Lisa Miller

Reporter

Lisa Miller traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE.  She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio.  Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.  She covers several different areas with a focus on education. 

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Education
8:54 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Morrison Wants CMS To Collaborate With Private And Charter Schools

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, private and charter schools don’t have much of a history of working together.  But CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison wants that to change. 

A few weeks ago, Charlotte Catholic High School principal Jerry Healy got an invitation from CMS.  The district wanted to meet with private and charter schools to talk about ways to collaborate.  He was surprised.  

“The agendas don’t seem to really match and in the past we’ve probably been looked on as the adversary, the people that are pulling our kids away,” says Healy. 

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Education
6:07 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Iredell-Statesville And Guilford County Schools Win Race To The Top Grants

Two North Carolina school districts have won a combined $50 million worth of federal Race to the Top grants.  Guilford County and Iredell-Statesville schools will use the money to add technology to classrooms. 

In the past, Race to the Top money has gone to states.  This is the first time individual districts got the chance to apply for the grants.  The U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to sixteen districts across the country with plans to customize student learning.  

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Education
5:05 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Kennedy Charter Has Another Chance

The state advisory council which monitors charter schools has decided to give Kennedy Charter in south Charlotte another chance, despite the school’s low test scores.  That decision hinges on a plan to move the school to the campus of Johnson C. Smith University. 

Every few years, charter schools in North Carolina have to go before a group of charter school administrators, board members, and educators.  They have to make their case for why they should be allowed to continue to operate. 

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Environment
5:18 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

State Board Rejects Call For Coal-Ash Clean Up

Duke and Progress Energy will not have to clean up seepages from fourteen coal ash ponds, according to a ruling from the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission.  Several environmental groups including the Riverkeeper Foundation say the utilities are breaking state rules by not stopping their coal ash ponds from leaking into ground water.   

Commission chairman Steve Smith says the vote was 9-to-2 in favor of Duke and Progress.

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Education
9:19 am
Thu December 6, 2012

NC Board Of Education Consider Policies For Online Charters

North Carolina has no online charter schools, but the state is getting ready for them.  The state board of education is considering a list of policies to guide these schools.  It includes paying them less per student than a regular charter and capping the student to teacher ratio.

Online charters are not your typical schools.  For one, there’s often no schoolhouse.  You can do all your learning from a screen at home.  Science, Math, English classes are all online. There are teachers, but usually class sizes are much larger than at a regular brick-and-mortar school. 

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Transportation
5:29 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Widening Of Southern Stretch Of I-485 To Begin This Spring

Those who regularly battle traffic on the southern stretch of I-485 have some good news.  The interstate will grow to three lanes in each direction by the end of 2015.  That’s a full year ahead of schedule. 

The southern section of I-485 from I-77 to Rea Road can be a headache at rush hour.  Tim Timmerman knows it well since he lives nearby. 

“It’s bumper to bumper and your fair share of bumper jumpers and little accidents and everything,” says Timmerman.   

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Politics
9:25 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Isn't The Election Over? Then, What's With The Hagan Ad?

American Petroleum Institute's ad featuring Sen. Hagan
Credit Courtesy of American Petroleum Institute

Just when you thought the political ads were over, there’s this TV ad that features U.S. Senator Kay Hagan

“Senator Kay Hagan can make energy a big part of improving our economy. She can choose economic growth and American jobs, not slow them with job-killing energy taxes,” says a female voice as images of workers interspersed with shots of Hagan appear on the screen.

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Education
9:55 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Morrison’s Plan For CMS Stresses Tailored Education And More Magnet Schools

Heath Morrison
Lisa Miller

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison last night laid out his long-range plans for the district’s future.

“It is about every child.  It is about not narrowing gaps, but closing gaps. And it is having every student graduate with a post-secondary plan,” said Morrison.

It was a highly anticipated address at the Belk Theater to help mark his first 100 days on the job. A CMS orchestra opened the evening and a student choir closed out his speech.  

Morrison said he wants to put more students in advanced level classes, provide more coaching for teachers, get kids to create electronic portfolios of their work, and open more magnet schools. 

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Education
1:05 am
Wed November 21, 2012

'Champion For Education' Kat Crosby Dies

An African American woman who helped Charlotte navigate the turbulent times around school desegregation and busing died last week at the age of 87.  Kathleen “Kat” Crosby was with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for forty years.  She started with the district as a teacher and rose up in the ranks to become assistant superintendent before she retired in 1986. 

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Education
11:31 am
Wed November 14, 2012

These Days, Kids Get To Grade The Teachers

Teachers regularly evaluate their students.

Now, the tables are turned. Students evaluate their teachers.

Last year was the first in which students throughout North Carolina completed official evaluation forms of their teachers. In fact, evaluations by students in high school, middle school and even elementary school have picked up steam across the country.

The concept is the brainchild of a Harvard professor named Ron Ferguson. In this report, WFAE’s Lisa Miller talks to him about how the surveys work.

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