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


    4:24 pm
    Fri May 16, 2014

    Judge: Law Repealing Teacher Tenure Is Unconstitutional

    Credit SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

     A Wake County superior court judge ruled Friday that a state law ending teacher tenure is unconstitutional, arguing the state cannot take away the due process rights of teachers.  

    Judge Robert Hobgood ordered a permanent injunction against the law, which would eliminate career status – commonly known as teacher tenure – by 2018. His ruling also said that the law violated the constitutional protection of contracts, and the prohibition against taking a person’s property.

    Read more
    5:00 am
    Thu May 15, 2014

    McCrory Unveils Budget, Teachers Call For Bigger Raises

    Credit Wikimedia commons

    Governor Pat McCrory released his $21 billion budget on Wednesday, setting aside $262.9 million for teacher raises and state employees. 

    The governor and lawmakers have made it clear that teacher pay will be a major priority for this year’s short session, which is a time meant for lawmakers to adjust the budget approved last year. 

    Teachers held their own “day of action” on Wednesday, the first day of the session. They outlined their demands and concerns in a morning press conference held by the North Carolina Association of Educators.

    Read more
    9:49 pm
    Wed May 14, 2014

    N.C. Supreme Court Allows Voucher Program To Continue

    Credit SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

     The North Carolina Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s order to halt the state’s voucher program.

    That means the program can go on – at least for now. It’s a program that gives low-income families scholarships of up to $4,200 to help send their children to private schools.

    Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood issued an injunction earlier this year to stop the program, siding with critics who say it’s unconstitutional because the private school scholarships are funded with taxpayer dollars.

    Read more
    5:36 pm
    Fri May 9, 2014

    NC Attorneys Say Thousands Of Students Not Receiving Basic Education

    Credit Guilford County Schools

     Attorneys for some low-income school districts say the state is failing on its commitment to provide all students with a sound, basic education.

    The lawyers are asking for a hearing in August and a written plan from the state as to how it intends to meet the basic education mandate outlined in the decades-old landmark lawsuit, known as the Leandro case.

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    8:49 am
    Fri May 9, 2014

    NC State University Expands Efforts To Attract Rural Students

    Credit Scott Akerman via Flickr

    Many studies show that students in rural counties are less likely to go to college, especially four-year or private institutions. Faced with that reality, some university leaders are reconsidering how to attract students from rural communities.

    At North Carolina State University, leaders are expanding their current programs that serve and prepare high school students. Earlier this year, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received a $3 million endowment from a Raleigh couple to help rural students win admission to the university.

    Read more
    6:00 pm
    Mon May 5, 2014

    Bill Which Would Allow Students To Attend Any Public School Postponed

    State lawmakers voted on Monday to postpone a bill that would allow North Carolina students to attend any public school in the state, noting that more study is needed.

    Read more
    1:34 pm
    Wed April 30, 2014

    Sweating Over Bubbles With A No. 2 Pencil: Three Families Tell Their Stories

    Credit mom Billie Lanigan

    There's an 8-year-old boy in Fayetteville who gets worried, anxious and even angry when it comes time for testing. A middle schooler in Vass combats headaches and sleeplessness the night before a test. A 10-year-old boy in Mebane worries that he won't move on to the next grade. These are some of the stories that we heard from WUNC listeners when we posed a simple challenge online: "Kids and Testing: Tell us Your Story."

    Seamus' Story

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    Science & Technology
    9:53 am
    Mon April 28, 2014

    North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Reach Elite 8, National Academic Competition

    The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics team participates in the academic competition of the 2014 National Science Bowl, Sunday, April, 27, 2014, in Washington, DC.
    Credit Dennis Brack / U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

    A team from Durham's North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics joined 23 other schools over the weekend to compete in the 2014 National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.  During the competition, students compete in a fast-paced Jeopardy-like forum. They must quickly solve technical problems and answer questions related to science and mathematics.

    Team members include Michael An, Anne Feng, Kavi Jain, Sammy Luo, and Daniel Ren.  Their coach is Leslie Brinson.

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    8:45 am
    Fri April 25, 2014

    NC Lawmakers Propose Repeal Of Common Core Standards

    Fourth-grade teacher Rosalyn Bailey explains a math assignment to her students at Hubbard Elementary School in Nash County.
    Credit Reema Khrais

    State lawmakers say they’re hoping to throw away the Common Core standards and replace them with North Carolina’s own education standards.

    In a legislative study committee on Thursday, lawmakers proposed a bill that would create a review commission to rewrite the academics standards by December 2015. 

    The Common Core standards, initially adopted by 45 states, set high, rigorous goals for what students across the country should be able to do. Supporters of the national standards say they raise the bar in terms of what students should know – that they’re more rigorous.

    Read more
    8:48 pm
    Wed April 23, 2014

    Judge Halts Law Repealing Teacher Tenure in Durham, Guilford

    Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

    A Superior Court judge on Wednesday halted a mandate that  requires North Carolina school districts to reward their top teachers with multi-year contracts in exchange for giving up tenure.

    Guilford County and Durham Public School leaders filed a lawsuit against the new mandate earlier this year, calling it unconstitutional.  The judge issued a  preliminary injunction, which means the two school systems do not have to follow the mandate while the case is being decided.

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