students teaching younger students through video tutorials? Or paying high achieving students to tutor?

    These were some of the bright ideas cooked up by Duke undergrads for the “Rethink Education: The Innovation Challenge” winter forum at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business

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