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Education

Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC judge scraps UNC’s controversial “Silent Sam” settlement

An Orange County Superior Court Judge effectively scrapped the UNC System’s legal settlement with the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans Wednesday, saying the group had no legal standing to sue for ownership of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument and $2.5 million for its care. Judge Allen Baddour initially signed off on the consent judgement in the case, but when the agreement was challenged by students, faculty and alumni he said he would take another look at the details of the case.

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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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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Trustees express concern at being “drafted” by UNC Board of Governors to support GOP state budget

Fear of political retribution drives some campus leaders to play ball, keep mum When the UNC Board of Governors weighed in on the state budget stalemate last month, it didn’t just take a side in a partisan political fight between a Democratic governor and the Republican majority in the legislature. It asked the individual boards of trustees of all 16 UNC universities and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics to follow suit. This week a half-dozen trustees from those schools told Policy Watch they are uncomfortable wading into the partisan fight, but fear Republican legislative leaders will remove or fail to re-appoint them if they don’t follow orders.

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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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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Not settled yet: New voices seek to be heard as legal battles over UNC’s ‘Silent Sam’ deal heat up

A barrage of briefs were filed Wednesday in the ongoing case against UNC’s agreement to give the Silent Sam Confederate statue to the NC Division of the Sons of Confederate veterans – along with $2.5 million. A group of 88 prominent UNC-Chapel Hill alumni and donors moved to file an amicus brief in the case.

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Education Top Story

At long last, a plan to comply with Leandro education mandate takes shape

More than two decades after a landmark state Supreme Court ruling, NC moves a step closer to assuring every child access to a "sound, basic education" Superior Court Judge David Lee signed a consent order Monday in which the defendants and plaintiffs in the long running Leandro case agree to work “expeditiously and without delay” to create and implement a plan to provide North Carolina’s school children with a sound, basic education.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers – A closer look at the Silent Sam settlement and its impact

The controversial Silent Sam settlement now faces challenges from both a judge reexamining the agreement and a lawsuit claiming the UNC Board of Governors violated the state open meetings law in negotiating and approving it. As the NC division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans continues to fight to preserve the deal...

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Education Top Story

Public education battles of 2019 figure to remain front and center in 2020

The year ended with a bang on the K-12 education front in North Carolina. WestEd, an independent nonprofit research group, released a long-awaited report intended to help North Carolina meet its constitutional obligation to provide its school children with a “sound, basic education.”

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Education Top Story

A new and valuable public school or simply a business opportunity?

Local officials express concerns about scant community connections of proposed Durham charter school operator Should it matter if leaders of a large charter school planned for one county live in another?  Durham Public Schools (DPS) officials think it should. 

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Education Top Story

The lingering inequality of school discipline in North Carolina

Mark Robinson ostensibly addressed the Guilford County Board of Education, but the broad, barrel-chested man spent most of his two-minute speech in November booming at the audience instead. “Folks who sit in offices in high places and look ...
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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

National civil rights group to intervene in Silent Sam lawsuit

A national civil rights group will intervene on behalf of its clients in the lawsuit that led to the controversial settlement in which the UNC System handed over $2.5 million to the Sons of Confederate Veterans – along with the polarizing ”Silent Sam” statue.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has been talking with potential student and faculty litigants, the group’s executive director said in an interview with Policy Watch Tuesday. They plan to file this week.

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Education Top Story

State Board of Ed examines decline in teacher licensure exam pass rates

The percentage of teachers passing state licensure exams has fallen to 80 percent, leaving some members of the State Board of Education (SBE) to wonder if students are being shortchanged by ill-prepared teachers. A report shared with SBE members this week showed the passing rate on state teacher exams falling from 96% percent in 2014 to 80.2% in 2018.

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Education News Top Story

Dems battle Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over student loan forgiveness

WASHINGTON — A long-simmering feud between U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and congressional Democrats over student loan forgiveness is heating up as hundreds of thousands of borrowers continue to wait for help on loans they claim were fraudulent. DeVos narrowly avoided a congressional subpoena earlier this month after a lengthy fight with the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s literacy gap

Last week, education policymakers, researchers, foundations and corporate executives gathered for a national summit on adult literacy in Washington, D.C. The inaugural gathering hosted by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy  was designed to look at evidence-based best practices for addressing the nation's literacy crisis.

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Higher Ed Top Story

After rogue investigation of ECU scandal, UNC Board of Governors mull sanctions against one of their own

Members of the UNC Board of Governors publicly condemned member Tom Fetzer’s secret, independent investigation of East Carolina University's former interim chancellor of ECU Thursday, with some, including the board’s chair, saying consequences for his actions should be discussed.

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