Sunday sampler

A slow local news day, perhaps because wire stories on the devastation in Nepal elbowed some stories off the front page.

Asheville — The Citizen-Times poses the question of whether charter schools are becoming segregated. Yes, is the answer. More students are going to schools that are predominately white, a trend that raises concerns about resegregation of schools….This matters because the schools are supposed to be serving the public interest, said Helen F. Ladd, a professor of public policy and economics at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and one of the study’s authors. It’s also important because of the history of segregation in the South, she said. Is it coincidental that the Republican-dominated legislature is pushing to increase the number of charter schools?

Durham — The Herald-Sun reports on a civic engagement certificate that Duke offers to students who meet the requirements. The story isn’t particularly clear, but I note it here because I worry about the lack of civic engagement throughout the community. The more efforts and rewards given to people who get involved, the better. To earn the civic engagement certificate, a student will have to take a beginning “gateway” course, two electives and an ending, “capstone” seminar. He or she will also have to perform 450 hours of hands-on work with at least one “community partner,” and put together a public “e-portfolio” documenting their experience.

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