Education

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North Carolina is not spending enough on education, according to a new report commissioned by Superior Court Judge David Lee. The report outlines that due to the state’s declining public education spending, public schools and academic performance are declining.

Hope in her cap and gown after graduation from Smith College.
Courtesy of Elan Hope

Elan Hope grew up in one of the wealthiest majority-African American counties in the United States: Prince George’s County, Maryland. She went to talented and gifted schools and attended a STEM-focused magnet high school.

Teachers on a sidewalk holding signs that read 'Proud Public School Teacher.'
Cole del Charco / WUNC

The 2019 legislative session ended with no compromise on teacher pay raises. Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Republican leaders’ final proposal of an average 3.9% increase, calling it “inadequate.”

Cole del Charco / WUNC

Teachers in North Carolina are going without a pay raise until at least next year.  That’s after the General Assembly and Governor couldn’t come to an agreement on a budget this past session, or even a so-called mini-budget, focused on teacher pay. 

Screen grab from an old nontheatrical film showing a young African American athlete on a field with white peers.
Courtesy of Duke University Press

Do you remember watching educational movies in elementary school? Older generations might think of the teacher setting up the 16 mm projector, while younger folks were assigned YouTube videos to watch at home.

A child supports themself in a green slide.
Courtesy of Valine Ziegler

Does homeschooling prepare children for society? Stereotypes about parents who pull their children out of school may not hold as true as they once did. For example, homeschooling is becoming less religious in North Carolina. Last school year, 58 percent of home schools registered as religious as compared to 80 percent in the 1988-89 school year.

SEAN HOBSON / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Exhausted by the longest legislative session since 2001, state lawmakers are pushing through piecemeal spending measures as the full budget sits in the senate. Governor Cooper signed off on raises for most state employees, but public school teachers as well as staff at state universities and community colleges are still waiting.

Randall Munroe / Riverhead Books

XKCD is a stick-figure webcomic. While the drawings might be simple, the ideas explore universal concepts like romance, sarcasm, math, and language. The exchanges between stick figures can capture the imagination and attention span of a child while wading into complex astrophysics and existential dilemmas. 

Allison Swaim / WUNC

I'm in the 11th grade at Riverside High School, and I'll begin attending Durham Tech this year. I intend to graduate, and I've never considered dropping out. That's because I know I have a great opportunity in this country that my parents never had.

Using Music To Release Your Emotions

Aug 16, 2019
Ismael Luna-Cornejo in the WUNC studios in Durham.
Allison Swaim / WUNC

Every Friday night at 9:19 there’s a cypher on the streets of downtown Durham. You know that big bull right across from the Marriott? That’s us. We meet there to freestyle – to release - to find reprieve from your everyday routine and express your innermost feeling. 

Courtesy of Nicole Zelniker

For Maia Dery, sitting still has never been much of an option. Her teacher had her sit out in the halls to not disturb other students, and as soon as she had her precious drivers license, Dery routinely skipped school to escape to Duke Forest. As Dery says, she never did well in boxes.

A picture of sisters Emily and Brenda Merlin
Alex Granados / Education NC

More than 4,700 North Carolina students were eligible for migrant education services last year. These are the children of migrant workers who move from state to state as their parents follow seasonal crops. This frequent relocation means these students are often changing schools and even moving from one state to another. 

A child looks out a window at Knightdale High School, which has been converted into an evacuation shelter for people affected by Hurricane Florence in Knightdale, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

As Hurricane Florence flood waters continue to recede, thousands of students are still out of school in North Carolina. Estimates show this storm caused three times as much damage to the state’s schools as Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Jay Price / WUNC

Each summer, teens from diverse backgrounds pitch, report and produce radio stories for the WUNC Youth Reporting Institute

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey (center-right) listens while State Superintendent Mark Johnson gives his monthly address to the board.
Jess Clark / WUNC

On Thursday, State Board of Education Chair Bill Cobey submitted his resignation. His resignation will go into effect in September, six months before his term as chair was set to end. This move comes after State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson shared his reorganization of the State Department of Public Instruction. 

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey (center-right) listens while State Superintendent Mark Johnson gives his monthly address to the board.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Tension between State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the State Board of Education has not improved since the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in a case between the two. If anything, the tension is rising.

Several hands of different colors raised.
John LeMasney / Creative commons

A controversial charter school bill passed in the General Assembly on Wednesday. The bill would allow four municipalities outside Charlotte to run their own charter schools.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

A state senate committee has approved a bill giving four North Carolina communities the power to create their own charter schools. Critics say the legislation would re-segregate public schools in those areas.

Photo of the NC state senate chambers
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked new voting maps for Wake and Mecklenburg counties. The districts are in the state’s two most populous counties, and the decision comes just days before candidates are set to start filing for office.

child and man playing chess outdoors
Frankie Torres / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/agWs9r

Human beings have been learning long before schoolhouse walls were ever built, bubble tests invented and recess bells rung. So why is there still so much confusion and debate about the purpose of school, the goals of education and the best ways to empower students to succeed in life? 

Several hands of different colors raised.
John LeMasney / Creative commons

A group of education organizations is calling on states in the South to improve schools for all students and to do so at a faster pace. Their report out Tuesday identifies widening gaps in achievement between wealthy, white students and their black, Latino and low-income classmates.

My Teacher: Keeping the Class Together

Oct 23, 2017
Kimani Hall / WUNC

WUNC's My Teacher Series explores student-teacher relationships across North Carolina and tries to find out what it takes to make a connection in the classroom.

My Teacher: How We've Changed

Oct 18, 2017
Teacher Lisa Covington and Student Rayna Haque
Kimani Hall / WUNC

WUNC's My Teacher Series explores student-teacher relationships across North Carolina and tries to find out what it takes to make a connection in the classroom.

My Teacher: How Your Class Moved Us

Oct 6, 2017
Kimani Hall / WUNC

WUNC's My Teacher Series explores student-teacher relationships across North Carolina and tries to find out what it takes to make a connection in the classroom.

My Teacher: Learning To Love English

Oct 1, 2017
Kimani Hall / WUNC

WUNC's My Teacher Series explores student-teacher relationships across North Carolina and tries to find out what it takes to make a connection in the classroom.

My Teacher: Drama In Our Lives

Sep 27, 2017
Kimani Hall / WUNC

WUNC's My Teacher Series explores student-teacher relationships across North Carolina and tries to find out what it takes to make a connection in the classroom.

My Teacher: Textbook Teaching

Sep 25, 2017
Kimani Hall / WUNC

WUNC's My Teacher Series explores student-teacher relationships across North Carolina and tries to find out what it takes to make a connection in the classroom.

Katie Wyatt poses with children from the program she co-founded, Kidznotes.
Ken Demery Photography

Katie Wyatt first fell in in love with classical music when she joined her school’s orchestra in third grade. Wyatt played the viola and appreciated being part of a group that created art together. Wyatt was a military kid, so her family moved around about every four years. But no matter where she lived, Wyatt found a way to plug into her community through music. 

My Teacher: Art That's Everywhere

Sep 18, 2017
Kimani Hall / WUNC

WUNC's My Teacher Series explores student-teacher relationships across North Carolina and tries to find out what it takes to make a connection in the classroom.

Jocelyn Casanova
Courtesy of Jocelyn Casanova

Joceyln Casanova grew up in North Carolina and was a high achiever who dreamed of going to college and becoming a lawyer. A few days before she graduated from high school near the top of her class, a college interviewer revealed a secret her parents had kept from her her whole life: Jocelyn was undocumented. 

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