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


    5:00 am
    Fri May 31, 2013

    Taking Flight For Aviation Jobs Of Tomorrow

    Hannah Wade takes control of the FAA-approved flight simulator at the Aviation Academy in High Point.
    Credit Jeff Tiberii

    Across the state thousands of high school students will graduate this weekend. About three dozen are from the Aviation Academy at T.W. Andrews High School in Guilford County. It’s one of only a few such programs in the state preparing young men and women for careers in aeronautics and engineering. And after two classes of students, the program’s graduate rate is perfect. 


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    7:22 am
    Thu May 30, 2013

    Tablet Training Underway In Guilford County

    Jake Henry is overseeing the table program in Guilford County.
    Credit Jeff Tiberii

    Thirteen thousand students in Guilford County will receive tablets computers when they begin school this fall. Last year the county was awarded a federal “Race to the Top” grant for 30 million dollars. Now one of the largest classroom technology initiatives in US history is underway. 

    Read more
    The State of Things
    11:53 am
    Wed May 29, 2013

    How Will North Carolina Education Change?

    A student at McDougle Elementary School.
    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

    WUNC Raleigh Bureau Chief and Education Reporter Dave Dewitt updates us on education legislation

      A North Carolina House Committee approved yesterday a bill that would provide funding to low income families wanting to go to private or religious schools Host Frank Stasio talks about that and other education-related news with WUNC Raleigh Bureau Chief and Education Reporter Dave Dewitt.

    5:01 am
    Fri May 24, 2013

    The Tipping Point: Arapahoe Charter, Pamlico Schools, And ‘Choice’ In Rural NC

    Arapahoe Charter School in Pamlico County.
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    This is a story about choice. And it starts in the lunch line at Arapahoe Charter School in Pamlico County when students choose between pizza and french fries.

    And while that choice may seem easy to make, the choice to offer it is a little more complicated.

    Charter schools aren’t required to offer meals, even to kids who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. But Arapahoe does – and sixty percent of the students here qualify.

    Read more
    5:26 am
    Tue May 21, 2013

    Proposed Board Splits Charter Advocates

    A bill to create a new Charter School Board has passed the State Senate.
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    Charter schools have been around in North Carolina for about a decade and a half, and for most of that time, the relationship between charters and traditional public schools has alternated between frosty and hostile.

    “One of the fundamental reasons for introducing charter schools is to put an element of competition into the education arena and let parents make the choice,” says Baker Mitchell. Mitchell opened his first charter school in 2000 outside of Wilmington and a second six years later; he has a third opening this fall.

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    The State of Things
    12:52 pm
    Thu May 16, 2013

    Education Power Grab In Wake County

    WUNC's education reporter and Raleigh bureau chief Dave Dewitt gives us a legislative update

      County School Boards have long since been in charge of school construction. However, the Senate recently passed a bill that would hand over school construction to county commissioners in 10 North Carolina counties. Many people who oppose the bill argue that county commissioners may have experience building prisons but not schools. This is one bill out of many that have been progressing through the Senate recently.

    Read more
    4:40 am
    Tue May 7, 2013

    Legislators Take Aim At Local School Boards

    The General Assembly has targeted Wake and Guilford school boards for electoral changes.
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    Being on a school board is a little like being the head chef at the local Applebee’s. You don’t get to choose the ingredients and it’s not your recipe, but if someone doesn’t like the Bourbon Street Steak, you’re going to hear about it.

    In other words, school boards in North Carolina have relatively little power but plenty of responsibility. And it’s been that way for a long time.

    Read more
    4:15 am
    Mon May 6, 2013

    Charter Board Debate Intensifies

    The State Senate will debate the Charter Board bill on Tuesday.
    Credit Dave DeWitt

    The State Senate is scheduled to debate a bill tomorrow that creates a separate board to oversee the growing number of charter schools in North Carolina.

    Senate Bill 337 has gone through several revisions since it was introduced by Republican lawmakers two months ago. One of the provisions in an earlier bill, for example, removed the requirement that charter school teachers be college graduates. That requirement has since been re-instated.

    Read more
    4:49 pm
    Fri April 26, 2013

    Guilford County Students To Get Tablets

    Students in a Guilford County school classroom on computers.
    Credit Guilford County Schools

    This fall about 13,000 middle school students in the Guilford County Schools district will receive tablets. It’s part of a $30 million Race to the Top grant that Guilford won last year. Administrators and teachers will receive training from a company called Amplify in the coming months. 

    Read more
    Politics & Government
    7:37 am
    Tue April 23, 2013

    State Senate Passes Bill To Revamp Wake County School Board

    Credit NC General Assembly

    State lawmakers in the Senate have approved a bill that would change how leaders of the Wake County school board are elected.

    Senate Bill 325 would scrap the current boundaries for board seats. It would also move board elections from odd to even-numbered years, when voters choose their representatives in Congress and the General Assembly.

    Read more