North Carolina Newspapers

    VOLUME 112, ISSUE 117
Student records maybe released
CRITICS SAY NEW METHOD
COULD POSE PRIVACY RISK
BY ERIC JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
The federal government is con
sidering a sweeping change in the
way it collects and manages data
about college students.
If implemented, the modi
fications would allow the U.S.
Department of Education to track
the individual records of students
enrolled in higher education insti
tutions.
The National Center for
Education Statistics, a division
of the Department of Education
responsible for gathering and pro
A DAY AT THE RACES
Holiday shoppers
begin their work
BY ALEX GRANADOS
STAFF WRITER
Let the stocking stuffing begin.
The Friday after Thanksgiving
typically is the biggest shop
ping day of the year, and experts
from the International Council of
Shopping Centers predicted a 4
percent increase in sales this year.
Mike Robbins, general man
ager of the Triangle Town Center
in Raleigh, said sales have been
increasing steadily as the holiday
shopping season approaches.
“Leading into the season, our
center is averaging about a 20
percent increase in traffic over the
past six months,” Robbins said.
And experts think shopping
centers nationwide could benefit
from increased traffic.
Malachy Kavanagh, ICSC
spokesman, said sales for this year
cotfld eclipse last year’s totals.
“Last year, perhaps, we were
still in a recession. This year we are
seemingly out of it,” he said.
The nation’s economic recov
ery was seemingly evident Friday
morning at Sears in Crabtree
Valley Mall. General Manager
Mark Micol said the store handed
out $lO gift cards to the first 200
people through the doors.
“We gave out the gift cards in
the first 20 minutes,” he said, add
ing that 400 to 500 people lined up
before the store opened at 6 a.m.
Kavanagh said the holiday shop
ping season is an essential time for
shopping centers nationwide. “A
tremendous amount of money just
flows through the economy during
November and December.”
In anticipation of the holiday
money flow, Triangle area malls
began preparations for the busy
shopping season.
Jeff Johnson, marketing man
ager of The Streets At Southpoint,
said the season requires that store
managers beef up their staff.
“Some stores do up to 60 per
cent to 70 percent of their sales
for the year,” he said. “Everything
is staffed up more.”
Johnson said security and sales
staff members are added, as well
SEE SHOPPING, PAGE 4
DTH/JUSTIN SMITH
Horses graze at a Boys and Girls Home at Lake Waccamaw. The exhibition
center hosts several large horse shows each year, filling up area buildings.
iftiemr
MwpllfKa
X WITH THE BLOCK
Local group garners award for efforts
to prevent teen pregnancy PAGE 2
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
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cessing data, is reviewing a pro
posed redesign of its Integrated
Postsecondary Education Data
System.
The database relies on summa
ry statistics from each university
in order to calculate graduation
rates, enrollment, degree comple
tion and cost of attendance for
each student.
Under a revised system, such
information would be calculated
based on the records of each indi
vidual student instead of on a
schoolwide summary.
A review panel commissioned
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DTH/BRANOON SMITH
Shoppers crowd The Streets at Southpoint on Sunday afternoon. The Friday after Thanksgiving is typically the biggest shopping day of the year.
Experts at the International Council of Shopping Centers have predicted a relatively modest, but significant, 4 percent increase in sales this year.
Local group eschews commercialism
BY BRIANIOV BISHOP
STAFF WRITER „
Those in Orange County
looking to avoid the commer
cial storm Black Friday found
a different option at Chapel
Hill’s Internationalist Books &
Community Center.
From noon to 5 p.m. Friday,
Internationalist Books, a non
profit organization located at 405
W. Franklin St., recognized “Buy
Nothing Day.”
Buy Nothing Day began 12
years ago in Vancouver, Canada,
and has gradually spread across
the globe.
INSIDE
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
Student Congress' marathon meeting
ends without much action PAGE 3
www.dthonline.com
by the education department con
cluded that a program based on
individual records would improve
the quality of data collected.
Advocates of the redesign say
the present database has numer
ous shortcomings that limit the
scope of its information.
The panel reported that the
system as it stands cannot track
students who transfer, co-enroll,
stop-out or shift between fiill-time
and part-time enrollment.
The panel also cited problems
with calculating the true cost of
enrollment at many colleges.
“Many states need better indi
cators for public institutions for
accountability, workforce initia
tives and other policy concerns,”
the report states.
Participants in the movement
try not to engage in any consumer
ism on Black Friday, the day after
Thanksgiving, because it is con
sidered to be the busiest shopping
day of the year.
Internationalist has recognized
the movement for several years,
said Kelly Wooten, board chair
woman for the center.
“We continue to do it because
people have such a good time,” she
said.
The celebration at
Internationalist included a poetry
hour and a crafts session, in which
attendees could make gift cards
Farmers adapt to new conditions, livelihoods
Agribusinesses crop up across state
BY ERIN GIBSON
ASSISTANT STATE AND NATIONAL EDITOR
Waking up with the sun, cooking
breakfast, feeding the animals and
tending the fields is a life most North
Carolinians have only heard about.
But not long ago, it was the way
of life in the Tar
Heel state.
Farmland has
decreased during
the past several
years, and so has
the money farmers
/.STEPPING,
forward
A four-part series
on North Carolina's
efforts to rekindle
its struggling
economy.
make. The state’s economy and job
market once hinged on agricultural
industries such as farming, tobacco
and textiles, but they are changing,
and new ones are claiming power.
IS
Information for individual stu
dents could be broken down in any
number of ways, allowing policy
makers at the state and national
levels to analyze statistics for spe
cific states, schools or even areas
of study.
All public and private univer
sities would have to submit their
student records to NCES, just as
they now are required to provide
summary data for IPEDS in order
to maintain eligibility for federal
financial aid.
The ambitious project would
initially put a greater burden on
schools and could require compre
hensive restructuring of computer
systems at some institutions.
“The first year of any system
change is difficult,” the report
and gift bags.
Carrburritos, located at 711 W.
Rosemary St., donated food for the
occasion.
Ruby Sinreich, a participant,
said the event helped to make
connections between people and
to build community.
“It’s really focused on being cre
ative and sharing,” she said.
Participants mingled while dec
orating bags with potato stamps,
paint and stickers.
Reasons for participating varied
among those in attendance, but
most agreed that it was appropri
ate to fight excessive consumer-
“The family farm is much more
a part of history than you’d like to
see,” said Brian Long, public affairs
director for the N.C. Department
of Agriculture and Consumer
Services.
But many of those who have
stayed in the business are embrac
ing changes and finding new ways
to make a profit.
Agritourism is an emerging
market in North Carolina, started
by farmers who saw the desire
among urban-bred people to
experience farm life firsthand and
opened their working farms to the
public, Long said.
Goat Lady Dairy in Randolph
County is one of many such attrac-
IXI Skill I*
CHANGE IN PLANS
At December meeting, Town Council to consider
plans to install high-tech parking meters PAGE 3
states. “NCES would field test the
(new) collection system, but some
bugs may be missed.”
Critics, particularly lobbyists
for private colleges, contend that
the new method of collecting data
on individual students could pose
a risk to privacy.
Sarah Flanagan, vice president
for governmental relations and
policy development of the National
Association of Independent
Colleges and Universities,
expressed concern about such a
large database in the hands of a
government agency.
Having information on indi
vidual students —as opposed to
individual schools will make the
SEE DATABASE, PAGE 4
ism.
Amanda Earley said she has
attended Buy Nothing Day
events in previous years and tries
not to do any shopping on Black
Friday.
“I just choose to do my shop
ping differently,” she said.
Nick Shanglei, another par
ticipant, said that Friday marked
the first time he had attended a
Buy Nothing Day event but that
he has never enjoyed shopping in
the first place.
“It’s not the first time I’ve dis-
SEE BUY NOTHING, PAGE 4
tions.
The 60-acre family farm, which
is more than 200 years old, opens
its doors to groups several times
each year so they can torn - the farm
and see what it takes to keep one
running —a process quite different
from maintaining a quarter-acre lot
found in suburban neighborhoods.
Other farmers transformed
their land into attractions, such as
Christmas tree farms, where many
people will go this holiday season
to choose that perfect tree and cut
it down themselves.
Still, there are some who con
tinue to work their own land and
sell the product on the market just
as they’ve always done.
“Agriculture is in a period of
transition,” Long said. “But agri
culture and agribusiness ... still
WEATHER
TODAY Partly cloudy, H 57, L 35
TUESDAY Mostly cloudy, H 58, L 48
WEDNESDAY T storms, H 65, L 34
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2004
School
board
to host
forum
Candidates will
share their views
BY KATHRYN REED
STAFF WRITER
Candidates looking to fill the
vacant position on the Chapel Hill-
Carrboro Board of Education will
have an opportunity today to share
their qualifications and views with
the school board.
The board will conduct a public
forum to interview the 10 candi
dates vying for the position at 5
p.m. at the Lincoln Center.
The vacancy came about
when Valerie Foushee resigned
her position after being elected
to the Orange County Board of
Commissioners.
Foushee’s replacement will
fulfill the remainder of her term,
which expires in November 2005.
“The board will evaluate each
candidate and seek the most
well-rounded person,” said Vice
Chairwoman Lisa Stuckey.
Stuckey said candidates will
have an opportunity to make open
ing remarks about their qualifica
tions before being questioned by
board members.
Candidates also will be able to
make closing statements.
Stuckey said the board is seek
ing candidates with experience in
the school system, as well as those
with an ability to bring a cross-sec
tion of the community to the board
and those with an ongoing com
mitment to the welfare of children
in the district.
Still, “there’s not a specific for
mula,” Stuckey said. “We’re looking
for the best person we can find.”
Among the candidates is former
school board member Gloria Faley,
who lost a bid for re-election by 28
votes in 2003.
“I have been active in the school
system for 12 years in hundreds of
ways,” said Faley. “I think I would
bring balance to the board that
Valerie brought.”
Faley, whose candidacy has
prompted concerns from those
who say her appointment would
go against the will of the district’s
voters, said teacher shortages, fed
eral mandates lacking funding and
racial concerns are among the big
gest problems facing the board.
She added that she doesn't think
her re-election bid will affect the
school board’s decision.
Carolyn Schwarz, president of
the Phillips Middle School Parent
Teacher Student Association, said
she thinks high school reform is
one of the most important issues
facing the district.
“I love the idea of high school
reform,” she said. “It looks very
similar to how it was when I was
in high school. Everything around
SEE SCHOOL BOARD, PAGE 4
equates to about S6O billion to the
state’s economy every year.”
Michael Walden, professor of
agriculture and resource economics
at N.C. State University, said less of
that money now is coming from the
state’s farms, and more comes from
the other steps of production.
North Carolina now is No. 1 in
the country in total tobacco pro
duction, as well as the production
of flue-cured tobacco and sweet
potatoes.
Walden said the changes in agri
business now include all steps of pro
duction from the farm to trans
portation to stores and markets.
“There has been a shift in the
parts of business,” Walden said, add
ing that families also have changed
SEE FARMS, PAGE 4
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