Carolina Journal Weekly Report

February 03, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of February 03, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — International comparisons show North Carolina public school students struggle to match the performance of economic competitors around the globe, despite spending levels that rank among the highest in the world. The John Locke Foundation’s top education expert reaches that conclusion in a new Spotlight report.

“Despite ample resources, public school students in North Carolina fail to meet or exceed the performance of students in economically competitive European and Asian nations, who easily outperform students from the Tar Heel State,” said Dr. Terry Stoops, JLF Director of Education Studies. “Simply put, the state has failed in its goal of producing ‘globally competitive’ students. That failure is cause for serious concern.”

The solution is not higher spending on the state’s public schools, Stoops said. Instead his report recommends four immediate reforms.

“First, develop a comprehensive performance pay system for teachers and administrators,” Stoops said. “Second, adopt high-quality tests and curricula that can yield comparisons with other states and nations. Third, promote transparency and decisions driven by data. Fourth, raise teacher quality by reducing barriers for would-be teachers and strengthening teacher accountability.”

Long-term reforms include expanding public and private school choice and focusing on student-centered funding, Stoops added.

News Features

CJ: Redistricting weakens Republicans in two N.C. congressional districts
RALEIGH — It seems self-defeating: A Republican-crafted redistricting plan hurting Republicans’ election chances. But in two North Carolina districts, it’s true. A Catch-22 of redistricting is that partisan map-drawers must weaken their party’s power in certain districts to strengthen their power in others.

CJ: Federal commission advocated voter photo ID
RALEIGH — Critics of requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polls say the practice would disenfranchise minority voters. They don’t mention, however, that a 21-member bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform advocated just such a policy in 2005.

CJ: N.C. Zoo may become public-private partnership
RALEIGH — The senior chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee said he is prepared to introduce legislation this year to transform the state-owned North Carolina Zoo into a public-private partnership.

CJ: New board licensing proprietary schools
RALEIGH — Last year’s General Assembly created a new regulatory body that may cut red tape rather than increase it. The new State Board of Proprietary Schools will take the community college board out of the business of licensing these private institutions.

Former U.S. Rep. Etheridge enters governor’s race
RALEIGH — Former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge announced Thursday he’ll enter the Democratic primary race for governor, hours after Erskine Bowles decided against it. Etheridge’s bid further shakes up the party’s gubernatorial future just a week after incumbent Bev Perdue said she wouldn’t seek re-election.

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 06, 2012 at 12:00 pm Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Connie Sage
Frank Batten: The Founder of The Weather Channel: A Man of Means, a Life of Meaning

Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
A Citizens' Constitutional Workshop in Morehead City, NC
with our special guests Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
Workshop #2 in Morehead City: "What would the Federalists and Anti-federalists say about the current political and economic crises?"

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

If you are a Republican activist and you have a year of polls showing Pat McCrory beating Bev Perdue, why would you look for someone else?
— Political consultant Carter Wrenn, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer, on why Pat McCrory is likely to face no serious opposition for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

There is a huge difference between requiring education of the public and requiring that all education be provided by a public agency.
— House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about education policy.

If you wait for the perfect thing, you will likely wait ’til your grave for it to occur.
— House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer, talking about compensating victims of the state’s forced sterilization program.

You want to have a diverse economy. You don’t want to have a one-company town.
— N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, talking to the Fayetteville Observer about Fayetteville’s economy, which is heavily dependent upon the military and thus vulnerable to cuts in defense spending.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson analyzes Gov. Perdue’s retirement announcement and proposal to hike the sales tax; David Schnare & John Droz of the American Tradition Institute, along with JLF’s Daren Bakst, discuss wind power; lawmakers hear about cost overruns and delays with the state’s Medicaid claims system; John Mueller of the Ethics and Public Policy Center asks whether John Locke and the Founders should be described as “Lockean” or “Scholastics”; and JLF’s Daren Bakst discusses examples of local governments failing to adhere to state law.

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: One and done for Perdue; unemployment rate drops; automotive insurance rates; and who is paying the lobbyists? This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; political analyst Peg O’Connell; and broadcaster and businessman Henry Hinton.


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