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Education Top Story

PW exclusive: Troubled charter school’s decision to hire consultant with checkered past raises concerns

A troubled charter school in the Rowan County town of East Spencer has turned to a man with a checkered financial and criminal history to help it find its footing after a rocky first year that involved parting ways with its management company and finishing the academic year thousands of dollars in the red.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Survey: Half of UNC-Chapel Hill’s female students experience some form of sexual assault

Nearly half of the female students at UNC-Chapel Hill have experienced some form of sexual assault by their fourth year at the school, a new survey of North Carolina’s flagship university says. “I was shocked to see the ...
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Education Top Story

Superintendent candidates focus on racial equity at Raleigh education forum

As the proud owner of a new restaurant, Leonardo Williams surely had other things to do this past Saturday.  But there he was, taking notes and listening closely to six state superintendent candidates who want to replace Mark Johnson in the November 2020 General election. 

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Higher Ed Top Story

Political turmoil continues to plague UNC system leadership

The already chaotic political environment of the UNC System and its Board of Governors has been further roiled by a new series of shock waves over the last two weeks that includes:

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Education Top Story

Does NC adequately prepare and test its teachers?

Kate Walsh, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has a reputation for being outspoken and provocative. She lived up to that billing this month during a visit to North Carolina to discuss strategies state education leaders can use to improve college and university programs that prepare teachers for the classroom.

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Education Top Story

A tale of two schools: One, taken over by the state, struggles. Another, controlled by locals, rebounds.

A few short years ago, Lakewood Elementary School in Durham was a low-performing school where only one in four students was proficient in reading. The school’s poor performance landed it on the list of schools for potential takeover by the state’s new Innovative School District (ISD) – a controversial initiative created by lawmakers in 2016 to allow consistently low-performing schools to be placed under the control of private operators.

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Education Top Story

Controversial school takeover program looks to reboot in 2019-’20

In one-on-one interview, new Innovative School District principal admits shortcomings of Year One, expresses confidence going forward Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in the Robeson County town of Rowland opened last August as the state’s first and only school in the new Innovative School District (ISD).

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Education Top Story

State Board of Ed embraces equity, vows to tackle racial disparities in new five-year plan

Before the State Board of Education approved its new five-year strategic plan, SBE member James E. Ford was asked to clarify the meaning of the word "equity," which is a reoccurring theme throughout the document. That proved easy work for Ford, who co-chaired the SBE Strategic Planning Committee. He’s also a professional consultant on issues of equity in education who just released a major report on the subject.

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Education Top Story

Chief Justice, Governor announce new push to break school-to-prison pipeline

GIBSONVILLE -- The tobacco fields near East Guilford High School are reminders of times bygone when getting into trouble at school meant a trip to the principal’s office, and maybe a phone call to a child’s parents. A paddling by the principal, now banned in most places, and a severe scolding at home were about the worst outcomes for a student who misbehaved.

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Education Top Story

Rowan County charter school seeks to sever agreement with Raleigh-based management firm

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter School in the Rowan County town of East Spencer recently notified the Charter School Advisory Board that it will part ways with its management firm – Raleigh-based Torchlight Academy Services (TAS) – after only one year due to poor fiscal and operational management.

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the depleted ranks at the Department of Public Instruction

There have been several high profiles departures at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in recent weeks. The two involving the state’s controversial Innovative School District (ISD) – a program that was created to improve academic performance ...
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Education Top Story

Cooper offers revised teacher pay raises, hybrid approach to funding school infrastructure needs

Senate leader slams proposed budget compromise, appears to reject further negotiation North Carolina teachers would see an average 8.5 percent pay raise by the second year of the biennium under a compromise budget proposal...

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Education Top Story

Lawmakers send controversial financial literacy mandate to the governor

Priscilla Ross works to improve financial literacy among her students in Durham. Priscilla Ross was surprised to learn students in her accounting class at Hillside High School in Durham didn’t know how to create a budget or manage a check book. And when Ross, who oversees the school’s Banking and Finance Academy, asked, students couldn’t tell her that APR stands for annual percentage rate.

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Higher Ed Top Story

In a tense political climate, UNC students reporting mental health struggles

Tamia Sanders’ voice trembled as she looked out on a large rally crowd from the steps of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library in April. She was there to talk about the ongoing opposition to the return of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument and the mistreatment of student activists by the campus police.

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Education Top Story

Despite local opposition, N.C. charter board clears two new Wake County schools

The state Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB) on Monday unanimously stood by its approval of two charters schools Wake County school officials deem are not needed. CSAB members agreed Wake officials’ concerns about Wake County Preparatory Academy and North Raleigh Charter Academy appear to reflect “philosophical” differences about the value of charters rather than fear of school re-segregation or charter saturation.

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Education Top Story

Teachers would get 3.5 percent pay raise under proposed N.C. Senate budget

Teachers would get an average 3.5 percent pay raise over the next two years under a biennium spending plan released Tuesday by state Republican leaders. The plan calls for spending $23.9 billion during the 2019-20 fiscal year, and it increases spending on public education by $1.3 billion over the next two years.

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