Sun. Headlines: Duke-Wisconsin in Final

Apr 5, 2015

It will be Duke vs. Wisconsin in college basketball’s Division I championship game Monday night in Indianapolis. Duke beat Michigan State, 81 to 61, in last night's first semifinal. And Wisconsin made the final by handing Kentucky its first defeat of the season, 71 to 64. Both teams were ranked No. 1 in their regions.

Duke is looking for its fifth national championship and the blue devils will be playing at a venue where they've found past success. They won two of those national titles, in 1991 and 2010, in Indianapolis. Monday’s game tips off at 9:18pm

Union County and its school board have tentatively agreed on a budget this year.  That may not seem like a big deal, but last year a budget dispute between the two led to a court battle.  A new local law may have helped them reach consensus faster. 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board approved plans Tuesday night to partner with a non-profit to run a pre-k- 8 school on the city’s west side.  It’s in the area once known as Boulevard Homes.  Before it was torn down two years ago, the public housing complex was often in the news for violence.  The Renaissance West Community Initiative is re-developing that area and this school will be at the center of it. 

Laura Clark is executive director of the group.  WFAE's Mark Rumsey asked her why it's important for a school to be part of this neighborhood?

Parents, teachers, and students may be in for a rude awakening next month when they get the scores of standardized tests taken at the end of last year.  Less than half of North Carolina students were deemed proficient in most subjects.  But that doesn’t mean students are necessarily performing any worse.    

North Carolina students took re-tooled standardized tests at the end of last year.  They’re designed to assess students based on more rigorous standards under the Common Core.  For example, some 8th grade math is now being taught in 6th grade. 

Jimmy Wayne / Flickr

Union County Schools and Union County are having their day in court due to a budget dispute.  It’s actually been much more than a day.  To be exact, the two sides have been going at it in court for 23 days now and the legal fees are mounting.     

Lisa Miller

Schools often try to get parents more involved in their children’s education.  Mothers tend to be the ones who heed the call.  For whatever reason, you don’t see many fathers around school.  Across the country, there are efforts to change that. 

Advocates say a father’s presence helps convince kids school is important and makes sure they keep to the straight and narrow.  A few schools around Charlotte have begun recruiting dads to help out at school. 

North Carolina school districts are using a new software called PowerSchool to do everything from scheduling classes to tracking students' grades.  But it’s had a rough start.  The latest glitch is that schools can’t produce up-to-date transcripts for students applying to college. 

Lisa Miller

Students at nine schools in west Charlotte got special escorts to their classrooms today.  Fathers, grandfathers and uncles dropped children off at school as part of a national effort called the Million Father March to get fathers and other male mentors involved in the lives of students. 

Dontay Kilgo brought his son to his first day of pre-k at Druid Hills Academy.  About 25 other men dropped their children off at the school too. 

As technology becomes fully integrated in classrooms, students aren’t the only ones learning. Teachers must operate computers, a variety of applications and other electronic devices while also catering their lesson plans to these technologies. A growing number of schools provide students with laptops or tablet computers and some Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools are even encouraging students to bring devices to school through a Bring Your Own Technology initiative. A 2010 analysis by the U.S. Department of Education concluded that students whose higher educations' blend online and face-to-face interactions outperform others, but how does this apply to grade school students? What are parents and students saying? We’ll discuss the costs, the risks, and the increasingly digital world of learning when Charlotte Talks.

Relations between school districts and counties can get tense during budget season.  But it’s way beyond that in Union County.  The school board has brought in a mediator and the county has sued the school district for financial information.