Education

Most school years across North Carolina are well underway, and that means giant yellow school buses are out on the roads each morning and afternoon. But just as universal as the first day of school is a near-constant bus driver shortage in districts across the state. 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved construction contracts for two new foreign-language magnet schools Tuesday.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

When the state posts enrollment tallies this fall, it’s a safe bet that the three biggest schools in North Carolina will be Ardrey Kell, South Mecklenburg and Myers Park high schools. They’re all south of uptown Charlotte, and each of them draws more than 3,000 students.

standardized test
albertogp123 / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/2.0/

This week Governor Roy Cooper signed a law that will eliminate some of North Carolina’s high school exams – and may force Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to make a tough decision. 

NEONBRAND / UNSPLASH

North Carolina's annual release of test scores and graduation rates for more than 2,500 public schools provides a snapshot of inequality — and a study in the slow pace of progress.

CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS / FACEBOOK

Just over 200 of North Carolina's 2,500 public schools earned A's from the state this year, and about half as many received an F.

standardized test
albertogp123 / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/2.0/

North Carolina will release its A-to-F school letter grades Wednesday  – and they’ll be calculated the same way they were last year. That’s despite widespread, bipartisan concerns that the state’s formula unfairly penalizes high-poverty schools. 

Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE

The chance to serve on a 41-person committee overseeing equity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is shaping up to be a hot ticket for people who care about public education.

WOKANDAPIX / PIXABAY

North Carolina’s charter schools are performing well on financial and management goals but falling short of academic targets.

CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS / FACEBOOK

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board is taking nominations for a panel to oversee equity in public education.

elementary school students
LISA WORF / WFAE

A company that recently won an $8 million contract to test the progress of North Carolina’s youngest readers has now agreed to provide that program at no charge — at least for now.

The North Carolina legislative building in Raleigh.
NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

Updated 9:45 a.m.

North Carolina lawmakers have reached a compromise on a testing bill that promises to limit the time students spend taking tests. But it does so without eliminating the end-of-year exams that are used to grade schools.

teacher
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

If you’ve followed the news about North Carolina teacher pay over the last few months you might think educators are feeling a bit better about their paychecks as schools open.

You’d be wrong. They’ve been promised raises, but so far they haven’t gotten a penny of extra pay.

Gov. Cooper Vetoes Bill Designed to Retool Reading Program

Aug 24, 2019
NC Government

RALEIGH, N.C. — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill on Friday designed to clean up a North Carolina student reading comprehension program championed for years by Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican.

elementary school students
LISA WORF / WFAE

The summer break has been fueled with controversy among teachers and administrators over a reading program called Istation. North Carolina Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson awarded Istation an $8.3 million contract in June to test the reading skills for K-3 students. But, this came after a selection committee recommended sticking with the current reading program provided by a company called Amplify. 

Queends University entrance
Debbus / Wikipedia [Public domain]

Queens University announced today that it is joining the more than 1,000 colleges and universities around the country that have dropped or de-emphasized the SAT/ACT requirement for admission. Jen Johnson, vice president of marketing and admissions, says the university wants to evaluate students on more than test scores.

CMS

South Charlotte’s social media lit up this weekend with reports that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has chosen a site for a new southern high school. But the school board member who represents that area says it’s not a done deal.

Rock Hill Schools logo
https://twitter.com/rockhillschools

Rock Hill School officials are beefing up security and for the first time, all 17 elementary schools will have a full time security officer on campus. Rock Hill’s middle and high schools had police and sheriff security officers but Mike Johnson, the district’s director of safety says they will hire private, armed security officers for the elementary schools. 

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A rebellion against North Carolina’s school calendar law has gotten the attention of state lawmakers. About a dozen districts have started earlier than the law allows. One key legislator says the state can’t keep looking the other way, but it’s unclear whether officials will ease up or crack down. 

DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

A new classroom wing that will convert Davidson Elementary School into Davidson K-8 School will be ready to take sixth-graders Aug. 26, officials say.

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