Category Archives: Education Policy

Durham Bond Approvals Reveal National Finance Challenges

As North Carolinians anxiously await the final results of the governor’s race, Durham County residents have successfully passed four different bond referendums totaling $170 million to fund public education, library, and museum projects. Nearly $91 million will be put towards improving school buildings and security systems in Durham Public Schools, which comes after a slew of recent budget cuts to the district.

Durham County’s approach to financing these education projects mirrors the national trend of cities and counties turning to local bonds in the 2016 election as a main revenue source for education and infrastructure projects. Bonds are essentially promises that the government makes to repay over a period of time, often through increased taxes, to finance public improvements like school building projects. Continue reading

Addressing Human Trafficking in North Carolina’s Schools Through Preventative Training

27582913190_033f837728_zGiven the nature of modern human trafficking of school-age individuals, educators and school employees are uniquely “positioned to recognize changes in behavior and appearance that may indicate human trafficking involvement”. In North Carolina, school officials are mandated to report potential cases of sexual abuse and exploitation, and to instruct students on human trafficking. However, despite this requirement, the State of North Carolina does not mandate the training of school officials on how to prevent, identify, report, or address potential human trafficking of school-age children.

The trafficking of children is a harsh reality in North Carolina and throughout the U.S. An estimated 100,000 children are traded for sex in the U.S. each year. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that over 250,000 children ages 10-17 are exploited through commercial sex in the U.S. annually. For girls, the average entry age is between 12-14, and for boys, the entry age is 11-13. Continue reading

Beware the “Alternative System” for Public Education

Charter schools are not the enemy, but neither are traditional public schools–despite what you may have heard from Christopher Nelson last night. Mr. Nelson, who is the Managing Director of the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, presented at Sanford with Tammi Sutton, founder and Executive Director of KIPP: Eastern North Carolina. The event, titled “Creating Change Through Charter Schools,” touched on a number of issues, from how KIPP was started to its unique theory of change. Continue reading

Research Sheds Light on Risk Factors for Hispanic Students in North Carolina

With North Carolina’s changing demographics come changing classrooms. Research from three Duke professors shows special risk factors for Hispanic children in the state.

Empty school hallway

The number of people migrating to the U.S. doubled between 1990 and 2008. By 2009, 38.5 million people in the US were foreign-born (around 12.5% of the total population). Most of the new migrants came from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. During this period, the destination of the families also switched from traditional places, like Texas and California, to new destinations—among them, North Carolina.

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Duke Sanford’s William Darity, Jr. Talks Race, Academics, and “Acting White” on the Radio

Prof. Darity

Sanford’s Professor William A. “Sandy” Darity, Jr. was part of a fascinating discussion on Minnesota Public Radio’s “The Daily Circuit” last week.

The jumping off point is a recent reflection by President Obama in recent town hall remarks:

“Sometimes African Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of ‘acting white’ … where, OK, if folks are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly? And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black … that has to go.” Continue reading

Why We Need a National STEM Competition Just for Girls

When I was in the third grade, I invented a refrigerator. It was fancy for the time – it kept an inventory of everything inside, suggested recipes, and (gasp!) connected to the internet so you could order groceries from home. But two things were even cooler about this fridge. First, it came straight out of the minds of four little girls. Second, it won a national science competition.

RWAB Team
This awkward gem of a photo shows our all-girl inventor team with our “Refrigerator with a Brain.” The competition was sponsored by Toshiba (thanks, Toshiba!), and still exists today!

Fast forward twenty years and you’ll find that I am not a scientist. Not even close. I’m a writer and an advocate and a public policy student. But not once since the third grade have I donned a lab coat.

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