Education

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. 

The GI Bill was created to give soldiers a way to go to college cost-free after they finished their service. But a cost-cutting change to the benefit may mean a big tuition bill for some vets. It now only covers in-state tuition, a problem for some returning soldiers who spent years bouncing from base to deployment without establishing residency anywhere. Some North Carolina veterans say the UNC system makes it even harder for them to qualify and now they’re suing.

Charlotte’s arts education just got a boost.

PNC Bank has donated more than half a million dollars to fund early arts and science education in the Bethlehem Center’s Head Start programs.

Executive Director of the Bethlehem Center, William McDonald, says that this funding will enrich the program, which serves children whose families meet federal poverty guidelines.

Michael Tomsic

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system gave its seniors a new goal Wednesday to accomplish before graduating– build three houses. CMS is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to encourage students to get their hands dirty.

Hard hats, tool belts and wooden boards were set up in front of the bookshelves in Independence High School's library as CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison announced the partnership, called Senior Buildup.

Morrison said it's all about giving students a well-rounded education.

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.

CMS

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system is reorganizing its leadership, starting with the people in charge of human resources and communications. That’s after audits released Tuesday showed those departments weren’t doing a good enough job.

Last year, Davidson College named its first female president, Dr. Carol Quillen, from Rice University. A former history teacher, she brings strong opinions about the role of a liberal arts education in today’s world, especially one that is so interconnected and changing so quickly. We’ll talk about higher education, its role in the Global Economy, and her vision for Davidson College and its students, when Charlotte Talks.

Schools across the country perpetually struggle to find qualified math and science teachers.  North Carolina is doubling one of its programs aimed at luring engineers and scientists into the teaching profession.  

Greg Stolve has been an industrial engineer for the past fifteen years.  But that’s not the career he planned on in college.  He wanted to be a teacher, until an academic advisor told him engineers make more money and finish school faster.  So that’s what he did.  

“Well, honestly, my work in industry has gotten to be not very rewarding,” says Stolve.  

Lisa Miller

The two major candidates for governor both stress linking businesses and schools to make sure students graduate with the skills they need to land a job.  Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Walter Dalton also want to strengthen education in the early years.  But they favor different paths to get there.

Campaign season is full of promises even to the smallest constituents.  These Charlotte pre-schoolers have big plans for their futures.  Dalton sits cross-legged among them.  A few of them tell him they want to be Batman and Spiderman.  

University of North Carolina

On October 17, generations of North Carolina leaders gathered in Chapel Hill to remember UNC System President Emeritus Bill Friday. Friday is widely credited with creating the 16 campus state university system. And, for the last three decades, he was in the homes of UNC-TV viewers as the host of “North Carolina People.” But Friday also had a hand in the establishment of WFAE.

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