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public schools

Top Story Weekly Briefing

Successful public schools: More than just providers of a sound basic education

What is the purpose of a public school system? Twenty-five years ago, in its landmark Leandro ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that the purpose was, at a minimum, to provide every child in this state with the opportunity to obtain a “sound basic education.”  This week, the court will hear a new round of arguments (and presumably, attempt to fashion a permanent solution) in that same, seemingly never-ending case.

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Education News Top Story

NC legislative proposal would dramatically overhaul how North Carolina governs its public schools

GOP sponsors push for an elected state school board, but Democrats warn against further politicizing public education A bill that would require State Board of Education members to be elected is a “horrible idea” that could exacerbate the state’s growing partisan divide over public schools, says June Atkinson, a former state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Atkinson’s remarks are in response to questions about House Bill 1173,  Republican-backed legislation that would put the question of whether to elect state board members before voters as part of a referendum.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The last best chance for North Carolina’s public schools

A few years ago, I reserved a room at the North Carolina Association of Educators Building in Raleigh for a large public luncheon. When our team arrived a half hour before the event to get set up, however, we encountered a troubling surprise. To our alarm, we discovered that there had been a scheduling mix-up and the large room in question was occupied by a sizable assemblage of teachers who were in town for some kind of training session. Tables, chairs, and materials were scattered across the room. What to do?

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at teacher attrition rates in NC

As North Carolina schools experience unprecedented learning loss across all grades, the state is facing another challenge: How to keep and recruit the best and brightest teachers. It is, in large part, those educators who will determine how well North Carolina's school children bounce back academically two years into the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Citing positive infection and vaccination numbers, Cooper calls for end to school mask mandates

Governor, however, expresses skepticism about GOP bill that would remove authority from local school boards Citing improving COVID-19 trends and the availability of effective vaccines, Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday urged school boards to end indoor masking mandates beginning March 7.  The governor made his remarks during an afternoon news conference, where he was flanked by state health officials.

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Education News Top Story

Book banning battles hit North Carolina schools

Conservatives target works dealing with race and LGBTQ themes Parents of sixth graders in a gifted language-arts class at Marvin Ridge Middle School received an email from their children’s teacher last month warning them that a book selected for the class’s unit on African American literature would at times be “uncomfortable.”

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at crimes, suspensions and expulsions in NC schools

North Carolina’s public schools saw a significant reduction in the number of crimes, suspensions, and expulsions during the 2020-21 school year as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis that forced most school districts to offer a mix of remote and in-person learning.  The State Department of Public Instruction shared the findings of the state’s 2020-21 Consolidated Data Report during the State Board of Education’s business meeting last week. 

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Undermining a basic right: Republican politicians espouse a truly radical stance on public education

It’s a bedrock principle of American law that average people can vindicate their legal and constitutional rights in courts of law and have those courts compel or prevent acts of other branches of government. From preventing the taking of private property without compensation, to ordering necessary services for, say, people living with disabilities, or even an incarcerated person, such action can take several forms.

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Education News Top Story

Veteran NC educator, school integration pioneer recognized with state’s highest civilian honor

North Carolina Award recipient Dudley Flood reflects on a lifetime of combating segregation and improving public schools At age 90, Dr. Dudley Flood, an education trailblazer who helped North Carolina’s public schools to integrate, can easily recall attending an all-Black high school.  It was more than 75 years ago in tiny Winton, a town of fewer than 800 residents in Hertford County. 

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Education Top Story

After GOP backlash, school boards association “apologizes” for letter asking for federal help to address threats of violence

Memo expresses "regret" for seeking federal assistance but does not ask Justice Department to halt investigations WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

As new school year gets underway, educators grapple with the COVID mask mandates

Tuesday morning was warm and muggy. Eyeglasses above tightly fitted masks fogged over with each breath.  At Bethesda Elementary School in Durham, students, teachers and staff members all complied with the district’s mandate to wear masks while indoors. It was the first day of classes for thousands of Durham Public Schools students who attend schools operating on a traditional calendar. Most of the state’s 1.5 million students started classes this week. 

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Education News Top Story

Republicans renew effort to limit what can be taught in public school classrooms

Lt. Gov. Robinson reports on complaints to oversight task force, while Senate committee approves controversial legislation White shaming, "sexualization" of children and Critical Race Theory are among six overarching themes Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says emerged during his recently completed examination of North Carolina schools.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

As debate over masks in public schools continues, experts say the answer is clear

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is “several-fold” more transmissible than the Alpha variant, making mask mandates in schools more important than ever, a Duke University professor of pediatrics said Wednesday.  Dr. Danny Benjamin’s advice comes as most of North Carolina’s 1.5 million school children prepare to return to classrooms and school boards wrestle with whether to adopt mask mandates amid surging COVID infections.

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Education News Top Story

State superintendent’s email documents political right’s concerted effort to influence K-12 curricula

If culturally responsive teaching is promulgated in North Carolina's public schools, students will learn that math is racist.  Students who are Black, LGBTQ or of minority ethnic backgrounds will be taught that teachers are bigots.  And educators will be allowed to engage in "age-inappropriate promotion" of homosexuality.

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Education News Top Story

Republicans vow to end “indoctrination,” Critical Race Theory in NC schools

Are North Carolina’s teachers indoctrinating students with tenets of Critical Race Theory?  The state’s Republican leaders say they are, but struggled to provide solid evidence Wednesday when asked to do so by Democratic colleagues.

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Education Top Story

More public schools are on the chopping block in Granville County

Traditional school enrollment losses translate to charter school gains in rural district  Unable to stop the flight of students to area charter schools, ...
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