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


    9:52 pm
    Wed June 18, 2014

    NC Bill Asks For Donations, License Plates To Pay Teachers More

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

      State lawmakers say they want to create an education endowment fund to help pay high-performing teachers more money.

    A proposed bill passed by a Senate Education Committee on Wednesday suggests collecting money for the fund through individual and business donations, tax refunds and special license plates.

    Originally introduced by Republican Lt. Governor Dan Forest, the proposal presents a framework for an endowment and does not lay out the criteria for how the money is used.

    Read more
    10:26 pm
    Tue June 17, 2014

    Lawmakers, Advocates Look To Expand Private School Vouchers

    Parents, advocates and families gathered outside the legislative building on Tuesday to show their support for the state's private school voucher program.
    Credit Reema Khrais

      North Carolina legislative leaders, parents and advocates are looking to expand the state’s private school voucher program.

    They say they want to lift the cap so that all low-income families that applied and qualified for the program can receive help.

    The program gives families up to $4,200 in tuition money at private and religious schools. More than 5,000 families – most of them minorities - applied for the coming fall, but less than half will be randomly picked, according to leaders of Parents for Educational Freedom North Carolina.

    Read more
    Re-Mixing The News
    3:08 pm
    Tue June 17, 2014

    WUNC News Stories Get A Hip-Hop Beat At Summer Camp

    DJ A-Khan and DJ Bounce kicking it in the studio.
    Credit Ryan Levin / Beat Making Lab

    This week WUNC is partnering with The Beat Making Lab in Chapel Hill on a free summer camp for high schoolers where students take existing WUNC news stories, remix them, and set them to a hip-hop beat.  Called Re-Mixing The News, the camp runs through June 20.

    Read more
    7:50 am
    Tue June 17, 2014

    Moral Monday Protesters Sing And Chant In Legislative Building; 19 Arrested

    Protesters gathered outside the Senate chamber on Monday to demonstrate against policies they say are regressive.
    Credit Protesters gathered outside the Senate chamber to demonstrate against policies they say are regressive.

    Nineteen Moral Monday protesters were arrested yesterday after demonstrating in the legislative building against budget proposals and policies passed by Republican-led General Assembly.

    Dozens of protesters stomped, danced, and chanted at the very tops of their lungs, days after a superior court judge struck down new rules that prohibit loud activities and noises that would cause disturbances. The Wake County judge on Friday argued that the rules were unconstitutional, overly broad and vague.

    Read more
    7:55 am
    Fri June 13, 2014

    Military Officers Urge Lawmakers To Keep Common Core Standards

    Retired generals from North Carolina urged state lawmakers on Thursday not to derail the Common Core standards.

    A group of retired generals is advising lawmakers not to support legislation that would get rid of the Common Core academic standards.

    The group Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids says the standards will help ensure the success and strength of the military by better preparing students who choose to serve. Military officers say about 23 percent of graduates looking to enroll don’t pass entrance exams in math, literacy and problem solving.

    Read more
    1:41 pm
    Thu June 12, 2014

    [Multimedia] Outspoken: The State of Teaching in North Carolina

    For the past several months, WUNC has been working on a new multimedia project on the state of teaching. A sort of "End-Of-The-School Year" report on education in the state. That report, "Outspoken: The State of Teaching in North Carolina" is out today. 

    In it, teachers tell stories that show the complexity of their jobs. Like Chris Reagan, who has had to prepare middle schoolers for both standardized tests... and how to go on a date:

    Read more
    12:51 pm
    Thu June 12, 2014

    Chapel Hill Crossing Guard Marks 15th Year On The Corner

    Sim Bowden has worked this corner in Chapel Hill since 1999.
    Credit Carol Jackson

    Every weekday, Sim Bowden manages the pedestrians at the intersection outside of Estes Hills Elementary in Chapel Hill. He's there for an hour and fifteen minutes each morning and afternoon, shepherding kids and adults safely across the busy street. Watching him is mesmerizing. His hand is usually in the air -- he waves to everyone, cars, trucks, school buses. And everyone seems to know Sim.

    "Hello, cutie," shouts a mom in a silver SUV.

    Today is the last day of school in Chapel Hill, and it also marks the end of Sim's fifteenth year working this corner.

    Read more
    4:52 pm
    Wed June 11, 2014

    Senate Bill Would Require Charter Schools To Disclose Salaries

    Credit WUNC File Photo

    A Senate Education Committee has approved a bill that makes certain that charter schools are subject to the same public records and open meetings laws as traditional public schools.

    The bill comes at a time when charter schools are thriving in North Carolina - 26 new schools are set to open in the fall.

    Charter schools are run by private nonprofit boards, but get public money from the state. For that reason, lawmakers say charter schools should be bound by the same state public record laws as traditional schools.

    Read more
    8:21 am
    Wed June 11, 2014

    House Budget Proposes Looking To Lottery Sales To Pay For Teacher Raises


    State House Republicans released a proposed budget on Tuesday that is significantly different than the Senate's spending plan in terms of education. House leaders say they want to give all public school teachers raises without making them give up their job protections.

    They're also looking to pull from lottery money to pay for those raises, instead of making cuts to public education. 

    Read more
    10:33 am
    Tue June 10, 2014

    'The Teacher Couch Summit,' Tweet By Tweet

    Senate Leader Phil Berger takes an impromptu meeting with Moral Monday protesters.
    Credit Reema Khrais

    Monday night, 15 Moral Monday protesters sat in front of Senate Leader Phil Berger’s door.  Berger wasn't in his office, so the protesters sat there until the Senate session ended. Soon, State Capitol Police began to usher everyone out. They said that the building was closing, everyone had to leave. Reporter Dave DeWitt was with the protesters. He wrote about what happened next this way:

    Read more