Education

Education

COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Faculty, students skeptical as UNC-Chapel Hill prepares to reopen in August

At the end of an hour-long question-and-answer session with UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz Wednesday, English professor Florence Dore gave voice to what many faculty were thinking about a planned return to campus August 10. “All the data suggest people are going to get sick,” Dore said. “I guess I just don’t understand why we’re not staying online until things improve.”

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Education News Top Story

Lawmakers renew effort to assure statewide high-speed internet access

High school students in the small mountain town of Sylva have been going to extreme lengths to find an adequate place to complete their schoolwork. Because they don’t have broadband at home, these students—and thousands like them in rural North Carolina—roam their towns, searching for an internet signal so they can learn. “I have seen students sitting in their cars doing their homework trying to find somewhere with an internet signal,” Sylva Mayor Lynda Sossamon said at a press conference last week.

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Education Top Story

NC’s already dire childhood hunger problem has gotten a lot worse

State and local officials have been forced to improvise in an effort to feed hundreds of thousands of hungry kids Even before the pandemic forced schools to close in mid-March, food insecurity was a big problem in North Carolina. The state ranks 10th in the U.S. in the percentage of people — 15.1% — who at some point in the year don't know where their next meal is coming from...

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Fetzer resigns from UNC Board of Governors

Controversial conservative cites family duties, but evidence indicates other board members forced his hand Tom Fetzer, one of the UNC Board of Governors’ most combative and controversial members, abruptly resigned Wednesday morning. Fetzer announced his decision at the end of the board's regular meeting, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that he and his wife need to prioritize homeschooling their five children in Wilmington.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

NC students likely to have trouble finding health, mental health services when schools return

Experts say NC's existing shortages of nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers will be aggravated by pandemic trauma Some students — especially those who are homeless or in difficult living situations — who have been unable to go to school because of the...

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Despite controversy surrounding his biography, Ramsey elected to full term as UNC board chair

Behind the routine elections at the UNC Board of Governors this week there was drama. At the heart of the controversy: questions about Chairman Randy Ramsey’s official Board of Governors biography, which until recently said he earned a degree that he does not hold.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fetzer courts controversy again with new effort to shape ECU Board of Trustees

Tom Fetzer had a problem — again. It involved East Carolina University — again. Fetzer, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, inserted himself into yet another hiring decision about the school. This time it was the question of Van Isley’s appointment to the ECU Board of Trustees.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Newly elected education leaders pledge to resist privatization, say pandemic could change future of public schools

Tamika Walker Kelly began to hear talk about the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE) being taken over by "radicals" almost immediately after winning election to become president of the state’s largest teacher advocacy group.  It’s a description with which the Cumberland County elementary school music teacher takes issue.

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Education Top Story

PW special report – “It’s been more than long enough”: The unfulfilled promise of the Leandro ruling in Halifax County

A generation later, an original plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit hopes state leaders will finally do their constitutional duty One evening in 1994, the Pender family — Schnika, then 15, and her parents, Clarence and Isabelle, sat down to dinner, when they usually talked about school and discussed events of the day. But this conversation was unlike any other.  The conversation took place over dinner, which was when the Penders usually talked about school and discussed events of the day. 

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Pandemic bringing changes to higher education that could be long-lasting

Some say “new normal” at UNC could feature more faculty input, fewer applicants, depleted budgets and an expanded commitment to online instruction This week Eric Muller dialed in to a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty leadership video conference to wrestle ...
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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Positive virus tests spurs Durham Public Schools to cancel popular meals program

A week ago, Durham Public Schools (DPS) bus driver Gail Clay was what’s known these days as an "essential employee." That meant the work Clay did was important enough that she was expected to show up while DPS employees with less essential jobs or jobs they could perform remotely were told to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  Clay’s “essential” duties included delivering food to needy students ordered to stay home since March 13 after Durham became one of the first districts in the state to announce it would close schools to help battle the contagious and deadly virus.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

As COVID-19 disrupts many school traditions, the Class of 2020 focuses on the future

Dizni DeBerry, a Hillside High School senior in Durham, vividly remembers the week before schools closed. In mid-March, DeBerry, 18, and other students in Hillside’s vaunted drama department, after weeks of rehearsals, were preparing to perform Matilda: The Musical, a play based on the hit movie and beloved children’s book.  But students had heard rumors that Durham Public Schools could possibly close in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

College students, professors adjust to COVID-19 life

A disciplined collegiate rower, Lindsay York is used to a structured, yet social life. Last fall, the High Point native moved 1,100 miles away to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she settled in well. “I have a rowing scholarship and that kept me busy from when I first got there,” York said. “I’m used to waking up at five in the morning, getting a workout done, going to classes, then getting another workout. I had a very tight schedule. But I also developed my own little Des Moines family, my friends and my team atmosphere.”

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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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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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