NC Public Schools

Pubilic schools drive county economies in NC

The plans of the far right to destroy public education and utilize those tax dollars as a revenue stream for private businesses will do far more harm to North Carolina than just destroying our schools. It turns out that:

In 64 of North Carolina’s 100 counties .. a local school system is the largest single employer. A local school system is the second-largest employer in 24 other counties ….. In only 12 counties ... is a school system not in the top two…..

A few interesting notes: in counties where the school system is not the top employer, it’s usually due to the military (Craven, Cumberland, Onslow), a large university (Orange, Durham, Watauga, Pitt, Jackson), a prison (Granville, Hyde), or a large-scale hog/chicken processing plant (Duplin, Lenoir, Bladen). Note the absence of manufacturing.

See what your kids are eating at school

Salon has a piece about an effort by the organization Do Something, collecting photos of 7,000 school lunches from students, then posting them on a site where users could vote on whether they would eat it or not.

Take a look at what kids in NC are eating. What do you think of what they're getting?

Farah Sheikh, who started the project, told Salon she was surprised by the sheer amount of pizza and carbohydrates that popped up in photographs, not to mention the abundance of styrofoam trays on which they’re served. The worst offenders, with the most “toss it” votes, were found in Arkansas, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Alabama and Kansas.

Public Schools First NC walks with teachers

Trying stop the GOP from eating our seed corn:

Far from tweaking the teacher evaluation process, current legislation takes away an educator’s career status – turning our teachers into temporary, year-to-year contractors without protection for retaliatory or arbitrary firing. Forcing teachers on contracts will eventually lead to legal issues, lower teacher morale and their continued exodus out of public schools.

The elimination of additional pay for earning advanced degrees denies the value of continued professional development, which research ties to student achievement. Efforts to establish merit pay sets up competition with little financial reward and destroys the cooperation and teamwork that is the heart and soul of excellent teaching. Students benefit when teachers collaborate and share best practices with one another.

Divide and conquer is the standard operating procedure for the destroyers in the NC Republican Party. Tossing one piece of meat into a group of fifty starving dogs and betting on how many will survive the melee is the height of entertainment for people like this, but smart teachers know that meat is tainted.

School Bills pending in NCGA: Attention!

A hat tip to WakeUP Wake County advocates for the following information.

Public Schools:

Click here for talking points on the following education bills:

SB 325: Wake County School Board Districts - Redefines how and when Wake County School Board members are elected. Redraws School Board districts that were already redrawn in 2011 after the US Census and before School Board elections.

SB 236: Counties Responsible for School Construction - Allows county commissions to unilaterally seize ownership and control of school property from local school boards--for no less than 10 years. Yet equipment, maintenance, and repair responsibilities for the same properties could remain with the local school district.

HB 144: Offers a $1,250 tax credit per semester for every homeschooled child.

Let's make 2013 the year we start to #RebuildNC

TWO THOUSAND TWELVE was a difficult year for public investments in North Carolina. We saw even more cuts to vital services on which the entire state depends, and the inadequate funding so many of our schools and other public structures have suffered through since the start of the Great Recession has become the new baseline by which some NC lawmakers will judge future spending decisions.

Every 26 seconds another teen becomes pregnant.

This is from a fellow teen activist in North Carolina, and the original post is on Amplify:

Every 26 seconds another teen becomes pregnant. That means that before the end of my speech, there will be another 11 young ladies faced with the difficulties of a pregnancy, the challenges of motherhood, and the chore of growing up way before their time. A rate of one teen every 26 seconds equates to 3,323 teens in one day and 1,212,923 in one year and last year, I was one of those teens. On March 31, 2008 I became pregnant at the age of 17. I, like many other girls at my school, had the daunting task of dealing the pressures of a pregnancy and continuing with my schooling. And after my daughter arrived I had to deal with the challenges of motherhood while working on graduating, all before the age of 18. My junior year in high school, I became a statistic, a statistic that could have easily been avoided.

When teachers spank students

College Isn't for Everyone

In his State-of-the-State speech on Monday evening, Governor Mike Easley called upon the General Assembly to expand the Earn to Learn Program to include high schoolers who currently are unable to attend a college due to their location by providing internet based courses and opportunities for these students. The state of North Carolina has made the preparation of high schoolers for college a major necessity. I applaud these efforts, but as an educator who sees high schoolers on a daily basis, I am concerned that too many students are being left behind because of the increased efforts of the state to push students down the college track.

North Carolina, like other states, faces a severe situation concerning the amount of teenagers failing to finish high school by dropping out. I teach "at-risk" students who on a daily basis consider dropping out of high school for a number of reasons generally related to their lives out of school. Coupled with these home related issues is the lack of a "keeping mechanism" for these students that would compel them to finish school.

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