Education

Ways to Connect

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There are two dates that loom large for parents, teachers, students and administrators in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The first is August 14, the self-imposed deadline for the General Assembly to agree on a state budget. The second, just 10 days later, is the first day of school.

Without a set budget, schools have a hard time planning for the academic year and they may have to start cutting programs now just in case. As for the budget negotiations, they're not going so well. At least not yet.

Glenn H. Burkins for QCitymetro.com

On a recent Thursday in uptown Charlotte, 1,100 Freedom School students unloaded from buses and trooped into the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center to see a matinee performance of “Annie,” the Tony Award-winning musical.

For some, it was their first time attending a Broadway-style show. Reggie Miller of Charlotte was typical.

“I’m excited to see all the action,” said the young African American student. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the dancing. I never saw the movie or the play.”

The Department of Public Instruction oversees all public schools in the state, but that may change. The North Carolina Senate approved a bill Thursday that would remove charter schools from its oversight.

college class
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During the Great Recession, 48 states cut spending on higher education, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. That funding has not rebounded. North Carolina colleges and universities lost 25 percent in state funds since 2008. South Carolina schools lost about 40 percent. To make up for those cuts schools are charging students a variety of special fees.

Educator Roundtable

Jul 7, 2015
LizMarie_AK / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

  

Two weeks ago, we talked to officials looking into the frequency and efficacy of testing in the public schools of North Carolina. We heard from a lot of folks including teachers about what was discussed on that program.  It’s often difficult for us to get teachers on our show because, during the school year, they’re in class but not during the summer, so we’re joined by teachers for a follow-up discussion on testing.

NC General Assembly

The North Carolina House and Senate are far apart on their education budgets. State lawmakers have bought themselves another 45 days to come up with a state budget. But school districts have to start planning now for next school year and the uncertainty is making it hard. 

Standardized Testing In North Carolina

Jun 23, 2015
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Testing in North Carolina schools – the kind of testing and the frequency of exams have been a hot topic among parents, teachers and students in recent years. Some say there are too many, too often. Others question how the tests effect students and how they’re used to evaluate teachers. That is why the State Board of Education created a task force to look into testing. Last week that group released their recommendations and we talk to the state superintendent of education and others about them. 

www.ncleg.gov

    

The North Carolina Senate and House are both dominated by Republicans. But they’re Republicans with big ideological differences in regards to tax incentives, spending, and Medicaid to name a few. As in past years, their education budgets also layout different priorities.      

WFAE’s Lisa Worf joins Morning Edition host Marshall Terry to look at what those priorities are.

It's not unusual for public school superintendents to quit or get fired, often following a relatively-short time on the job. Last fall, CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison resigned under pressure after less than three years in Charlotte.

CMS wants to expand a program aimed at helping students at risk of dropping out to get a high school diploma.

The LIFT Academy takes students from West Charlotte High School and allows them to catch up on classes by taking online courses and receiving accelerated instruction. It has helped move West Charlotte’s graduation rate from 56 to 78 percent in two years. 

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