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It's Wednesday July 9th. Tonight the challenges of implementing charter schools in North Carolina now. Hello I'm arraignments right welcome to North Carolina now on this Wednesday edition we'll meet a chemist who has gained praise from the president of the United States for his environmental research. Also tonight the first of the charter schools are set to open their doors to students this fall. Well explore this education concept and the hurdles involved with getting this new idea up and running. Also tonight they're not only up and running but they're doing quite a bit of jumping as well. Billy Barnes will introduce us to the Bouncing Bulldogs a very talented group of youngsters. But up first tonight a new concept in education here in our state.
A charter school is an independent alternative school that receives federal state and local tax dollars. But the charter school does not have to follow many of the regulations that traditional schools do. However in order to keep a charter with the State students of the school must consistently perform at a higher level than public school students on standardized tests. Tonight Sunny Williams takes us to Rocky Mount where construction of one such school is underway. MM It's hard to believe that in just three months he's in deep facility will be an elaborate school that will make history in the Rocky Mountain area as their first charter school. Well it's been a very complex process a very fast paced we got involved in early October and I guess it was about less than two weeks we had to put our application together for the state which we did and we went through a period of time during the winter of review by the State Board of Education It was not until
March mid March that we found out we have been approved finally and we've done it about six or seven months which normally takes several several years for a school to do with that's what business people do. They they are willing to work long hours to do what it takes to make the job done. Executives from TN to a bank and other businesses founded the charter public school to raise performance levels for students. They hired a professional charter school management company to run it. Board members say today most of the teaching and administrative staff have been hired and there's already a waiting list for students. Over 500 students are enrolled at Rocky Mount charter public school officials are starting with grades K through five this year and adding an additional grade each year until school is K through 12. This makes Rocky Mountain charter school the largest in the state. We advertise just like any other business and found that really word of mouth was the most important way people heard about us. We held community forums and we
talked extensively about our curriculum about the role that parents will have to play in our school about the D approach. You know what a charter school is and it gives you a choice with public money or you don't have to pay tuition but you get a lot of advantages that you may not normally get in a traditional school. The Rocky Mount charter school will operate 200 days a year as opposed to the hundred eighty days of the traditional school and the school day will be a few hours longer. You know the Japanese go a whole lot longer than we do in America. And our school will have a minimum 200 day school year. Which means essentially children be in class a month longer than they are in the traditional school. And a combination of the longer school day and the longer school year will mean that in if a child starts in kindergarten in our school the time they get to 10th grade they will have gone through the equivalent of time they normally go through in 12 years. Board members have an ambitious curriculum plan for this goal and will use the state's accountability program the ABC plan and some international test to measure their progress.
If a school isn't doing what it says it's going to do if it's not performing it ought to go out of business just like any other business after Sure. The problem is that we haven't allowed public schools the freedom to fail. And if you don't have that facing it then you're not really going to make the changes you've got to do to significantly improve. State law requires a charter school to reflect the racial makeup of its district so the board has made an effort to enroll a wide variety of students. But mall makers are still hammering out some of the other guidelines for charter schools. One major point of debate is whether to give preference to the children of the teachers and board members of charter schools in terms of teachers. Seems to me there's always been an unwritten rule if it's not written that we're teachers taught in a particular school district their children were welcome in that school district. I think it's logical to assume that they pass. Whether he or she be a teacher or not would want their child with them. If there they teach in a particular grade and as far as board members Robert Evans says getting a charter school started takes a lot of hard work and commitment.
He believes giving a board member's child preference would be a reward for those efforts. But Evans does not believe preference should be given to students in private schools that convert to charter schools. The charter legislation basically has an end to discrimination clause which means that charter schools are open. If it seems to me that if you allow preferences in private schools you make a mockery of that because many private schools are not open to blacks and whites who don't have the funds to pay for them so certainly that militates against prefaces in that situation. Another point of debate is whether to allow charter schools to use state money to repay loans for buildings and construction. Board members say this point is essential because some schools may not be able to purchase or renovate a building without it. Lawmakers are also wrestling with the issue of allowing public school teachers who move to a charter school to remain a part of the state retirement plan. We think it's good that teachers could in this new bill would have an opportunity to be part of the statement
Harman plan. We found in recruiting teachers especially for more experienced teachers who may be frustrated with what they have now that this is an issue. And we think that shouldn't necessarily be an issue we have a private plan for our school. So we don't know that it's going to be helpful to us this year but we think it helps other charter schools in the future and we think that's important as lawmakers continue working out the guidelines for charter schools construction on the Rocky Mount school is plowing ahead seven days a week. They're working to meet the October deadline. But there's always hope that their charter school will help raise the bar for all schools across the state. So we would hope to see student performance improved dramatically. We would expect to see kids better prepared in the technical areas of the school to work here so that when they finish school they could go directly into jobs in careers much better prepared to do that. We would also have to see students who are graduating going on to college being much more prepared to
do that as well. Not every charter school will have a curriculum like Rocky Mount. Each school designs its own education format. Well still ahead meet an award winning chemist working for a cleaner environment. But first let's head over to the news desk where Bob Garner is sitting in for Michel Louis. Hello Bob. Hi Maria. Good evening everyone. Topping our news a former Department of Motor Vehicles employee Algy Toomer refused to testify before a State House committee today. The committee cited Toomer in contempt upon his refusal. The panel is investigating why aides to Governor Jim Hunt agreed to pay him a $100000 settlement Toomer claims he was harus and discriminated against by the DMV Toomer and his attorneys say the First Amendment protection from testifying. Will you answer any questions that he or members of the committee might ask you this afternoon. I respectfully declined to do it based on my own.
Do you wish to assert any particular constitutional right. I respectfully decline to answer this particular time based on my constitutional rights. It is granted upon the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution as well as Article 1 Section both mean of the state constitution as well is a land of federal case agents which affords citizens the right to speak. If we know that the freedom of speech it also affords citizens the right not to speak. It's unclear what the punishment for can sample be since nobody has ever been cited for contempt of the General Assembly. President Clinton says part of the national tobacco settlement is unreasonable. The president says he objects to restrictions on the government's power to regulate nicotine. Specifically the Food and Drug Administration is lowering or banning nicotine in cigarettes. If doing so would create a black market for full strength cigarettes President Clinton says it's unreasonable that a few black market cigarettes
outweigh the government's right to protect the country's children. Blue Cross Blue Shield is turning up the heat in its bid to pressure lawmakers to approve a bill creating rules for the company's conversion to for profit status. Several state legislators report receiving calls from subscribers mainly retirees who didn't know much about the bill. Subscribers have reportedly been enlisted by the insurer to lobby the legislators and they've been told their premiums would rise if the bill does not pass. Consumer advocates want the company to set aside funds for its subscribers should the company convert a national report finds North Carolina schools ranking above the national average in the use of computer technology and nine of 10 categories. The report shows the ratio of students to computers to be seven to one. The national average is 10 to one. Ninety one percent of North Carolina schools have cd rom the highest of any state and at 22 percent North Carolina ranks fourth in the percentage of teachers with at least nine hours of computer training
for the classroom. But the Educational Testing Service found the state's poor and minority students lack equal access to new computer technology. New childcare issues are being addressed by a task force of Charlotte area business and daycare leaders. The issues come from a growing demand for people to work early mornings late nights weekends and rotating shifts. That task force organized by a group called child care resources hopes to start a pilot program this fall to create more extended hours care. The task force recently polled employees and job seekers and found that almost two thirds of them would use childcare during nontraditional hours. And now for a look at tomorrow's weather. Temperatures in the 80s will cover most of the state. Boone may stay in the upper 70s partly cloudy to partly sunny skies will spread across North Carolina with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms at the coast and in business news North Carolina's job growth is one of the highest in the southeast. Today's Wall Street Journal reports that for the
12 month period ending April 30th North Carolina reported job growth of 2.9 percent for a total of one hundred one thousand positions. Florida was the only southeastern state with higher job growth at 3.9 percent. Developers are planning a 250 million dollar residential development near the Raleigh Durham International Airport. That development will include an Arnold Palmer design golf course and up to twelve hundred upscale homes and townhouses. Toll Brothers incorporated of Pennsylvania brought 500 acres west of RTU and a drawing up plans for the development. The project will be one of the largest in the triangle in recent years and one of the closest neighborhoods to Research Triangle Park. Now for a look at what happened on Wall Street today a.
At a National Academy of Sciences ceremony held a couple of weeks ago in Washington D.C. This evening's guest received the Presidential green chemistry challenge award for his environmental research. President Clinton established the award through the U.S. EPA to honor individuals and groups and organizations involved in fundamental breakthroughs and cleaner cheaper smarter chemistry. Dr. Joseph de Simone has been recognized for his discoveries that could result in environmentally friendly improvements in the dry cleaning business. Here to explain his research and the implications it has for all of us is Dr. Joseph Simone a chemistry professor at USC Chapel Hill and a professor of chemical engineering at N.C. State. Dr. Di Simone Welcome to North Carolina now congratulations on your award what an honor it was. Thank you very much. It was a great opportunity. I understand that but tell me a little bit about the research that led to this terrific award has something to do with using environmentally friendly carbon dioxide. That's correct. It's carbon dioxide which most people know about and gases form when they
drink soda in champagne or in solid form and dry ice. We use carbon dioxide in liquid form. Which is like any other conventional liquid but we have to do it at higher pressure. And in this liquid form CO2 can be a powerful cleaning solvent. When one adds certain certain soaps to it and that's what our invention was the design of soaps or detergents for carbon dioxide that allowed to be a much better and much more powerful cleaning solvent. And you actually uses carbon dioxide to replace some of the harmful chemicals that are used currently. That's correct in a lot of different industries including dry cleaning in plastics manufacturing that these industries typically use organic solvents or chlorinated organic solvents in a dry cleaning industry. The chlorinated organic solvent is per Claro ethylene which is a potential human carcinogen as defined by the EPA. And so when you take your clothes to the dry cleaners they wash the garments in this liquid that is a chlorinated organic solvent. And there are problems associated with that.
And our our research has led to the use of carbon dioxide to replace the perchlorate flame used and conventional dry cleaning. If if this chemical is so hazardous why has the APAC not banned this before now. Well it's the growing realisation of the problem is that it is a fairly recent one. So that's a an issue but probably more importantly is that there hasn't been a solution to as an alternative to per plane in the dry cleaning industry. And so they're hesitant to impose a change if there is not a viable solution and perhaps a CO2 solution may be the solution for the problem. Whenever I think of changes in any kind of industry you know going about a new way of doing things I always think of the cost that is involved with going about the new route to doing things. Is there going to be any kind of major capital expense to the dry cleaning industry to implement your new idea.
Well these technologies have been licensed by a startup company called myself technologies and they've been developing the dry cleaning process based on CO2. And so in that process it entails the machine and the machine costs. About one hundred twenty five thousand dollars for a machine they per Claressa machine is about 65 to 85 thousand. The alternative another alternative perk is a petroleum based machine which is as if it's a flammable solvent and so the fire suppression system brings the price of that machine up to about $100000 so the cost of machine will be more expensive one hundred twenty five thousand. But there are actually lower energy costs and using the machine about 30 to 40 percent reduction in cost. Cleaning with a CO2 based process versus a perk based process. And so they'll save money in the long run by implementing this. They will also broaden the band of applicability for the CO2 based process. CO2 being a milder solvent will allow suede and leather to be
cleaned at the local dry cleaners where now they can't do that at the park. We're using a perk based process. In addition one will be able to deliver specialty coatings such as water repellent and stain repellent coatings So actually offers a wider business opportunity for the dry cleaners. I could see a viewer out there sitting there thinking Well this is all wonderful but I'm not in the dry cleaning business so I don't get my clothes dry cleaned so what does this mean to me. What implications does this have for the average person out there. Well the issue of groundwater safe drinking water. And protecting our land and our air and our water is an important issue to everybody. And this is one industry that is depended upon chlorinated organic solvents. But it goes much broader than that that there are many industries that industries that use organic solvents in fact there are 30 billion pounds of organic solvents manufactured every year and much more water is used in manufacturing processes. And so the individuals in a state can think about imagining manufacturing processes that didn't need organic solvents or didn't need water.
And so we have basically are having processes that could avoid using these solvents and water which eventually get brought into our land and water and contaminate our drinking water. Doctor you are the only academic chemist that received this prestigious presidential award. Does that mean that that USC Chapel Hill and N.C. State of which you also are a faculty member there does that mean that those schools are on the cutting edge of this type of research. Yes I think that is a clear indication. And moreover just the whole general area of environmental technologies is one that the the two institutions are selling at the environmental technologies area will be an economic influence for the triangle just like electronics communities or electronics industries were in the early 1980s. And so we think with mysel technologies and related. Environmental technology is coming into the park because of the two universities attracting the companies that this will result in new jobs for this area.
All right well Dr. Drew Simone thank you very much for your time this evening wish you well in your further research and thanks for being here tonight. Thank you very much. Wow. Rope jumping used to be just for big boxers and little girls. But today it's a popular sport for people of all ages. Tonight producer Billy Barnes introduces us to some North Carolina youngsters who are jumping on the bandwagon. Wednesday morning 6:00 a.m. most teenagers here in Carbo are still
snoozing. But these young athletes have bounced out of bed. They're bright talented enthusiastic. They're the MC Dougall middle school jump rope club rope jumping isn't as popular as soccer yet but it's getting there. There are 2000 jump rope demonstration teams in the United States 32 of them in North Carolina. Only a few of these are early morning MacDougall school jumpers are ready to perform on a demonstration team. The rest dream of a day when they may get the big guns and wear the coveted T-shirt of the bouncing bulldog. The pulldowns demonstration team features 45 jumpers chosen from 23 schools in the Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill area. The youngest is a second grader. Eldest is a junior in college. The dogs have appeared in hundreds of shows all over North Carolina. They started their fancy moves in the world and then Bermuda. Washington D.C. California and other
states. Small children are captivated by the energy and skill of the Bulldogs and coach Ray Fredrick where the shepherd of the band dogs will never passes up a chance to preach a little sermon to both children and parents of boys and girls are so special and they're in shape they must keep a B average anything below a B I do not excel. If you make a C in the classroom you're on probation. If you walk around with an attitude that is not positive I have a problem with that. If you show disrespect to your teachers I have a problem. Ray Frederick you seem self a change champion educator and mentor. He teaches five classes a day at McDougal school then volunteers an additional 35 hours a week to coach jumping team behind his desk in the McDougall gym there are numerous plaques awards thank you notes from youngsters and this quotation.
Children are the light of the world. Share a little love time hope and a little prayer for to help even one child is to aid in the salvation of every child's future and a lot of forests. The number one thing coaches are looking for is athletic ability. And I try to reverse that when I look at it is attitude first because I think if you have a great attitude you will succeed in life. Number two academics we require the boys and girls to maintain a B average and some people tell me the standards are too high. I disagree because if you set the standards high most the time the boys and girls will meet your expectations. And number three is roped off. And notice I said rope jumping lion. And normally what we do we each person in a leadership role to play in the program we set up anywhere from three to four stations and the group leaders are mainly kids who are on the bouncing board all traveling team. They take the skills that they learn and bring them back to the make do go jump rope club and share these
traits because we always teach the boys and girls we should always be willing to give something back to other people. Doing jump ropes has helped me a lot. It helps me to learn new things from other people and it's just something fun that I can do and makes me work hard. So if I work hard here or work hard and other things I do. He's taught me a lot of you know personal stuff. I'll take you aside and just like really talk to you and stuff and make you feel good and you know a lot of coaches don't do that. He's one of them that every kid special to him. Meanwhile back in the McDougall gym it's time for the school day to begin. So practice winds down with an echoing on the ground through additional values one more time. Or that's not the last one of the right there was last weekend. Self discipline. Very good. OK on the count of three kids are special ready 1 2 3 8
North Carolina Now
Episode Number
Interview with Dr. Joseph Desimone
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UNC-TV (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina)
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An informative report on local North Carolina news. Topics for this episode include an interview with Dr. Joseph Desimone (UNC-CH, Professor of Chemistry) about his environmental research, charter schools, and the Jumping Bulldogs jump-roping team.
North Carolina Now is a news magazine featuring segments about North Carolina current events and communities.
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The UNC Center for Public Television, 1997.
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Anchor: Garner, Bob
Director: Massengale, Susan
Guest: Desimone, Joseph
Host: Matray, Marita
Producer: Cox, Julia
Producer: Barnes, Billy
Producer: Williams, Sonya
Producing Organization: UNC-TV
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: NC0701/3 (unknown)
Format: Betacam: SP
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:25:46;00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “North Carolina Now; 4268; Interview with Dr. Joseph Desimone,” 1997-07-09, UNC-TV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 18, 2020,
MLA: “North Carolina Now; 4268; Interview with Dr. Joseph Desimone.” 1997-07-09. UNC-TV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 18, 2020. <>.
APA: North Carolina Now; 4268; Interview with Dr. Joseph Desimone. Boston, MA: UNC-TV, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from