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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who Wants to be the Next Durham School Board Member? One of These Eleven People

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 10:45 AM

With the resignation of Sendolo Diaminah in August the Durham Public Schools Board of Education must fill a vacant position, and there's no lack of interest with thirteen applicants vying for the spots. However, two of the applicants—Florida DeVaul Dudley an Shonda Wilson—were removed from consideration because they do no live within District 2.  Diaminah resigned after his attendance at meetings was called into question (he'd reportedly missed at least nine out of sixteen meetings). Now, the board is charged with appointing someone by October 24—sixty days after Diaminah resigned.  The eleven candidates include two familiar faces—Frederick Davis, who Diaminah was...

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Margaret Spellings Installs AEI Conservative as UNC Senior Vice President

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 7:49 AM

So it begins: Yesterday, new UNC president Margaret Spellings announced the appointment of Andrew Kelly to a newly created position called "senior vice president for strategy and policy." The school will pay him $245,000 a year.  A UNC release notes that Kelly was a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute from 2002-2005, and returned to AEI in 2009 as a research fellow in education policy studies. He is also the founder and director of AEI's Center on Higher Education Reform.   The American Enterprise Institute: Why does that ring a bell? Oh, right: It's a big, conservative think tank...

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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Morning Roundup: McCrory Can’t Believe We’re Talking About This

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:16 AM

Beleaguered by the still-mounting HB 2 backlash, Governor McCrory sought out some friendlier quarters, this time Fox News’s The Kelly File. As has become Republican practice, host Megyn Kelly didn’t talk about all the controversial things HB 2 did—eliminating workplace discrimination lawsuits, overriding living wage ordinances, etc.—instead choosing to focus on the only issue they think matters (and have not-terrible polling on): which bathroom transgender people decide to use.  Kelly pressed McCrory several times on the rhetoric surrounding HB2. "What is the fear about the transgender situation in the bathrooms?" she asked. "Mine is not a fear," McCrory responded....

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Plea to Prioritize Sustainability in Durham Schools—from One of Its Students

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 5:11 PM

Senith Berhane, an eleventh-grade student at Riverside High School, in Durham, says she became interested in environmental issues after viewing An Inconvenient Truth a few years ago. “I legitimately could not sleep at night,” Berhane tells the INDY. “I realized, around the world and within my community, how rapid and extensive climate change was negatively impacting the environment. And I knew I needed to be a part of the change.” Riverside’s engineering department coordinator told Berhane about the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), an organization that educates youth about climate change and gives them opportunities to take action to slow it....

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Charlie Rose To Receive Honorary Degree from Duke

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 2:33 PM

Charlie Rose, whose Henderson, North Carolina, accent is perceptible every evening on his eponymous PBS interview program (or pro-gruhm, as Rose says), will receive an honorary degree from Duke University this May, the school announced today. "As we celebrate the achievements of our graduates, Duke also has a tradition of conferring a small number of honorary degrees at commencement," Duke president Richard Brodhead says in a release. "These degrees honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions in diverse fields. We lift them up as inspiring examples of how today’s graduates might use their talent and education to make their own...

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Duke Adjuncts Take Union Fight to Durham City Council

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 3:06 PM

Contingent faculty at Duke — that is, adjunct and non-tenure-track instructors — have been organizing in support of a union since last year. In January, their cause won the support of the Durham People's Alliance, the influential local political group. Today, they brought their arguments to the Durham City Council in the form of a proposed resolution.  Councilwoman Jillian Johnson opened this afternoon's council work session by reading aloud the proposal, which ticked off facts about the university: 35,000 employees, 3,300 faculty members, $8 million in property taxes exempted in the most recent tax year. It noted that Duke (and,...

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Interesting morning in Chapel Hill! Four arrested in protest of Margaret Spellings

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 11:52 AM

Margaret Spellings doesn't even start as UNC system president until March, but calls for her head continue apace.  Why all the Spellings hate?  "Faculty are dissatisfied with the current state at UNC and have no confidence that Spellings will move the system in the right direction,” says Zach Robinson, a faculty member at East Carolina University and a member of the Faculty Forward Network. “Her past actions have shown that she does not have the leadership to lead a world class public system facing a diverse student body, decreased funding and skyrocketing tuition." Spellings' past actions include serving as secretary of...

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

North Carolina charter school lifts club suspension after LGBTQ group complaints

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 11:33 AM

A western North Carolina charter school has lifted its temporary ban on clubs after some parents called for it to bar an LGBTQ support group last month.  Leaders at the Lake Lure Classical Academy, a K-12 school in Rutherford County, responded to a strong warning letter from the ACLU of N.C. by voting Monday night to resume student-led clubs, although a new policy will require parental consent for children to join clubs at the K-8 level.  The academy was heeding the complaints of some parents when they temporarily suspended clubs last month.  But as the ACLU and the Indy...

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Monday, November 30, 2015

North Carolina charter school, following complaints over LGBTQ club, to consider school club policy today

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:29 PM

It should be noted anti-LGBTQ activists have tried this before. It doesn't work. A group of parents who fear the consequences of allowing gay-friendly clubs in their schools have called on the leaders of a western North Carolina charter school, Lake Lure Classical Academy, to shut down a support club for LGBTQ students.  This month, following complaints from some in the Rutherford County town of Lake Lure, leaders at the public charter temporarily suspended all clubs while they considered their options, The Daily Courier in nearby Forest City reported. Today, members of the school's board of directors will hold...

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Monday, September 21, 2015

With the election looming, Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town shuns incumbents in its endorsements

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 4:06 PM

No big surprises today, as the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, better known as CHALT, announced its formal endorsements in the town's races this fall.  The grassroots group, which has hinged its platform on criticism of the Town Council and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, endorsed a spate of challengers for the November election, shunning incumbents altogether.  The organization chose Pam Hemminger, a former county commissioner and school board member, in the race for mayor. Hemminger is running against Kleinschmidt and challenger Gary Kahn, who the Indy profiled this month, for the mayor's seat. CHALT has focused its outreach on...

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Friday, July 10, 2015

National LGBT group to release report on states' anti-bullying policies

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 12:39 PM

Creative Commons LicenseThis probably won't be kind to North Carolina. The national nonprofit, Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is expected to release a report Wednesday that will review the anti-bullying policies of more than 13,000 school districts across the country, including districts in North Carolina. The report, "From Statehouse to Schoolhouse: Anti-Bullying Policy Efforts in U.S. States and School Districts," will examine whether states' anti-bullying rules are implemented at the local level, and whether educators are being trained to handle the issue in the classroom. The study will also determine whether the efforts are having an impact on...

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Carrboro's PACE Academy to protest state's decision to revoke charter

Posted By on Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Creative Commons LicenseParents, staff and students at a troubled Carrboro charter school say they plan next week to protest the N.C. State Board of Education's decision to revoke its charter. In a statement Friday, school leaders at PACE Academy said the state board is "relying on faulty and unreliable reports" from its finance officers in recommending closure for the school this year, which has been battling to stave off charter revocation since 2013. Parents, staff, parents and community leaders will assemble to protest in front of the State Board of Education building—located at 301 N. Wilmington St. in Raleigh—at 10...

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chapel Hill library to hold public forum on gay children's book

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Photo by Alex BoernerFormer Orange County teacher Omar Currie resigned last month after reading a gay children's book in class.While Orange County Schools squirmed over third-grade teacher Omar Currie's reading of the gay children's book "King & King," the Chapel Hill Public Library saw a spike in the number of checkouts and holds placed on the controversial Dutch fable. Fittingly, library leaders say, they will hold a public forum on the book next week, part of a new event called "Between the Lines," in which local leaders and residents gather at the library to discuss hot topics in the news....

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tonight's review of gay children's book in Orange County Schools canceled

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Tonight's Orange County Schools review of the gay children's book "King & King" has been canceled after parents withdrew their district appeals complaining about the book. The parents' decision comes three days after third-grade teacher Omar Currie, who read the book in his classroom at Efland-Cheeks Elementary in late April, stepped down, along with the assistant principal, Meg Goodhand, who loaned him the book. Orange County Schools officials said the review of the book is now concluded. A committee at the school level has already voted twice to allow the book in the school, following three separate complaints from...

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Teacher, assistant principal at Orange County school step down over gay fairy tale controversy

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 2:54 PM

Photo by Alex BoernerEfland-Cheeks Elementary third-grade teacher Omar Currie has resigned.A teacher and an assistant principal at Orange County's Efland-Cheeks Elementary have stepped down following the backlash over the teacher's reading of a gay children's book in the classroom. Third-grade teacher Omar Currie and Assistant Principal Meg Goodhand confirmed their resignation to the Indy Monday. Currie sparked an uproar this spring when he read the book, "King & King," to his class following a bullying incident. The book, which was given to Currie by Goodhand, tells the story of a fictional prince who defies the pressure to marry a princess...

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Updated: State votes to revoke charter for Raleigh's Dynamic Community school

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Creative Commons LicenseCiting an "erosion of trust" and "numerous concerns," including concerns for children's safety, the N.C. State Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to revoke the charter of Dynamic Community Charter, a Wake County school that serves only children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The state board followed the recommendation of a smaller panel of board representatives who heard Dynamic's appeal to remain open. Board members initially voted to begin the revocation process in March, pointing to the school's financial troubles, academic irregularities and improper teacher certification. On Thursday, state staff said they appeared close to resolution with the...

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Orange County Schools to convene committee on gay fairy tale read in class

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Photo by Alex BoernerEfland-Cheeks Elementary third-grade teacher Omar CurrieThe fight over a teacher's decision to read a gay-themed children's book in an Orange County Schools classroom continues. Orange County Schools Interim Superintendent Pam Jones will appoint a system committee to review the book, "King & King." This is the next step in the process, the system said Tuesday afternoon, after parents appealed a school committee's decision last month to allow the book. A handful of parents were upset after third-grade teacher Omar Currie read the book at Efland-Cheeks Elementary in western Orange County in April. Currie, who is openly gay,...

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Friday, March 6, 2015

N.C. schools report "record low" dropout rates

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 4:20 PM

Good news out of North Carolina's public schools. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction reports "record low" dropout rates in state schools in the 2013-2014 school year. Read about it in detail here and find copies of the reports here. Last school year, 2.28 percent of high school students dropped out of school. That marks a decrease from the previous year's record low, which was 2.45 percent. “This is a day for celebration as North Carolina has seen another record low dropout rate and two school districts report no dropouts,” State Superintendent June Atkinson said in a statement. “This could...

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Following GSA controversy, A.L. Stanback Middle School names interim principal

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Orange County Schools has chosen former Wake County principal Jan Hargrove to serve as interim principal at A.L. Stanback Middle School. The Indy reported last month that the school's current principal, Gloria Jones, is stepping down following complaints from parents and staff who accused her of blocking the formation of a school Gay-Straight Alliance for more than two years. Jones will remain as the school's administrator through November. She did not say why she is resigning, but members of the system's Board of Education publicly criticized the principal for her handling of the LGBT support group this year. The club,...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Investigation pins UNC-CH academic scandal on a pair of academic administrators

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Coaches, academic advisers, administrators in the university's African and Afro-American Studies Department and the university itself are all the culprits in a long-awaited report released Wednesday into UNC-Chapel Hill's ongoing academic scandal. The 136-page report from former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein delves deeper than any previous probe into the scandal, which unfolded after the NCAA began looking into benefits received by former football players in 2010 and expanded to include many other sports at the university. The report primarily points the finger at former department director Julius Nyang’oro and a manager, Deborah Crowder, for offering hundreds of irregular classes between...

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Chapel Hill High graffiti artists troll principal

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Graffiti trolling Principal Jackson at Chapel Hill High this month.Behold: Graffiti artists with an apparent, albeit spotty, grasp of ethics. An Indy reader sent us this photo, taken at Chapel Hill High School earlier this month. It appears to be a prank trolling Principal Sulura Jackson, who was accused by teachers last year of failing to cite her sources in numerous letters and writings. Although it's cut off in the photo, the pranksters wrote "cite this" before directing Jackson to Easybib, a free, online bibliography generator. They also took the time to misspell Jackson's first name and write the word...

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Chapel Hill High principal addresses plagiarism allegations

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Embattled Chapel Hill High School Principal Sulura Jackson addressed the allegations of plagiarism in a recorded phone message this weekend, apologizing for the distraction caused by the controversy and pledging proper citation in the future. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools spokesman Jeff Nash confirmed Monday that parents and staff at the Chapel Hill school received the message Friday night. Jackson is accused of plagiarism in school memos and letters both before and after her arrival in Chapel Hill this summer. “Although I was saddened to hear it through the newspaper, I have heard the requests of this staff and community and,...

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

More evidence of Chapel Hill High plagiarism?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

The future for Chapel Hill High School Principal Sulura Jackson is unclear at the moment, following this week's plagiarism allegations. The allegations, as well as the evidence, are covered in detail in this week's Indy. Read it online here. Members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education were already scheduled to meet tonight at the Lincoln Center in Chapel Hill. The board's agenda says members will discuss a personnel matter in closed session starting at 6 p.m. The public portion of the meeting begins at 7 p.m. School administrators have defended Jackson, lauding her for attempts to increase...

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Redistricting begins again in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Expect redistricting drama to begin anew in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools tonight. The school system's Board of Education will take on the subject of Glenwood Elementary overcrowding during tonight's meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Smith Middle School auditorium on Seawell School Road. Read the agenda here. School officials say Chapel Hill's Glenwood Elementary, home of an expanding Mandarin Dual Language program, is already 90 students above its capacity. That number will grow to 155 in 2014-2015 as the school's dual language and non-dual language programs continue to swell. The popular dual language program allows students to receive instruction...

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Orange County races over

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Incumbents coasted and a few plucky newcomers were winners in last night's elections in Orange County. In the race for four seats on the Chapel Hill Town Council, the clear winners were current Mayor Pro Tem Ed Harrison, Councilwoman Sally Greene and two challengers in local pastor Maria Palmer and Duke University pathologist George Cianciolo. In Carrboro, the three incumbents—Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven-O'Donnell and Sammy Slade—were the victors. In Hillsborough, Jenn Weaver and Kathleen Ferguson won seats on the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners. And in the race for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, information technology specialist Andrew...

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