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Oprah Winfrey is speaking this Sunday at Johnson C. Smith University’s commencement. The media mogul has a personal connection to three young women at the Charlotte school. They’re graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, the school she opened in South Africa in 2007. 


Federal officials issued a directive to school districts nationwide Friday saying they must treat transgender students according to the gender they identify with.  That brought another round of criticism from North Carolina officials, including Gov. Pat McCrory, who said federal agencies don't have the authority to decide school policies for bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities.

Flickr/Seth Sawyers / http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/4267034867/sizes/l/

Academic standards don't usually grab headlines. But the debate over Common Core has changed that. The North Carolina Board of Education got a look at a proposal for new high school math standards Wednesday. Those are the first changes the North Carolina department of Public instruction has recommended, since state lawmakers decided to do away with Common Core in 2014. They may be new, but after all the controversy over Common Core, they aren't that different.   

Lisa Worf

CMS has hired a lot of consultants over the years without much attention. But that isn’t the case with the board’s latest selection. After all, it has to do with student assignment.  The CMS board voted Tuesday night to pay Alves Educational Consultants Group $135,000 to help design a plan.   

Lisa Worf

This story is part of the NPR reporting project "School Money," a nationwide collaboration between NPR's Ed Team and 20 member station reporters exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.

Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

The CMS board has been greeted by an emotional public the last few months, as it’s gone through the early phases of the student assignment process.

At a public hearing Wednesday night, that emotion subsided a bit to make way for questions about the board’s draft of principles for a new assignment plan. Most of the 200 or so people who turned out approached the principles with a mix of support and skepticism. 

Ann Doss Helms / Charlotte Observer

The CMS school board meeting had a surprise ending Monday night. The board released a draft of guiding principles for student assignment. This is a big step that took more than a year of discussion to make. The draft includes continuing the policy of guaranteeing access to “home schools” and makes socioeconomic status a factor in magnet lotteries. 

A draft outline for student assignment changes, which Superintendent Ann Clark presented to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board Tuesday night, affirms that students would continue to be assigned to schools close to home, a move many parents and suburban elected officials have been clamoring for.

Claudio Matsuoka / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

More dogs are showing up on college campuses – and not just service dogs. Some students want to bring comfort pets to campus because they say they need them, and federal housing laws require colleges to make exceptions to their no-pet policies for these students.

CMS will likely see some changes on how students are assigned to schools in the next couple years. The question is how big these changes will be. The school board is still formulating ideas behind a student assignment plan. And parents and community members have jumped into the conversation, hoping to influence the direction the board takes. WFAE will hold a live public conversation on student assignment tonight at 7:00.

WFAE’s Lisa Worf joins Morning Edition host Marshall Terry now to discuss.


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