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

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    Education
    8:35 am
    Thu March 6, 2014

    Gov. McCrory To Review Law Repealing Teacher Tenure

    Credit NC Governor's Office

    Governor Pat McCrory says his staff will consider making changes to a new law that offers raises to top teachers who give up tenure rights.

    Under the law, teacher tenure will be phased out by 2018 and replaced with a plan that requires local school districts to pick the top 25-percent of teachers who will be offered four-year contracts and bonuses.

    “I think it’s an example of passing a policy without clearly understanding the execution,” McCrory said.

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    My Teacher
    5:00 am
    Thu March 6, 2014

    'You're The Reason I Started Doing Performance Poetry'

    Carrboro High School teacher Mackensie Malkemes and junior Ryley McGinnis
    Credit Timothy Leow

    WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

    Ryley McGinnis was shy and hadn't thought much about performance poetry when she entered Mackensie Malkemes' English class at Carrboro High School, but  a year later, Ryley is writing and reading her poetry out loud whenever she has the chance.

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    Education
    5:00 am
    Thu March 6, 2014

    North Carolina Scores On Civil Rights Education: From "F" To "B" In 2 Years

    Members of the North Carolina Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, shown at the Tottle House lunch counter in Atlanta in 1960, sparked sit-ins across the South.
    Credit U.S. Embassy The Hague via Flickr

      North Carolina outperforms most states when it comes to teaching civil rights education to K-12 classrooms, according to a new study by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project.

    The center assigned A-through-F grades to each state based on their education standards and resources available to teachers. North Carolina scored a “B,” a drastic improvement from the “F” it received in a similar report from 2011.

    Twenty states received “F’s,” while 14 received “D’s.” The study notes that twelve states require no teaching of the civil rights movement at all.

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    My Teacher
    5:00 am
    Wed March 5, 2014

    'I Still Have That Story. It Gave Me Confidence To Pursue Writing'

    WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

    Middle school teacher Steven Simmons says he was a little overwhelmed in 2005 when he started his career at Estes Hills Elementary School in Chapel Hill. But third graders like Aditi Goyal kept him going in those early days.

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    My Teacher
    5:00 am
    Tue March 4, 2014

    'You've Become More Of A Role Model For Students'

    Northern High School principal Matthew Hunt and senior Caleb Crawley
    Credit Will Michaels / WUNC

    WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

    Caleb Crawley is a senior at Northern High School in Durham, where Matthew Hunt is serving his first year as principal.  Mr. Hunt has walked the halls of Northern High for several years as an administrator, but he played basketball in the Netherlands long before he made his way to a classroom.

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    Education
    5:00 am
    Mon March 3, 2014

    'High School Is Not Easy. It's Not'

    Chapel Hill High School English instructor Michael Irwin and senior Madison Gunning
    Credit Madison Gunning

    WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

    Read more
    Education
    2:06 pm
    Fri February 28, 2014

    Study: Retaining Students Means More Discipline Problems In Other Students

    Credit Gordon Lew via Flickr

    Middle school students are more likely to face discipline problems when surrounded by large numbers of students who are repeating grades, according to a new study from researchers at Duke University.

    The findings explain that suspensions and behavioral problems, including substance abuse, fighting and classroom disruption, escalate among students across the school community as the number of older or retained students increase.

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    The State of Things
    12:16 pm
    Fri February 28, 2014

    State Legislators Propose Merit Pay For Teachers

    Teachers protest
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    A task force created by the legislature last year met earlier this week to discuss incentives for good teaching. Some Republican leaders favor a merit pay system that would reward a limited number of teachers based on their individual performances. But many educators believe this would discourage collaboration within their schools. 

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    Education
    11:00 am
    Wed February 26, 2014

    Leaving Teaching: Two NC Educators, Married, Talk About Why They Quit

    Deana and Mark Kahlenberg
    Credit Still shot from video / Emerging Issues Forum

    Deana and Mark Kahlenberg teach at the same school: Alderman Road Elementary in Cumberland County. They met there. They both enjoyed teaching for many years - Deana for seven and Mark for eight. And now they are both leaving the school, and leaving the profession. They are in grad school to become speech and language pathologists.

    Why did they choose to leave?

    Mark: Mostly pay reasons

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    Education
    8:15 am
    Wed February 26, 2014

    '16 Years To Reach $40,000 Salary': Considering Pay Incentives For NC Teachers

    Teachers protest
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    State lawmakers and education leaders are considering paying North Carolina teachers based on their individual performance, despite  concerns from stakeholders who argue it could harmfully affect students and teacher morale.

    Republican Senator Jerry Tillman, an education budget writer, is helping lead a newly-formed legislative task force that will develop recommendations for alternative pay plans. Members, whom include legislators and education leaders across the state, must factor in teacher evaluation measures and student performance outcomes.  

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