The Locker Room

July 13, 2004

Teach -- or Else

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 2:06 PM

I was left confused by The Charlotte Observer's lukewarm praise for a modest bonus plan aimed at enticing experienced teachers into Charlotte-Mecklenburg's neediest schools. The Observer seems to regard the bonus idea as a half-way measure that falls short of the desired solution of simply assigning the best teachers to the worst schools. But the teach or else plan -- if it can be called one -- is a recipe for disaster.

There is little doubt that were CMS to start assigning good teachers to bad schools on a Monday, by Wednesday those teachers would be working in neighboring school districts, at private schools, in different professions, or just retire. People do not simply sit back and take a radical change in their working conditions; they re-evaluate their options and react.

No, the bottomline is that CMS must come across with serious bonus money -- at least $5,000 a year, and even then CMS teachers tell me that might not be enough -- to compensate teachers who agree to take on the toughest tasks. And the only way to get that kind of money is whack away at the deadwood that draws salaries at the bloated district HQ without ever setting root in a classroom.

Better yet, assign them to the worst CMS schools and let the natural attrition do the rest.

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Re: BBQ? Cheers?

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:43 PM

Even more interesting would be whether or not Gov. Easley would show up this time.

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Re: Edwards bounce for Bush-Cheney

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:34 PM

Yes, at least for now, many pundits seem fixated on "energy" and the ability to spin the old-style class warfare message with a smile and a southern drawl. Let's see how long it takes to get to content.

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Re: Edwards bounce for Bush-Cheney

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:30 PM

Yeah, Donna, gravitas is sooo 2000.

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Re: Edwards bounce for Bush-Cheney

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:11 PM

Summer, maybe the impending collapse of the magnetic field also explains why Sen. Edwards' inexperience is being touted by media as a positive attribute, while Vice President Cheney's experience is being cast as a negative. Hmm.

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BBQ? Cheers!

Posted by Andrew Cline at 1:05 PM

Eeyore and Christopher Robbin (a.k.a John Kerry and John Edwards) are trying awfully hard, God bless 'em, to bring the "two Americas" together. Their latest effort just might work:

"CONCORD, NH – As voters all over New Hampshire celebrate a new team for a new America, the campaign will host a North Carolina-style BBQ on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Cheers in Concord."

I wonder if they'll hold a Boston baked bean and New England clam chowder dinner in Raleigh?

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Re: Edwards bounce for Bush-Cheney

Posted by Andrew Cline at 12:31 AM

John,
The New York Times is about to release an article portending the accelerating collapse of the earth's magnetic field. The collapse may lead to a reversal of magnetic force - causing compass needles to point south and migratory bird confusion. Perhaps this explains the negative bounce Edwards has given Kerry in NC.

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The pro-poverty left (or is this redundant?)

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 11:42 AM

Below is a statement by the President of the left wing environmental group Negative Population Growth.

No-Growth, Steady-State Economy
Must Be Our Goal
by Donald Mann, President NPG

1. Economic growth in a finite world, which is the only world we have, is not sustainable. Sustainable economic growth is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

2. In order to create a sustainable economy we must first discard the goal of macro economic growth and replace it with the goal of a no-growth, steady-state economy.

3. Even a steady-state economy, however, would need to be of a size relative to our ecosystem that would allow it to be in balance with our resources and environment, and thus be sustainable indefinitely.

4. Even if growth were halted now, the size of our present economy is too large to be sustainable. The scale of our economy needs first, therefore, to be reduced to a sustainable size and then maintained at that level.

5. The only way to reduce the size of our macro (aggregate, overall) economy while maintaining or even increasing per capita income is by a reduction in our numbers to an optimum, sustainable level. An optimum population size might be defined as that level which would permit the creation of a sustainable steady-state economy with an adequate standard of living for all.

6. Macro economic growth requires a growing labor force so that GNP can increase constantly. A growing labor force is only possible if population grows, and population growth in the U.S. depends largely on massive immigration. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that we will ever reduce immigration drastically (which we urgently need to do in order to achieve a smaller population) until we renounce the goal of economic growth and replace it with the goal of a steady-state economy.

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Rich People Don't Deserve to be Paid for Their Work?

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:45 AM

That's the implication in a Washington Post story by Dana Milbank about a leaked list of salaries earned by high-level White House employees. The paragraph in question reads as follows:

"The list, as of June 12, has its share of surprises. The lowest paid of the 431 in the non-career "White House Office" (a collection of mostly political appointees and staff on loan from other agencies) is James A. Baker III, who as President Bush's envoy in search of Iraqi debt relief, has declined a salary. At the other extreme is Stephen Friedman, Bush's top economic adviser who, despite a net worth in the tens of millions, collects a government salary of $157,000."

Don't know about you, but I clearly detect snide commentary by Milbank, as if somehow Mr. Friedman should go through life handing out his expertise for free. After all, it seems, Friedman's got his and that's not "fair" to those who view success as something to bash and envy rather than praise and emulate. I wonder if Mr. Milbank "deserves" his salary?

The story's headline also contains fodder for the feminists: "Leaked Salary List Shows Bush's Highest-Paid Staff is Mostly Male." True enough. The story says 12 of the 17 are men. However, when it comes to pay disparities, we'll see if the feminists read down to the fourth paragraph to find this important detail about who's getting paid what and why in the White House:

"At the White House, the gap has nothing to do with wage discrimination. Women and men with similar titles receive similar pay."

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Dr. Eric Brodin, R.I.P.

Posted by John Hood at 10:02 AM

Dr. Eric Brodin, a professor emeritus at Campbell University and a longtime friend of liberty and the John Locke Foundation, died Saturday while swimming at Kure Beach near Wilmington. Our own Dr. Roy Cordato succeeded Eric as the Lundy Chair at Campbell. Eric wrote several articles for Carolina Journal in the early 1990s and remained active in civic and public-policy affairs in the Dunn area and statewide. He’ll be missed.

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NCPIRG and Voter Registration at Alltel

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 08:27 AM

We went to a great concert last weekend (Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire) at Alltel Pavilion and The North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG) were there conducting a voter registration drive as people were waiting in line to get in. The question is, was this strictly a non-partisan activity as I'm sure would have been required by the management of this city owned facility? Well, you be the judge. It was quite apparent that the PIRG activists were only approaching the African Americans in line while letting the white couples and families pass.

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A big post-Edwards bounce — for Bush-Cheney?

Posted by John Hood at 08:26 AM

Gallup has just come out with a new survey of likely voters in North Carolina that shows the Republican ticket leading the Democratic one in our state by 15 percentage points.

This finding should be greeted with great celebration by the state’s Republicans, who have worried about the president’s relatively weak numbers in the state and the potential for damage down in the ballot, such as in the competitive U.S. Senate race between Erskine Bowles and Richard Burr and the reelection bid of Gov. Mike Easley. However, my guess is that many thoughtful Republicans will see the finding as an aberration. Both public and private GOP polls have consistently shown a single-digit race for months, some with margins as small as four to five points. Gallup hasn’t done an oversampled polled in NC this year, as far as I know, and may have used a questionable screen for likely voters.

Indeed, Bush-Cheney leads Kerry-Edwards by only six points (49 percent to 43 percent) among registered voters. The margin jumps to 54 percent to 39 percent among “likely” voters, which smells fishy to me.

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What a great, great lede

Posted by John Hood at 08:19 AM

An account of Monday night’s gubernatorial debate by Anna Griffin of The Charlotte Observer contains a wonderful lede:

Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Richard Vinroot and Bill Cobey used their final joint appearance before the July 20 primary to take one last shot at each other:

Vinroot called Cobey a liar. Cobey called Vinroot a lawyer.

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