Education

Local News
8:07 am
Mon March 23, 2015

UNC Charlotte Program Helps Former Students Graduate

Regina Dudley-Mack takes notes during psychology class. At 41 years of age, Dudley-Mack returned to complete her degree at UNC Charlotte through the school's 49er Finish program.
Credit Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

    

Going back to college after taking several years off can be difficult. Work demands, raising a family or finances can make it challenging. Many schools have programs to reach out to students who left before completing their degrees. At UNC Charlotte the program is called 49er Finish.

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Charlotte Observer
12:44 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Wingate University Names New President

Rhett Brown addresses the crowd at Wingate Unversity after he was named its new president on March 18, 2015.
Wingate University

Wingate University announced on Wednesday that Rhett Brown will be its new president.

Brown is the school’s vice president for student life and enrollment services and a Wingate alumnus from the mid-1980s.

“I am deeply humbled, tremendously excited,” Brown told a gathering at the university Wednesday morning where he was named to the post. “I am honored to have your confidence.”

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Local News
6:42 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Same-Sex Schools Proposed For Charlotte's Magnet Programs

Single-gender and expanded arts magnet programs may be offered to Charlotte students in future years. The district’s magnet schools are currently being reviewed with a lot of attention going to the idea of same-sex magnet schools.

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Local News
11:06 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Teacher Raises, College Cuts, Zoo Swap In McCrory Budget

A slide from the governor's budget presentation shows the breakdown of General Fund revenues between agencies. It does not include federal funds or other fees, including the gas tax, which fuels the state transportation budget.
Credit NC Office of State Budget and Management

Governor Pat McCrory released his budget plan, his proposal for how the state should spend money for the next two years. It distributes more than $45 billion from the state’s general fund, or more than $100 billion when including all the other fees, federal dollars, and various revenue streams the state uses to fund services. The final budget may look quite a bit different once state lawmakers are through, but this proposal is where the debate begins. 

Taxes

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Local News
11:03 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Community College Students To Benefit From $10 Million Belk Endowment Grant

The John M Belk Endowment is giving $10 million to help community college students in North Carolina complete their degrees.  

Most of that money will go toward creating a dozen centers throughout the state that connect students with resources to help stabilize their finances.  That may include finding financial aid for tuition, but also identifying tax credits and benefits like food stamps and Medicaid they aren’t currently tapping. 

John M Belk Endowment Director Kristy Teskey says the group is intentionally focusing on community colleges. 

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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Charter Schools 101

Childen in school
Phil Roeder Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

9:00, Monday, March 2, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, Mike Collins spoke with CMS Superintendent Ann Clark, along with the chair of the State Board of Education and the Governor’s Education Advisor about education and what we may see come out of this legislative session.

But one aspect of education policy has been in the news recently, and that is charter schools. What are charter schools? What is their role in our overall academic picture? Why do some fail while others succeed? 

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Local News
12:04 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

In Tense Meeting, UNC BOG Approves Closure Of 3 Policy Centers

Students sit in UNC Board of Governors seats after their protests disrupted the meeting. They came out to voice support for three university-based policy centers slated for closure.
Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

The UNC Board of Governors Friday approved hikes in tuition and fees across the UNC system. But the center of controversy at the board’s meeting was its unanimous decision to close three university-based policy centers, most notably UNC Chapel Hill’s Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity. The vote came after the meeting was moved to a smaller room because of protestors.

The meeting started out quiet enough but when the agenda turned to the closing of the three university-based academic centers, things became unwieldy.

Protesters in the audience stood up, interrupting the discussion. Some were ejected, others took their place, speaking out in support of the three centers. Supporters snapped their fingers in a rhythm and shouted chants, accusing the board of attacking their free speech.

The meeting became so chaotic that the board recessed and moved to a smaller room. Only the media was allowed in with board members and other university officials, which angered many.

Some tried to go through a door leading to the new location for the meeting but were stopped by security.

Eventually, the meeting resumed in a separate area and was streamed to the public in what had been the main meeting room. But about 20 protesters stood outside the doors, their loud chants heard clearly as board members continued discussion on the centers.

In the end, the board voted to close the poverty center, East Carolina’s Center for Biodiversity and North Carolina Central’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change.

NC Central student Denea Crowell was saddened by the vote.

“The Civic Engagement and Social Change Center is a liaison between black youth on their rights as citizens and voting and things like that, so we just need to keep that liaison,” Crowell said.

The poverty center remained the main focus for many other protesters, who accused the board of closing it because of its director, Gene Nichol.

“It’s clearly politically motivated,” said Elizabeth Brown a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill. “The fact that Gene Nichol the director of the poverty center has been speaking out against the legislature’s policies and board of governors, it’s censorship, so I’m here to protest that.”

Seth Keel, a junior at UNC Charlotte, agreed and added, “If they don’t think poverty is important, their eyes are not open. Poverty is growing at a high rate in North Carolina and if there’s no research and aren’t attacking it, you won’t solve the problem.”

James Holmes chaired the board’s working group that recommended the closures. He told the board that although the poverty center has been singled out as a scapegoat, politics played no hand in the recommendation that it close.

“Our review of that center was no different than any other,” he said.

“The center structure is not required for any activity ongoing in that endeavor. All of their work can continue it just doesn’t require this structure which requires a level of overhead and oversight that not requisite.”

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Local News
9:40 am
Wed February 25, 2015

NC Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Taxpayer Funds Flowing To Private Schools

The building that houses the N.C. Supreme Court in Raleigh.
Credit Giant Sloth / Flickr

North Carolina state government has paid about $4 million in private school tuition this year. It’s part of the Opportunity Scholarship program, which has paid up to $4,200 to mostly religious schools on behalf of 1,200 low-income students.

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Local News
4:25 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Project LIFT Schools Hiring More Star Teachers With New Duties, Higher Pay

Several Project LIFT schools on Charlotte’s west side are trying to fill about twenty highly-paid teaching jobs. Those teachers won’t have their own classes but will rotate between classrooms, coach beginning teachers, and work in small groups with students. The jobs come with as much as a $23,000 salary boost. 

Ranson IB Middle School has used the staffing model for the past two years. The school’s principal Allison Harris says it allows all students to benefit from the knowledge of veteran teachers. She says beginning teachers especially appreciate the help. 

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Local News
9:32 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Nearly One-Third Of CMS And NC Schools Get Ds And Fs

Credit _MG_2511 / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Two-thirds of schools in North Carolina received Bs and Cs on new state report cards that include letter grades for the first time.

WFAE’s Lisa Worf joins All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey in the studio:

MR: What exactly is the breakdown in grades?

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