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Education Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at deadline day for the Leandro public schools mandate

It’s now been nearly a quarter-century since the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Leandro lawsuit that state leaders were violating the constitutional rights of thousands of schoolchildren – particularly in the state’s poorest counties – by failing to provide them with access to a sound basic education.

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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 Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the North Carolina School of Science and Math

Beginning next year, graduates of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics will be guaranteed admission at UNC System schools. The new policy, approved at last month’s meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, will apply to all Science and Math students applying for first time admission beginning with the Fall 2022 semester.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

NC schoolchildren deserve better than childish excuses

“You can’t make me.” All of us have heard this taunt at some point during our childhood. “You can’t make me” says so much in four short words. It says, “I have the power, not you.” It says, “your interests are far less important than mine.” It’s a statement that’s selfish and demeans the less powerful.

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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 News Top Story

U.S. House committees advance ambitious education and climate initiatives

Proposals would fund universal pre-K and free community college, hasten shift to renewable energy WASHINGTON—Two important U.S. House committees advanced ambitious plans to address national education needs and the global climate emergency late last week.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

It was America’s ‘forgotten war,’ but we can’t forget the girls and women of Afghanistan

It’s been just over a week since the last U.S. troops flew out of the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, ending our 20-year war with the Taliban. It was the longest war in U.S. history — some called it “America’s forgotten war” — but the 24-hour news cycle has already turned its attention to other stories...

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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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Higher Ed News Top Story

How can a higher education scandal last for years? Money, power, and politics.

As a student reporter and editor at the Daily Tar Heel, Andy Thomason was at ground zero for the UNC-Chapel Hill “paper classes” athletics scandal that broke in 2010. He helped direct coverage at the independent student paper during the rest of his college career and followed it for the Chronicle of Higher Education after landing a reporting job there in 2014.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

As debate over masks in public schools continues, experts say the answer is clear

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is “several-fold” more transmissible than the Alpha variant, making mask mandates in schools more important than ever, a Duke University professor of pediatrics said Wednesday.  Dr. Danny Benjamin’s advice comes as most of North Carolina’s 1.5 million school children prepare to return to classrooms and school boards wrestle with whether to adopt mask mandates amid surging COVID infections.

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Education News Top Story

State superintendent’s email documents political right’s concerted effort to influence K-12 curricula

If culturally responsive teaching is promulgated in North Carolina's public schools, students will learn that math is racist.  Students who are Black, LGBTQ or of minority ethnic backgrounds will be taught that teachers are bigots.  And educators will be allowed to engage in "age-inappropriate promotion" of homosexuality.

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Education Top Story

Controversial Republican-backed school-reform model on target to be phased out

The Innovative School District (ISD), a Republican-backed school reform model that has failed to produce results, could be phased out in two years.  A provision tucked inside the state Senate's proposed 2021-2023 budget calls for North Carolina to “Transition from the Innovative School District Model” and end plans to select additional schools for the district.

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