Education

Ways to Connect

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.

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

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. 

Charter Schools 101

Mar 2, 2015
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? 

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.

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.

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. 

_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?

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

Nearly 60 percent of CMS schools scored a C or below on new state report cards that include letter grades for the first time. The grades are mostly based on students’ scores on standardized tests.  Twenty percent is based on the growth of those scores from year-to-year. 

State school board member John Tate of Charlotte said the scores don’t accurately show the hard work of teachers and students at some high-poverty schools.

Parents will have some grades to review Thursday…not their child’s, but their child’s school. The grades have been the source of much worry and debate.   WFAE's Lisa Worf has this report. That's followed by an interview from WFAE's Marshall Terry with the superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, which has set up its own system of grading schools.

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