Crab grass

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It seems like every time I turn around I'm adding new tags to keep track of the lunatic fringes of Puppetshow. Today I had to add Americans for Prosperity to the list, one more ugly face of the hydra that is the multi-million-dollar opinion-manufacturing machine funded by Art Pope.

Why today? Because today, Americans for Prosperity has decided to weigh in against the sane Wake County policy makers who voted to withhold judgment about raising the cap on charter schools.

The issue is a simple one: Government haters want to crush public schools out of existence over the long haul, so that eventually only rich white people will be able to afford an education. In the short term, they want to choke off school funding, thereby reducing traditional public schools to dysfunctional shells. Their plans call for siphoning off money into charter schools.

I personally have a great deal of hope for charter schools, but that hope has not yet been anywhere near fulfilled. I'm aware of NO evidence that charter schools perform any better than public schools ... nor does there appear to be a workable model in place for managing a significant increase in their number.

For people who like to talk about accountability, it's ironic that the AFP Wackos are pushing the charter school agenda so hard. The truth is, they're operating on a faith-based platform, both literally and figuratively. They have faith that somehow charter schools might magically become successful. And they WANT faith integrated as part of the curriculum. For many AFPers, charter schools are a Trojan Horse for pushing god into classrooms, right along with the pledge of allegiance. To my knowledge.

In North Carolina, the Puppet in Charge for AFP is Francis Deluca.

"I am honored to be part of the Americans for Prosperity team, a grassroots organization that has a positive impact on securing economic freedom and ensuring North Carolinians have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that exist in America” said DeLuca.

Immediately prior to joining AFPF-NC, DeLuca served as a Colonel in the United States Marine Corp working as the II Marine Expeditionary Force Training Officer with oversight of the training of all East Coast Marine forces and, specifically, the training of forces deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. He also deployed to the Middle East as part of Operations Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and Desert Storm in 1990-91. He has over 26 years of Active Duty and Reserve service in the Marine Corps.

His civilian experience includes close to a decade of working as the Principal of DeLuca/ Stephens Consulting, a public relations and political consulting firm. While in this role, he worked with political clients ranging from local office to statewide and congressional. A North Carolina native, DeLuca holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a graduate degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida.

Hmmmm. Does a Marine colonel calling AFP a "grassroots" organization actually make it so? I guess if you think being "funded as part of a multi-million-dollar opinion-manufacturing machine" qualifies as grassroots, well sure. That would make the whole Puppetshow a "grassroots" organization! Maybe crab grass.

But the big question is this: Why do reporters in the main stream media and public officials in Wake County actually give a damn what a so-called "grassroots" organization led by Fran Deluca have to say about ANYTHING - and especially about charter schools? It looks to me like this is just more undue influence being exercised by loyal Puppets doing the Puppetmaster's evil bidding.

The fact is, Arthur Pope is nobody of any significance. He ran for lieutenant governor and lost. He tried to insinuate himself into the legislative power structure in Raleigh, and was spurned by members of his own party.

And now he's trying to buy the influence he couldn't get any other way.


What's the difference between the Puppetmaster

and any other middle-aged balding guy (like me, for example) who wants to influence our state's political future?

You guessed it.


“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Charter Schools

Out here in the wild west, the Asheville area has about 4 charter schools I think. My grandson attended one for the 7th and 8th grades. Wow, what a difference from his previous six in public schools. He had been doing ok before, but just took off in the charter environment. He's been back in public now for 2 years and is excelling in everything. I think the small class size and attention to detail helped.

Shuler YES, Taylor NO!

I like charter schools for the same reason

and know of several that are very successful. I also know of many that are flat-out failures.

One key ... and you hit on this ... is size.

I have long been a strong critic of what I call factory schooling. In fact, I sympathize greatly with people who take on the public education establishment. At the same time, I don't want to see that establishment crushed the way the government haters do, I want to see it redirected. Innovation can and should come out of the public education institutions here in NC. There is no reason the Department of Public Instruction shouldn't be the driver of innovation in small schools (other than entrenched bureaucracy and sports). But it will take some hard pushing.

It's ironic that the Puppetmaster just gave $2 million to UNC for the friggin' football program. Don't you just love it! What an idiot.


“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden


Especially early on, the factory schooling is the worst thing we can do for our kids. Many of them are already growing up in an industrial setting as infants because both of their parents are forced/desire to work. At some point we have to remember that kids require nurturing and that an hour around the dinner table each night just isn't enough. K-?, early, is when these kids need a lot of one-on-one time, which you just can't get in most normal schools.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I totally agree

That some Charters are good, and some failures. I acctually am the product of a charter school in FL, the Okaloosa Walton College Collegiate High School. It was started by our local CC, one of the best in the country, and its program is very effective. I know for a fact that it continually out performs every other school in the county and state in the FCAT (our standardized test down there) and its population is drawn from a true cross section of the county.

I think that one of the main factors with Charter schools is who holds the charter and what thier purpse is. I like them in theory, I just think that they need to be closly watched to make sure that they are not being used as a way to destroy the regular public schools (don't get me started on my feeling of education overhaul in this country)

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

A friend.

I had a friend whose daughter went to a language immersion charter school in Jacksonville, FL. By the age of 6 she was fluent in French (who would teach their child French instead of Spanish, I don't know). Enough so that they went to France for a summer and she was able to blend in by the end.

I haven't kept up with her, so I don't know how the math & science type instruction worked.
CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Wake County is in a bind

with their schools. They are having huge growth in enrollment. To meet the space challenges caused by the growth, they need a $1 billion school bond plus a switch to year-round for many schools. Both are being met by significant "grass roots" opposition due to potential tax increases and scheduling conflicts for parents with kids on different schedules. It is hard to say how much of it is grass roots and how much has Art Pope's fingerprints as he stirs the pot in favor of charter schools.