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.
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Greg Childress's articles and posts

Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at charter schools in North Carolina

The charter school movement began in earnest in North Carolina in 1997 when 34 schools opened across the state. There are now 200 charter schools in operation.  The 1996 Charter School Act that established the system of tuition free, public schools that are not bound by many of the rules as traditional public schools was sponsored by Sen. Wib Gulley, a Democrat from Durham and Rep. Steve Wood, a Guilford County Republican.

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Education Top Story

Charter school waitlist data is inflated; exact number of students is unknown

A report touting 76,000 names on charter school waiting lists across North Carolina could give the wrong impression about demand for charters. It’s true that interest and enrollment have grown in charters, which are public schools but free of many of the rules and regulations traditional public schools must follow.

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Education News Top Story

PW special report – The battle for Alamance part 3: A school system in which racial divisions and inequities persist

Nearly 40 years ago, Yolanda Strickland felt the sting of racism for the first time. She was 10, a fourth-grader at Haw Elementary School in Alamance County. Her “best friend” rescinded an invitation to a sleepover after the friend’s parents learned that Strickland was Black.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Decision to reopen schools forces resignation of popular Durham teacher who’d been teaching from overseas

Supporters' pleas for school district to allow Jordan High chorus teacher to continue virtual instruction prove unsuccessful     Late last year, Corrine Huber gambled big when she decided to accompany her husband to Denmark for his work.  At the time, it seemed like a safe bet for the Durham Public Schools’ chorus teacher. The Board of Education had implemented remote learning for the rest of the school year.

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Education Top Story

Legislation to make autism services more accessible on the fast track at the General Assembly

Bipartisan Senate and House bills would follow lead of other states in licensing behavior analysts It’s difficult to imagine that a child being diagnosed with autism could bring relief to parents, but that’s what happened to Kyle Robinson and his wife, Bonnie.

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Education Top Story

Competing sides remain divided over details of school reopening

State Board of Ed weighs in as vetoed Senate bill remains in limbo As state Democrats and Republicans both push to reopen schools for in-person instruction, they appear as divided as ever over the common goal. The parties are in a fight over Senate Bill 37, which would require all districts to provide an in-person learning option. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed the bill on Feb. 26.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

School buildings: Essential learning centers or pandemic Petri dishes? Many Black parents feel conflicted.

Legislation would require public schools to reopen, worrying Black parents about sending their kids back during a pandemic. They also fear their kids will fall behind academically without in-person instruction. Geraldine Alshamy is well-versed in the science that says schools aren’t big spreaders of the coronavirus, if districts follow state and federal health guidance. 

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Education Top Story

Nation’s public schools must not forget ‘lost group’ from Class of 2020

Expert panel weighs in on the pandemic's devastating impact on students, how we should respond, and the practical challenges involved in reopening schools  The large number of high school graduates who did not enroll in college last fall worries Tom Kane, a professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the return to in-person instruction

The North Carolina Association of Educators says teachers shouldn’t return to classrooms until they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.  The NCAE released that statement last week as both Republican and Democratic state lawmakers urged school districts to reopen for in-person instruction, to prevent further learning loss and to address students’  social and emotional needs.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

A bitter Register of Deeds contest spurs allegations of racism in Wayne County

Dems joined with GOP to recruit write-in candidates to try to defeat disfavored Black candidates The path to victory in the 2020 Wayne County Register of Deeds contest looked as if it would be easy for Constance Coram. She had defeated incumbent and fellow Democrat Judy Harrison by a slim 145 votes in the March 3 primary.

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