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 Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the effectiveness of TV learning during the pandemic

After schools closed to in-person instruction in March 2020, PBS North Carolina (then known as UNC-TV) provided students learning from home with broadcast and online educational content aligned as closely as possible to the NC Standard Course of Study.  Curated materials – content created by others – were used during what the NC Department of Public Instructions and PBS North Carolina officials called Phase 1 of the ambitious At Home Learning Initiative.

  The second phase began in August 2020 with North Carolina teacher-generated content supporte ...
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Education News Top Story

Johnston County school board acquiesces to demands of Board of Commissioners

Conservative push to control how history is taught results in new policy directive Satisfied with a policy revision banning Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Johnston County Public Schools, County Commissioners on Monday unanimously agreed to release $7.9 million in new school funding commissioners withheld over the summer because the district had no such prohibition in place.

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Education News Top Story

Push to comply with Leandro mandate for state’s schools gains momentum

Showdown with resistant General Assembly looms as gubernatorial commission urges implementation of court-approved plan Flush with cash, the state of North Carolina owes its children “nothing less” than a fully funded Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan, the Governor's Commission on Access to a Sound Basic Education unanimously agreed Tuesday.

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Education Top Story

NC public schools seek to cope with a big influx of homeless students

Additional federal funds are helping, but locals fear being swamped as evictions multiply A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month struck down a federal moratorium on evictions, threatening to displace thousands of North Carolina’s K-12 students whose families can no longer pay their rents.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Cawthorn, conservatives urge Johnston County school board to end mask mandate

With nearly 200 active COVID cases among students and staff, board will revisit mask mandate Monday

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn was more than 300 miles from his congressional district on Tuesday, arriving in Smithfield to ostensibly speak against the school district's mask mandate.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the state’s school facility needs

North Carolina has a nearly $13 billion backlog in new school construction and renovations, according to the 2020-21 Facility Needs Survey.  The backlog represents an increase of more than $4 billion over the $8 billion reported in the Facility Needs Survey five years ago. 

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Sobering test results confirm pandemic’s toll on state’s schoolchildren

State test results show that student learning suffered greatly last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer than half of students – 45.4% – in grades K-12 passed state reading, math and science exams during the 2020-21 school year.  The much-anticipated scores were released this week during the State Board of Education’s regular meeting.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

As new school year gets underway, educators grapple with the COVID mask mandates

Tuesday morning was warm and muggy. Eyeglasses above tightly fitted masks fogged over with each breath.  At Bethesda Elementary School in Durham, students, teachers and staff members all complied with the district’s mandate to wear masks while indoors. It was the first day of classes for thousands of Durham Public Schools students who attend schools operating on a traditional calendar. Most of the state’s 1.5 million students started classes this week. 

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Education News Top Story

Republicans renew effort to limit what can be taught in public school classrooms

Lt. Gov. Robinson reports on complaints to oversight task force, while Senate committee approves controversial legislation White shaming, "sexualization" of children and Critical Race Theory are among six overarching themes Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says emerged during his recently completed examination of North Carolina schools.

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Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Government watchdog files ethics complaint against powerful state lawmaker

Chair of two House education committees failed to disclose his wife's connection to charter school Rep. John Torbett, chairman of the state’s influential House Education K-12 Committee, is the target of a Legislative Ethics Committee complaint alleging the Gaston County Republican failed to disclose that his wife serves on a charter school board that receives state funding.

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