Education

Ways to Connect

Last week almost to the day of the one year anniversary of House Bill 2, a children’s book made some news. “Jacob’s New Dress" was initially picked to be a part of first graders' reading selection in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.  But it was pulled after a teacher reportedly complained. Superintendent Ann Clark issued a vague statement citing “concerns” about the book.

What those concerns are exactly, depends on who you ask. The book’s main character is Jacob, a young boy who likes to wear dresses. The book explores how he navigates being picked on in school for doing so. Sarah and Ian Hoffman are the coauthors of the book; they live in California. WFAE’s Sarah Delia spoke to them about the decision to remove the book.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

According to the annual CMS human resources report, the district has made a lot of progress in terms of filling teacher positions, but salaries and retention are still an issue.

David T. Foster, III / The Charlotte Observer

Lots of questions, few answers, and no decisions were made as CMS board members grappled with student assignment proposals and the fates of eight struggling Pre-K-8 schools.

David T. Foster, III / The Charlotte Observer

Two Project LIFT schools tried something of an experiment a few years ago. They added extra days to the school calendar to help students learn, but those will likely be cut next year. 

Facing outrage from Republican state legislators, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Tuesday reversed plans to use “Jacob’s New Dress,” a picture book about a boy who likes to dress like a girl, in four elementary schools.

The book had been selected as part of the anti-bullying program. After a teacher complained to lawmakers, Charles Jeter, the district’s government liaison, says he talked to both sides to “find a resolution without the General Assembly finding a resolution.”

Charlotte School of Law
Davie Hinshaw / The Charlotte Observer

Charlotte School of Law is on its way to becoming a non-profit. It's part of the plan to get the law school's federal loan money re-instated. WFAE's Lisa Worf has been following the school's struggles since the American Bar Association placed the law school on probation this past fall. She joins Morning Edition host Marshall Terry. 

Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer

Amendments to the policies that govern student reassignment and transfer requests will get a first reading at Tuesday night's Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board meeting. CMS board members will also take a first look at an update to the policy that seeks to make the district’s curriculum more culturally inclusive of all students.

For nearly a year North Carolina has been front and center in the debate about which bathrooms transgender people can use, thanks in large part to House Bill 2.

Now, with the Trump administration's new guidance on transgender student bathroom use, there are a lot of questions about what this means for our state.

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Gov. Roy Cooper proposed average pay raises of 5 percent for teachers this year and next year in his upcoming budget. He made the announcement Monday at Collinswood Language Academy in Charlotte, surrounded by teachers.

Gov. Cooper says the two-year teacher pay raise will cost the state $813 million and he says taxes would not be raised to make it happen.

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

In a visit to Charlotte Friday, the state’s new School Superintendent Mark Johnson says he looks forward to revamping student testing, which is one of his top priorities. He says a big flaw in testing is that results are not available in a timely manner where teachers can use them to improve student instruction. Johnson says the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind and gives states more leeway in education policy, offers the state the opportunity to implement better testing requirements.

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