Watson Chronicle



WCE Hosts NC SPIN Debate on Issues in Education

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

On March 30, the Watson College welcomed NC SPIN to campus for a live debate featuring four experts with diverse views about education policy in North Carolina.

Held in UNCW’s Lumina Theater, the event's topics included: teacher pay, state funding for education and the role of North Carolina’s public universities, community colleges and school districts.

 “Policies that affect our schools, the children who attend them, our educators and the communities in which they live should be debated and examined in public,” said WCE Dean Van Dempsey. “That debate should be vigorous with multiple perspectives engaged. The Watson College and UNCW are proud to host this discussion of the top issues in education facing North Carolina, and we thank NC SPIN for bringing this opportunity to our campus.”

Career broadcaster and NC SPIN Executive Producer Tom Campbell moderated the 90-minute discussion. Panelists were Chris Fitzsimon, Becki Gray, Howard Lee and Hannah Gage. Fitzsimon is the executive director of NC Policy Watch; Gray is a speaker, columnist and senior vice president of the John Locke Foundation; Lee is a former Democratic state senator and former chair of the State Board of Education; and Gage is former chair of the UNC Board of Governors.

NC SPIN is a weekly television program that airs statewide and features politically balanced discussions on timely North Carolina issues. UNCW’s NC SPIN event, attended by faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members, was live-streamed, but not televised. A reception, co-sponsored by the Watson College and the WCE Alumni Association, was held in the Clock Tower Lounge following the debate. 

The full debate can be viewed here.

The NC SPIN event was featured in a UNCW home page story on March 24, titled Education Issues Will Take Center Stage in “NC SPIN” Debate at UNCW, and was included on the StarNews’ list of five noteworthy events of the week in Southeastern North Carolina. 

Media Coverage of the Event

StarNews, March 30: 4 topics tackled during UNCW schools forum

Port City Daily, March 28: Is education system failing or flourishing? Issues up for debate at UNCW