Education

Education

Defending Democracy Education News Top Story

Durham GOP’s “Better Board, Better Schools” candidate slate is soundly defeated

Five Republicans vying to win control of Durham’s progressive school board were soundly defeated in Tuesday’s election. Four of the five finished last in their respective races. Durham’s progressive incumbents – Natalie Beyer, Matt Sears and Bettina Umstead – won three of the five seats up grabs.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at some highlights from Gov. Cooper’s latest budget proposal

After five plus years in office, it’s obvious why North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper remains one of the nation’s more popular chief executives: the man keeps trying to make government work. In a time in which so many politicians prioritize division and controversy – think of Florida’s Ron DeSantis and his absurd and destructive culture wars – Cooper keeps trying to build bridges and find common ground.

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Education News Top Story

Demise of mismanaged charter school leaves some lamenting the loss

The state is closing Raleigh's Torchlight Academy because of repeated and serious management failures, but some of its strengths and accomplishments will be lost in the process Carla Peralta cried after getting the word that Torchlight Academy is closing due to fiscal and governance concerns uncovered during a state Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) investigation.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: Low pay, high cost of living are sending UNC System grad students to food pantries

Folasewa Olatunde didn’t want to go to the dentist. But sharp pain and inflammation in her mouth told her she should. The dentist told her she needed to have a molar removed and some cavities filled. The cost: more than $3,000.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at pre-K access in North Carolina and around the country

When state lawmakers return to Raleigh later this month for the 2022 short session, look for renewed debate regarding the state's ongoing failure to comply with court orders in the landmark Leandro lawsuit that directed it to better fund North Carolina's public education system. One important aspect of those orders involves the state's commitment to providing quality early childhood education...

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look charter schools in North Carolina

Few issues spark debate in North Carolina’s education circles like charter schools. Save for school vouchers and the state’s long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit, few topics that stir a higher level of passion. Supporters, many of whom are conservative voters, see charters as "school choice" options that help families looking to flee low-performing schools.

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Education Top Story

Present day controversies are front and center at legislative hearing on the future of public education

Committee chair challenges the relevance of state's landmark Leandro school funding case The state’s decades-old school funding case, Leandro, could become “moot," depending on decisions by a House select committee charged with “reinventing” North Carolina’s public education system, State Rep. John Torbett, a Gaston County Republican and chairman of the committee, told Policy Watch on Monday.

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Education Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the impact of North Carolina’s community college system

While North Carolina's economy has fully returned to pre-pandemic employment levels, concerns remain over resignations and unfilled job openings. “Our significant success increasing jobs during the pandemic shows North Carolinians are resilient," Gov. Roy Cooper said last month. "We need to focus on training workers and educating children to continue to grow our workforce.”

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Congress Education News Top Story

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

Students in one Pennsylvania school district were not allowed to read a biography of the first Black President, Barack Obama. In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who was assassinated.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: A conversation with former UNC journalism school dean Susan King

Despite the frustrations of her stormy final year in office, King remains optimistic about the future of the 'J School' and the profession it supports Last week Susan King was inducted into the NC Media & Journalism Hall of Fame, a career curtain call after completing a decade as dean of the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

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Education News Top Story

GOP’s “stealth slate” of candidates seeks to shift school board balance of power in one of NC’s most Democratic counties

On paper, electing a slate of registered Republicans to the Durham County school board appears to be a near mathematical impossibility.  In this county, Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 5 to 1. In partisan races, such as the Board of Commissioners, GOP candidates are rarely successful.  

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Education News Top Story

High stakes at the state’s highest court over school spending mandates

The colossal dispute over the proper financing of North Carolina’s public schools that has played out over 28 years is heading to a showdown before the state Supreme Court. Yes, again. Sometime after April 18, the high court will decide whether the General Assembly is fulfilling its duty to ensure that the state’s public school students – and especially those in counties where poverty is endemic – have a fair chance to get an education good enough to meet the state constitution’s guarantees.

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Congress Education News Top Story

More than 1,500 books have been banned in public schools, and a U.S. House panel asks why

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee panel on Thursday examined why thousands of books, predominantly written by marginalized authors, have been banned from public schools, and the impact of those actions on students and teachers. “Most books being targeted for censorship are books that introduce ideas about diversity or our common humanity, books that teach children to recognize and respect humanity in one another,” said the chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Rep. Jamie Raskin.

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Education News Top Story

State Board of Education reviews controversial draft overhaul of teacher compensation

Despite assurances from DPI officials, some teachers worry that the plan would devalue classroom experience in favor of test scores and student surveys  A new compensation and licensure proposal that rewards “competency and skill” has some state teachers worried that "classroom experience would no longer be valued in North Carolina,” State Board of Education member Jill Camnitz said Wednesday.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at gag orders in K-12, higher education

Last month PEN America, the non-partisan non-profit that just celebrated 100 years of protecting free expression, published its latest roundup of educational "gag order" legislation across the U.S. The organization is actively tracking a national wave of  bills, many now becoming law, that make patriotism compulsory and restrict what can be said, read or taught about race and American history. 

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Higher Ed Law and the Courts News Top Story

Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases could curb colleges’ use of affirmative action

Conservative SCOTUS majority likely jeopardizes race-conscious admissions policies at UNC and Harvard WASHINGTON — A U.S. Supreme Court dominated by conservative justices could fundamentally reshape the college admissions process later this year when it takes up two landmark cases challenging affirmative action in higher education. The court recently agreed to hear two cases that challenge race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, the nation's oldest private and public universities.

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