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


    6:28 pm
    Wed July 23, 2014

    Houston School District Back In NC, Looking For More Teachers

    Credit cybrarian77 / Creative Commons/Flickr

      The Houston Independent School District is looking to recruit more teachers from North Carolina.

    Recruiters first visited in May, where they made 12 on-the-spot offers and later hired about 8 more teachers, according to Shaleah Reed, a spokesperson from HISD.

    The district is offering $49,100 as a starting salary. North Carolina’s starting salary is among the lowest in the nation at $30,800.

    Read more
    9:45 pm
    Tue July 22, 2014

    Governor McCrory Signs Bill To Rework Common Core

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

      Governor Pat McCrory has signed a bill designed to review and potentially replace the Common Core academic standards.

    McCrory referred to the bill as a “Common Core review bill,” despite lawmakers who say that the legislation will work to replace the standards.

    Read more
    4:27 pm
    Wed July 16, 2014

    North Carolina On Its Way To Replacing Common Core


    The NC House gave final approval to a measure on Wednesday that would review and change the Common Core standards. The bill is now before Governor Pat McCrory, who says he will sign it.

    Lawmakers have argued that they want to rewrite the English and Math standards to better suit North Carolina students. They say they’re responding to critics and parents who have complained that the standards are flawed and academically deficient.

    Read more
    9:40 am
    Tue July 15, 2014

    The Downside For School Districts When Large Teacher Raises Are Enacted

    Credit WUNC File Photo

    State lawmakers still can’t come to an agreement over how large of a pay raise they want to give public school teachers.

    House leaders want to give teachers an average six percent raise, while Senate leaders want to give them about 11 percent. But the Senate plan would cut more than 6,000 teacher assistant jobs to help pay for that larger salary boost. 

    It’s a concession that many school leaders say they can’t get behind. They want raises, but not by laying off thousands of teacher assistants.

    Read more
    Politics & Government
    11:07 am
    Mon July 14, 2014

    Lawmakers To Spend At Least Another Week On State Budget

    Credit Matthew Lenard

    House and Senate leaders are back in Raleigh today to try to resolve large differences in their spending plans for the year. 

    They're now two weeks past their deadline, as they've been at odds over how much to pay teachers and at what cost. Senators want to give large raises of about 11 percent, but they would pay for them in part by cutting more than 6,000 teacher assistants. 

    House leaders have been adamant about providing more modest raises without laying off any educators or impacting the state's Medicaid health insurance program.

    Read more
    10:08 am
    Mon July 14, 2014

    Why Teacher Pay Matters Even If You Are Not a Teacher [Interactive Map]

    Interactive county map with Wake County highlighted.
    Credit Keith Weston

    Even the most informed citizens sometimes lose track of all the chatter that’s going on in the General Assembly. Fights between Republicans and Democrats, the Governor and fellow Republicans, teachers and legislators – at some point, for even the most insatiable news junkie, it devolves into just so much noise.

    Read more
    Arts & Culture
    3:10 pm
    Sun July 13, 2014

    Teens 'Remix' The News: World Cup, Controversial Shooting Range And More

    Sadie Zimet working at the Chapel Hill Beat Making Lab
    Credit Beat Making Lab

    Area teens have been listening to radio news stories and remixing them with original hip hop beats. Remixing the News is a partnership between WUNC and the Beat Making Lab

    The teens are  from area high schools including Chapel Hill High, East Chapel Hill High, and Research Triangle High. They met regularly after school throughout the spring and then completed a week-long summer workshop.

    Read more
    4:58 pm
    Thu July 10, 2014

    North Carolina Senate Approves Bill Repealing Common Core

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

    The Senate voted 33-12 on Thursday for a bill that would likely get rid of most – if not all – of the Common Core academic standards.

    “It will put these standards in North Carolina’s hands,” said Republican Senator Jerry Tillman.

    The House and Senate chambers approved separate bills earlier this session that would create commissions to rework the math and language arts standards. The most recent vote was on a compromise bill that closely resembles the Senate version.

    Read more
    8:35 am
    Thu July 10, 2014

    Lawmakers Agree On Lottery, Still Divided On Teacher Pay

    Credit Dave DeWitt

    Republican lawmakers have been moving slowly on state budget negotiations. They finally reached a compromise Wednesday on how much revenue they will rely on from the state lottery. But that came after hours of finger-pointing and debate over other education issues, including teacher pay.

    Before negotiations even began on Wednesday morning, the mood felt sour. Senate leaders weren’t happy that the House had invited school leaders to argue against cutting teacher assistant jobs. Senator Harry Brown objected before the guests could even make their way to the podium.

    Read more
    Politics & Government
    6:08 pm
    Tue July 8, 2014

    Budget Writers Working, But End Not In Sight Yet

    Credit Dave Crosby / flickr

      Budget writers in the General Assembly are moving forward with their negotiations, but it's still not clear when they might finish putting together a spending plan adjustment for the fiscal year that has already begun.

    In an open conference committee Tuesday afternoon, legislators didn't reach an agreement on the size of teacher raises, though Senate budget writers have agreed to allow teachers to receive raises without forgoing career status protections. 

    Read more