Archives by: Greg Childress

Greg Childress

About the author

Greg Childress, Education Reporter,
joined Policy Watch in December 2018 after nearly 30 years at The Herald-Sun of Durham, where he spent his last five years covering the Durham Public Schools, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Schools. Greg also covered city and county governments in Durham and Orange counties, higher education and spent 10 years as an associate editorial page editor.
greg@ncpolicywatch.com
919-861-2066

Greg Childress's articles and posts

COVID-19 Education Top Story

The ‘new normal’: With schools closed, Durham educators focus on feeding students, families

The weather was unkind Monday, the first day Durham Public Schools offered lunches to thousands of students forced to stay home due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Temperatures dipped into the mid-40s after a mild weekend, and a cold rain was heaviest between 10:30 a.m., and noon, when meals and educational materials are offered to families across the district.

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News Top Story

Displaced Durham Housing Authority residents struggle to adjust to new normal under COVID-19 threat 

Valencia McQueen had her hands full Tuesday at Millennium Hotel in Durham. Tevin, a busy three-year-old who folks a generation ago would have described as "all boy," was giving McQueen all that she could handle.  “They don’t have a playground, so he plays in the room, or we go into the hallway or come down to the lobby,” said McQueen, who spent the better part of an interview with Policy Watch chasing Tevin up and down the long, carpeted hallway just inside the hotel’s entrance.

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Education Top Story

It’s going to take being ‘about that life’ to reduce school suspensions

NC education leaders call for better data, improved training and awareness to promote racial equity in schools Educators must be “about that life” to reduce school suspensions for children of color, State Board of Education (SBE) member James Ford recently told his colleagues. That means, among other things, beefing up the state’s "consolidated data report" to include specific incidents that result in suspensions for Black, Hispanic, Native American and mixed-race children at disproportionate rates when compared to their white counterparts, Ford said. 

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Education Top Story

Superintendent Mark Johnson picks a new fight with the State Board of Education

Tensions rise over new contract controversy A day after finishing a distant third in a bid to become the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, state schools Superintendent Mark Johnson took a jab at State Board of Education (SBE) colleagues over a contract he contends was improperly administered. SBE members have been critical of Johnson’s handling of contracts, most recently his controversial “emergency purchase” of services from Istation to continue K-3 reading assessments.

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Education Top Story

Guilford County Schools initiative to help eligible 17-and 18-year-olds vote riles GOP critics

Superintendent lauds program designed to help students become "lifelong voters" School field trips designed to teach eligible students in the Guilford County Schools (GCS) about the electoral process by busing them to polling sites to vote has Greensboro embroiled in a philosophical debate about the role of schools in the political process.

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Education Top Story

School advocacy group: N.C. must meet Leandro requirement of “sound, basic education”

A public schools advocacy group is calling on North Carolina leaders to take “immediate and intentional action” to meet the state’s constitutional obligation to provide children with a "sound, basic education."  That was the clear message delivered Tuesday by the nonpartisan Public School Forum of North Carolina, which released its annual list of education priorities to inform state lawmakers and educators as they consider K-12 policy decisions this year. 

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Education Top Story

Struggling NC charter school on ‘life support’; state officials could soon pull the plug

A troubled North Carolina charter school is essentially on “life support’ and its leaders should pull the plug, or face the prospect of state officials doing so, if it can’t remedy acute academic, financial and management ills, the Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB) advised this week.  That assessment was directed at leaders of Essie Mae Foxx Charter School in the Rowan County town of East Spencer. The school has struggled on all fronts since it opened in August 2018. 

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Education Top Story

State legislative committee takes up teacher prep, but remains mostly silent on blockbuster Leandro report

Should North Carolina lawmakers explicitly address the recommendations contained in a detailed new report urging billions more in spending on public education? That's a question that seems sure to arise in the coming weeks and months, in light of that report's conclusion that the state is failing to meet its constitutional obligation to provide all North Carolina schoolchildren with the opportunity to receive a "sound, basic education." The report was prepared by the nonprofit research firm WestEd for the state Superior Court judge overseeing the landmark Leandro lawsuit.

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Education Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at the slowdown in teacher attrition

The State Board of Education’s “Annual Report on the State of the Teaching Profession” shows a steady decline in teacher attrition.  The board will discuss the report this week at its monthly board meeting Feb. 5-6. 

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Education Top Story

Are ‘high quality, well-prepared’ teachers the key to a sound, basic education?

As North Carolina considers ways to meet its constitutional obligation to provide children with a sound basic education, it must stop placing marginally qualified teachers in schools. That’s a conclusion reached by the Teacher Ed Work Group of the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education, which recommends the state ensure all K-12 classrooms be led by highly qualified, well-prepared teachers.

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