Liz Schlemmer

Education Reporter

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. She has previously served as the Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting at WUNC and as the education reporter at Louisville Public Media. She holds an M.A. from the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC Chapel Hill and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Indiana University. Liz is originally from rural Indiana, where she grew up with a large extended family of educators.
 

Joe Shlabotnik/Creative Commons

North Carolinians will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday for the first time next week. Although we join 13 other states in voting that day, some pundits argue North Carolina is the key state, even “ground zero”  in this presidential election cycle.

File photo of soybeans beginning to sprout on a farm in Nashville, North Carolina, on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

North Carolina's winter weather has been unpredictable -- swinging quickly from spring-like temperatures to snow and back. If that continues, those extreme swings could affect farmers.

Police stand guard after the confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.
Gerry Broome / AP

The UNC System Board of Governors is not making any immediate decisions on what to do with the Silent Sam monument, now that it is awaiting the statue's return.

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper said he will seek a "lasting, legal solution" for the future of the statue torn down by protesters, but that it will not return to its former location at UNC Chapel Hill.

"It will not go back on campus," Roper told reporters Friday.

Steve Warren, Creative Commons License

A new study from North Carolina State University suggests that aging levees across the country might be in worse shape than inspectors realize.

UNC student De'lvyion Drew and her attorney Elizabeth Haddix celebrate after a judge voided the UNC System's settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Feb. 12, 2020.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Updated at 6:45 p.m.

A judge has voided the UNC System’s $2.5 million settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the Silent Sam statue. District Court Judge Allen Baddour heard arguments this morning from attorneys for the UNC System, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, students and alumni.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The legal battle over the UNC System’s $2.5 million settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans heads back to court Wednesday.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The UNC Board of Governors has accepted the resignation of a member of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees. The Board of Governors convened a special meeting to consider sanctions against ECU Trustees Phil Lewis and Robbie Moore for meddling in student government elections.

East Carolina University wants to be known simply as ECU.
Wikimedia Commons

 

The governing board of East Carolina University is plagued with in-fighting, as ethics complaints between warring factions of ECU’s Board of Trustees went before a committee of the UNC Board of Governors on Wednesday. 

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

A group of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are asking the UNC Board of Trustees to reconsider its ban on naming campus landmarks, in an effort to allow the renaming of buildings that honor people with racist ties.

Silent Sam
Gerry Broome / AP Photo

A group of high-profile UNC-Chapel Hill alumni are joining the fight against the UNC System Board of Governors' settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

South Building and the Old Well, UNC Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

 

 

After holding months of listening sessions across campus, students and faculty members of the UNC-Chapel Hill Campus Safety Commission announced their preliminary recommendations to a public audience on campus Tuesday night.

File photo of polling worker as she enters a polling place in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 24, 2019 as early voting began in the Republican primary election for the North Carolina 9th Congressional District, a special election that was forced after l
Chuck Burton / AP

As anyone in North Carolina knows, political ads - on television and social media - are everywhere right now.

NC School of Science and Math-Morganton

The North Carolina School of Science and Math has been aiming to open a residential campus in western North Carolina for fall of 2021, but it could be delayed by a year due to the state budget stalemate.

UNC Board of Governors in conference room
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Updated at 5:50 p.m. Jan. 18, 2020

The UNC System Board of Governors is taking the side of the Republican-led General Assembly in its budget fight with Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. The Board unanimously passed a resolution Friday urging passage of the GOP version of the budget approved by the General Assembly and vetoed by Cooper.

ThinkStock

Alamance Community College student Rosalyn Chambers knows what it feels like to have something stand in her way.

"The second day of school my car went kaput. It went out on me completely," Chambers said. "I'll never forget it."

Woman vaping holding a Juul podmod.
Courtesy of Vaping360 / vaping360.com/juul/juul-vapor-review/

While policymakers and parents are wringing their hands about how to get kids not to vape, a number of e-cigarette companies are offering college scholarships to teens. Authors of a new report in the journal Tobacco Control interpret the scholarships as a possible marketing scheme.

Democratic presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg campaigned in North Carolina on January 3, 2020
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Having declared his candidacy in November, Democratic presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg campaigned in North Carolina today. He spoke in Raleigh and Fayetteville, where he is opening field offices.

In Raleigh, he said he chose the location of his office based on its proximity to a local pizzeria, Poole'side Pies.

Silent Sam on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus is a controversial Confederate symbol.
Don McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

A Superior Court judge will reconsider the $2.5 million settlement between the UNC System and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The judge's decision today was a small victory for the UNC Chapel Hill students and professor who sought to overturn the settlement.

Liz Schlemmer

UNC-Chapel Hill students demonstrated in the rain outside a nearly empty board room Friday to show their discontent with the UNC System Board of Governors’ decision to give a neo-Confederate group $2.5 million to preserve the Silent Sam monument. None of the members of the Board of Governors were physically present at their December meeting to hear the students’ chants.

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.

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.

canned food at food bank
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The partial federal government shutdown has food bank operators nervous that they could lose food distributions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, the families they serve could also lose food benefits.

A North Carolina city has told the owner of a recently vandalized Confederate monument to remove it by Jan. 31 or face a possible lawsuit.

Four days a week, Micah Swimmer facilitates an all-day language session between young adults who are learning Eastern Band Cherokee and older, fluent speakers.

He points to the back of his classroom at the New Kituwah Academy in Cherokee, N.C. It's early September, and sheets of paper on a bulletin board display the names of 226 Eastern Band Cherokee members.

"That's all we have out of [about] 16,000 enrolled members," he says. "That's all we have left that are fluent speakers."

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study from Duke University shows that life expectancy is decreasing for Gen-Xers and older Millennials. The study comes after widely-publicized health research that shows life expectancy for white Americans has gone down for the first time in decades.

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.

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.

Derek Clark / Flickr

The Department of Public Instruction considers about 1 in 5 North Carolina teachers chronically absent, which it defines as taking 10 or more non-consecutive sick days in a school year. State education officials say chronic absenteeism is costing schools in student test scores and pay for substitute teachers.

Eric Hall is the Deputy Superintendent of Innovation at the Department of Public Instruction.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The State Board of Education has voted to add Carver Heights Elementary in Goldsboro to the Innovative School District, but the state's school turn-around model could be changing.

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