The A-F school grades endgame: Improving public schools or paving the way for charters?

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When North Carolina launched its new A-F school grading system in early February, the cacophony of cries that came with it centered on the stigma and inequity inherent in labeling schools with letter grades. High poverty schools whose students are at a disadvantage when it comes to standardized tests received D’s and F’s; wealthier schools [Continue Reading…]


Public money for private schools: Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of vouchers

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State Supreme Court justices refused to let a surprise snowstorm force yet another rescheduling of arguments in the private school voucher case, opening the courtroom on time Tuesday morning to a less-than-full gallery. Determined to resolve challenges to the state’s recently enacted “Opportunity Scholarship Program” long before the next school year begins, the [Continue Reading…]


Local school districts submit plans to the General Assembly for differentiated teacher pay pilot

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Seventy five of North Carolina’s 115 school districts have submitted teacher compensation proposals to the General Assembly with the hope of participating in a pilot program that would reward highly effective teachers with bonuses. The pilot, “Differentiated Pay for Highly Effective Teachers,” comes at a time when the state is facing what [Continue Reading…]


UNC Poverty Center facing closure, as university system leaders finish review of centers

Jim Holmes of the UNC Board of Governors talks Wednesday with Ted Shaw of UNC's civil rights center.

Three centers in the university system – including a poverty research center run by an outspoken law professor —   should be shut down, according to recommendations approved Wednesday by a special committee of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was the most well-known among the three [Continue Reading…]


Death to the Map Act

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Court of Appeals says DOT must pay owners for land taken for proposed road projects Michael Hendrix had a contract to sell eight of his 24 acres of land at Old Hollow and Germanton Roads in Winston-Salem for more than a million dollars in early 1998. But because the state Department of Transportation [Continue Reading…]


Suing for support? Cash-strapped courts ponder next move

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The legislative session may be young, but already some state lawmakers are talking about making state court funding a priority. Certainly that’s news, given how the judicial branch has been passed over during budget negotiations in recent years. Perhaps that’s because they’re listening to their like-minded conservative Chief Justice, Mark Martin. The court [Continue Reading…]


School privatization agenda pushes forward as concerns over accountability grow

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Vouchers. Charter schools. Virtual charter schools. These are some of the leading examples of school choice – a catchy phrase referring to what others call education reform or, more simply put, school privatization –and the movement has most definitely made inroads in North Carolina. Students can now use taxpayer dollars to attend private [Continue Reading…]


Fewer education majors, and worries about where tomorrow’s teachers will come from

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Finding teachers for North Carolina’s classrooms may be an increasingly difficult endeavor, as the ranks of those looking to become teachers dwindles. North Carolina’s public university system saw a steep enrollment decline in the last four years in undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, amounting to a 27 percent drop from 2010 to 2014. [Continue Reading…]