education

Saving rural NC as simple as one, two, three

Great article in this week's Indy by Jeffery Billman, called What's Driving the NC Senate's Animus Towards the State's Metros? BIllman explores possible reasons our state Senate Republicans dislikes our state's cities. I don't know about you, but I have never heard an urban politician campaign on hurting our urban environments, but to hear what is happening in NCGA, one would think there was a cabal of cities out to destroy the countryside. However, the greatest harm to our rural brethren has come from the Senate Republicans themselves. (I've put a link at the bottom of this piece. Read his article for more.)

Charters have Privileges Public Schools are Not Allowed

SB 480 has passed the crossover deadline and will head to the House. If passed there, it will make it illegal for any employee of a local board of education to politic while on the clock. Teachers, principals, teacher's aides will not be able to send home info on bond referendum or any legislation affecting schools.

However, charter schools are free to do so. Charter schools can use school facilities and time to call for support for legislation. And I have seen kids who receive vouchers actually lobbying at the Legislative Building. The following has gone out from Voyager Academy to its parents. Sauce for the goose is no longer sauce for the gander.

Our Schools Are Saved!

At last! Help for our ailing public school system!

Reps. Justin Burr & John Torbett have filed HB 858 to collect $500,000 from lottery proceeds to create funding for suitable portraits of George Washington for every public school that requests one from the governor's office!

SECTION 1.(a) There is established in the Office of the Governor for the
2015-2017 fiscal biennium a grant program to provide funding to the State's public schools for the purchase of suitable framed portraits of George Washington so that each public school that requests funding may display the likeness of the first United States President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in a dignified location and manner so as to educate students about one of the most important figures in the nation's history and an enduring model of character, leadership, and civic responsibility.

Not enough money for textbooks, teachers, teachers' aides, computers, copy paper, but Thank, Goodness, there will be pictures… excuse me, Portraits, of George Washington for our children to gaze upon in their schools.

Common Core & Ft Bragg

When I had the opportunity to speak at NCGA's Education hearing on the Common Core (CC), one of the points I made was that having the same expectations nation-wide was not a Communist plot but merely common sense. My family moved a lot during my childhood. Although we were not a military family, in 12 years of public education I attended 10 schools in 4 states.

A PEP for NCGA

It wasn't too long ago that we were hearing teachers cannot be trusted to assess the progress of their students and we needed all kinds of tests run by outside businesses (at big expense) to see how our kids were doing in school. It is so nice to see Sen. Jerry Tillman has a newfound trust in our teachers:

“The good teachers are doing informal assessments all the time, and they already know what they’re doing…"

Education Tweet-storm!

Arne Duncan opened a can of worms this morning, with a single tweet:

Arne Duncan
Verified account
‏@arneduncan
What if every district committed both to identifying what made their 5 best schools successful & providing those opps to all their students?

Responses include:

Amy Cody Clancy ‏@acodyclancy @KJeskey @BadassTeachersA @arneduncan What if the top 5 schools have less poverty, more parental supp and the money with which to succeed?

Tillis finds one teacher who loves Republican policies. Turns out, she's a liar.

Birds of a feather and all.  To my knowledge.

As a teacher, when someone gets something wrong, I correct it. So when I see these negative ads, talking about massive budget cuts and textbook shortages, that is incorrect. Thanks to the leadership of Governor McCrory and Speaker Thom Tillis, North Carolina has increased funding for public schools by a billion dollars.” Wilburn’s chiding is enough to make Democrats go stand in the corner. But in this case it’s the teacher who needs a time-out to go check her math.

The $1 billion increase Wilburn refers to is deeply misleading. Most of that spending includes state contributions to pension and health funds and salary adjustments. It’s not in any real world sense spending for the education of North Carolina’s public school students.  In the real world, spending for education is down. Wilburn could have learned that by going to the financial officer for her own school district. There has been a slight increase in special education funding, but the overall funding for the 5,400-student Yadkin County school district is down.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/20/4168035_an-ad-repeats-fuzzy-math-on-nc.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Best Educated Cities in America

Forbes is reporting that WalletHub has come out with its list of the 10 Most and Least Educated Cities in America, and NC's RTP has something to crow about:

Raleigh, North Carolina, comes in second, with neighbor Durham, North Carolina right behind it in third place. Provo, Utah, and Manchester, New Hampshire, round out the top five.

How long we will remain on the good end of this list could be problematic with all the cuts being made to our education systems and pressure to turn our university system into something less than world class. WalletHub reports:

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