public schools

The case for public schools

A well-written and convincing op-ed piece.

Public schools, charter schools and private schools give North Carolina parents many choices for their child’s education. Along with these choices comes a whole lot of marketing, most of it not supported by facts.

There's certainly a legitimate role for charter and private schools in North Carolina, no question about it. But when they cannibalize public education, as is happening today, we have a lot more to worry about than being at the bottom of the barrel in teacher compensation.

Vouchers for disturbing home schools

Mother Jones has an article up taking a critical look at NC's school voucher program.

North Carolina's vouchers, which will become available in 2014, allow public money to go to unregulated private schools that are not required to meet any educational or teacher preparation standards. In addition, thanks to the way the law was written, the money will be available to "home schools"—literally schools set up in someone's house. Homeschooling traditionally has been done by parents. But the state recently changed its home schooling law to allow people who aren't parents or legal guardians educate kids in a group setting. The only requirement for such schools is that the teacher have a high school diploma, that the school keep immunization and attendance records on its students, and that it give kids a national standardized test every year.

Say YES to Wake County School Bond

Years ago, I served on the board of a religious institution. At the annual meeting, we presented a budget to the membership that included an increase in the amount of the preschool line item. An older member vehemently objected stating that the preschool should be self-sufficient. I button-holed the President during this rant and told him that if I ever forgot that the very reason for our existence was to educate a new generation, he had my permission to tell me it was time to leave town.

If all of our children are not well educated and loved, none of us will thrive. America is both a country of rugged individualists and a caring community. To the sad, selfish, short-sighted people leading a campaign to vote no on the Wake County School Bond, I say, start packing.

Fahrenheit 336

Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel, Invisible Man, has been banned from the shelves of school libraries across Randolph County.  Parents everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that their precious little snowflakes remain unmolested by "hard" reading.

By a 5-2 margin, the Randolph County Board of Education voted Monday night, at its regular meeting held at Eastern Randolph High School, to remove all copies of the book from school libraries.


Voting in favor of the ban were Board Chair Tommy McDonald and members Tracy Boyles, Gary Cook, Matthew Lambeth and Gary Mason. Voting against the action were Board Vice Chair Emily Coltrane and member Todd Cutler who both first introduced a motion to keep the book in the schools. This first motion was defeated by a 2-5 vote.

Where NC public schools are headed

I think it's important for liberals and progressives in NC to lift up our heads on occasion outside of the shennanigans in Raleigh to remind ourselves about the bigger picture.

Don't forget that the Republicans in the NC legislature are taking the state down a path of laws bought and paid for by big money donors pushing the same laws and policies in other states through organizations like ALEC.

If you think it's bad in NC now, take a look at Pennsylvania - NC is headed down the same road. From Slate:

WNCN Town Hall Meeting on schools and teachers

Sean Maroney ‏@seanmaroney from WNCN in Raleigh: 'The State of our Schools'

Make sure to check out our special on teachers in our state, starting tonight at 7! You can watch on-air and online!

starting now at 7:00 pm live on local WNCN and on their web site with Pam Saulsby as moderator

Keep our kids first

Apparently North Carolina ranks 48th in the nation in per pupil spending? And our average for teacher pay ranks 46th? To say that is discouraging is an understatement.

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI),

This will be the fifth consecutive year public schools have endured significant funding reductions. Many local superintendents have shared that schools in their districts have already been "cut to the bone." For years, many schools in North Carolina have operated with fewer teachers and staff, limited resources such as textbooks and technology, less training for teachers, and with facilities in need of update and repair. One superintendent has described the situation as a rubber band that has been stretched to its breaking point.

Given the harsh spending cuts over the past few years, it seems strange that our lawmakers are focused on charter schools and other faddish privatization schemes. No matter what your opinion is on charter schools, they take money away from our traditional public schools. Since 2008, the number of charter schools has grown by almost 50 percent, while over that same period nearly 4,000 traditional public schools have closed.

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.

Taliban Stam: Still full of it

To be expected, more bullshit and double talk from the King of Christian Lawyers.


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