Education

This section collects Education stories from WUNC News & other sources.

Washington Duke statue on East campus with Tulips, springtime
Bill Snead / c/o Duke University

A solid stock market and donations helped push university endowments to new heights last year.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill’s new leader has denounced yearbook photos from the 1970s depicting fraternity members from the university dressed in blackface. The photos surfaced yesterday and have since caused outrage on social media.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has a new interim chancellor.

Don Harder / Flickr/ www.flickr.com/photos/dharder9475/5396413821

In 2018, Durham mother Fatimah Salleh repeatedly listened to her son complain about his experience during in-school suspension, or ISS. The program is much like detention: Students spend the day in a classroom, and they are instructed to plug away quietly at school work. Curious about her son’s experience, Salleh decided to accompany him for a day to see for herself what ISS looked like at Durham School of the Arts

The crowd in the Annie Merner Pfieffer Chapel sing Bennett College's "Preference Song" as they celebrate that they raised $8.2 million in their Stand With Bennett campaign.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

Cheers and screams erupted from inside the Annie Merner Pfieffer Chapel on Bennett College's campus after President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins announced Monday that the school raised $8.2 million in its "Stand with Bennett" fundraising campaign.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

Carol Folt steps down today as chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill, a role she's held for six years. Her replacement has not yet been announced.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

Dozens of UNC-Chapel Hill students gathered at the Carolina Union yesterday to say goodbye to  Chancellor Carol Folt, who steps down tomorrow.

Bennett College, HBCU
Leoneda Inge

The clock is ticking for Bennett College. The historically-black women’s college aims to raise $5 million by Friday, Feb. 1 to help save its accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted to revoke Bennett’s accreditation last month over concerns the school is not fiscally sound and financially stable enough to keep its doors open. 

A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
Alex Kolyer / For WUNC

Preventing teachers and researchers from being distracted by problems swirling around North Carolina's public universities - including an ideological divide over the future of a Confederate memorial on the flagship campus - is a top priority for the 17-campus system's interim president, he said Friday.

Bennett College has received two $500,000 donations in its #StandWithBennett campaign.

This brings the all-women’s historically black college closer to its fundraising goal of $5 million to help save the school’s accreditation.

A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
Alex Kolyer / For WUNC

As Silent Sam – and its remnants – sit in an undisclosed location somewhere on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, a small group of people are working behind the scenes to determine its future.

UNC Trustees
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Despite a second long, closed-door meeting in the span of a few days, the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees has yet to announce the selection of an interim chancellor.

From left to right, Holly Whistler with her daughter, 8 year-old MacKenzie Whistler. MacKenzie is switching schools in the middle of the third grade because her charter school closed in December.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Eight year-old MacKenzie Whistler had a rough start to her Christmas break. She had just found out that she would not be returning to her new school, Global Achievers School in Rocky Mount, this January.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the Department of Public Instruction are taking steps to reduce the amount of time North Carolina students spend taking standardized tests. Johnson says the moves are meant to help relieve stress on students.

Bennett College has raised $1.5 million so far in its "I Stand with Bennett" campaign. The school's accreditation status has been revoked but officials are appealing that decision.

Activists gathered in downtown Chapel Hill on Jan. 15, 2019 to celebrate the removal of the Silent Sam pedestal.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Activists gathered Tuesday night for what they called a victory party across the street from the now-empty ground on which the Confederate statue known as "Silent Sam" once stood. Attendees chatted over free pizza and Kendrick Lamar’s "Humble."

Graduate student Lindsay Ayling speaks to a couple dozens activists about outgoing Chancellor Carol Folt's decision to remove the Silent Sam pedestal from campus.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt will leave her post at the end of the month. In a university wide email on Monday, she first announced she would leave this spring. But after the UNC Board of Governors called an emergency meeting, the board moved up her resignation to January 31.

Folt’s tenure came amidst an ongoing battle over Silent Sam, the Confederate monument in McCorkle Place that was torn down by protesters in August. 

A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
Alex Kolyer / For WUNC

Members of the UNC Chapel Hill faculty are trying to secure a say in new deliberations about Silent Sam, the Confederate monument protesters tore down from the campus last August. But it’s unclear whether or not, and to what extent, they will be given one.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

North Carolina's Read to Achieve program, enacted by the General Assembly in 2012, is continuing to get lackluster results. The program is a statewide intervention for third grade students who are not proficient in reading. Struggling students are placed in summer reading camps, receive other specialized instruction, and could be held back if they do not pass an alternative test.

A photo take on December 2, 2018 shows barricades surrounding the pedestal where the Silent Sam statue once stood.
Alex Kolyer / For WUNC

Some UNC Chapel Hill graduate students are asking their classmates to boycott upcoming meetings with a university dean.

The entrance to the Wake County Public Schools administration office.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Public school enrollment in Wake County grew by just 42 students this year. That's nearly 2,000 students less than county officials had projected. The decline in growth is in line with trends seen across the state and country.

Houston Kidd takes a break from his job as a naval recruiter to read from his children's book, Willow The Water Bear, which was recently selected to be read by an astronaut at the International Space Station.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a sunny December day, Houston Kidd sits in an empty computer lab at the U.S. naval office near N.C. State, where he recently started working as a recruiter. Kidd is dressed in camouflage fatigues, reading from his first and only book, so far, Willow the Water Bear.

a street sign with the words education and future on them
Creative Commons/TCODL

 

Note: This segment is a rebroadcast from January 16, 2018. 

Education equity is becoming a popular phrase among educators, but what does it mean, and what is North Carolina doing to provide a sound education to both privileged and disadvantaged students? Nonprofit news organization EdNC explores the topic in their new documentary series “Equity Meets Education,” a story told through the eyes of four African-American leaders. 

West Lumberton Elementary teacher June Hunt helps second grader Niveah Barnes with a grammar assignment in their temporary classroom at Lumberton Junior High. Flooding from Hurricane Matthew destroyed the home where NIveah was living.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Note: This segment is a rebroadcast from January 16, 2018. 

A study from the Public School Forum of North Carolina confirms a large and growing gap in public school funding between the wealthiest and the poorest counties. The study found that in 2015-2016, the 10 highest spending counties spent $2,364 more per student than the 10 lowest-spending counties, and the gap has increased every year since 2011.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham is part of the University of North Carolina System.
NCSSM

For students at the North Carolina School of Science and Math, the future is now. An alum has given $2 million to start an artificial intelligence and machine learning program at the public boarding school in Durham.

Kimberleigh Thomas is a student at Wake Tech Community College pursuing her associate's degree in social work. The college's program Fostering Bright Futures is helping her pursue a degree after aging out of the foster care system.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Kimberleigh Thomas knows from experience how hard it is to move forward after aging out of foster care.

“I didn't know what I wanted to do at 18,” Thomas said. “At 18, I wanted to be free -- but how to support myself, I didn't know how to do that.”

Thomas was living in a group home then. She'd been in four foster homes since she was 16 years old. Now she's pursuing an associate’s degree in social work at Wake Tech Community College.

Second graders in Jenna Parkers class at Edwin A. Anderson Elementary School reflect on their experiences of the past week on the first day back to school since Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington.
Michael Cline Spencer / For WUNC

Education and school safety were top of mind both locally and nationally this year. WUNC reporters Liz Schlemmer and Lisa Phillip covered everything from the Silent Sam protests to the student-led walkouts after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Pedro Hespanha / Flickr Creative Commons

A law that allows for town-run charter schools in four Charlotte suburbs has been criticized because it could lead to more racially segregated schools in that area. Now, a bill to offer state pensions to teachers at those proposed schools could make it easier for the model to spread to more cities.

That bill (S469) is on the governor’s desk awaiting veto or signature.

Courtesy of North Carolina Business Committee for Education

“New collar jobs” is a phrase that’s starting to get batted around a lot in career and technical education. These are high paying jobs that require specialized training, but not necessarily a four-year degree. And they include growing industries like cyber-security.

Protesters crowd around the entrance of the UNC Center for Leadership Development where the Board of Governors will meet this morning to discuss the fate of a controversial Confederate monument known as Silent Sam.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Updated 3:20 p.m.

The board overseeing North Carolina's public universities has rejected the UNC Trustees' plan for a center to house a Confederate statue known as Silent Sam on the Chapel Hill campus.

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