Ways to Connect

Educator Roundtable

Jul 7, 2015
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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
albertogp123 / Flickr/

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.


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. 

The North Carolina Board of Education gave the go ahead Thursday to twelve charter schools to open in the fall of 2016. In an unusual move, board members also turned down two schools. 

Lisa Worf / WFAE

The Director of North Carolina’s Office of Charter Schools took a new job this week. He is now the head of an online charter school that won approval from the state board of education this year. 

It made us wonder what policies the state has to ensure public employees aren’t applying for jobs with the same groups they may be vetting or negotiating contracts with. There aren’t many. 

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that a 2013 effort to do away with tenure for teachers is unconstitutional.

Two years ago, lawmakers repealed a law that allowed teachers to earn tenure after serving four years on the job. In its place, they passed a law that would do away with those job protections in 2018 and allow teachers to give it up voluntarily for a $5,000 bonus over three years.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

The rise of iPads and laptops in the classroom has people scrambling to figure out the best way to represent knowledge and teach students using this medium. There’s an explosion of online materials geared for learning, but developing good ones is still something of an art and an experiment. Davidson College is undertaking such a project using CMS students as its guinea pigs.