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


    8:39 am
    Thu June 26, 2014

    Gov. McCrory And NC House Leaders Try To Speed Up Budget Talks With Education Plan

    Governor Pat McCrory gathered with school leaders and legislators on Wednesday to show their support for a scaled-down spending plan that focuses on teacher pay.
    Credit Reema Khrais

    State House Republicans are teaming up with Governor Pat McCrory to help speed up slow budget talks. Legislators are supposed to make adjustments to the two-year state budget by July 1, but progress has been sluggish.

    Representatives say they want to at least pass a scaled-down spending plan that focuses on teacher pay. It would give teachers an average five-percent raise without relying on funds from the lottery. 

    Read more
    6:47 pm
    Tue June 24, 2014

    State Lawmakers Begin Budget Negotiations With Looming Deadline

    Credit Dave DeWitt

    Senate and House leaders are expected to begin meeting in conference committees this week to make adjustments to the two-year budget plan. 

    They have until June 30th to resolve differences and send their spending plan to Governor Pat McCrory.

    Medicaid funding and teacher pay raises are expected to be the key sticking points in negotiations. But many Republicans, like Representative Craig Horn (R-Union), say they’re optimistic about the process.

    Read more
    Arts & Culture
    4:51 pm
    Mon June 23, 2014

    WUNC Welcomes Six Teen Reporters

    (l-r) Emmanuel Johnson, Thar Thwai, Chelsea Korynta, Jamayah Parrish, Morgan Manson, Lilli Morales
    Credit Carol Jackson

    Where do you find those stories? That is one of the most-asked question of a radio reporter. Six young people will find out the answer this summer in WUNC's 3rd annual Summer Youth Radio Institute. The Institute kicked off Monday June 23 with an ambitious goal: teach the teens to find stories in their communities and give them the tools to tell those stories on the radio.

    More than 50 young people applied to be a part of the experience. The rookie reporters hired for the six positions come from Orange, Durham and Chatham counties.

    Read more
    10:41 pm
    Thu June 19, 2014

    Teachers, Supporters Drop Off 300 Pound Petition To Lawmakers

    Teachers and supporters carried heavy cardboard boxes of petition signatures calling lawmakers to raise the teacher pay to the national average.
    Credit Reema Khrais

     A group of teachers and supporters dropped off a 61,000-signature petition to lawmakers on Thursday, demanding pay raises that do not result in destructive cuts to public education.

    They carried the 14 heavy and large cardboard boxes to the offices of Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, who are currently leading the efforts to raise teacher pay. 

    Read more
    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