The Locker Room

April 6, 2010

Darrell Allison on charter schools

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 12:30 AM

Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), outlines next steps for education reform in NC. His News & Observer op-ed hits the target and then some.

While North Carolina is still reeling from its Race to the Top failure, how is the education establishment here responding? By remaining stubborn in its opposition to necessary reform measures such as lifting the arbitrary cap on public charter schools. What a shame.

In its rejection of North Carolina's application, the U.S. Department of Education made clear that the state must go back to the drawing board and demonstrate more innovative ways to improve conditions for charter schools and to narrow the achievement gap. As one of the federal reviewers of North Carolina's application commented, the charter school cap of 100 schools "is too limited a cap to provide enough charters in such a large state."
By the way, Bill Harrison has yet to respond to my request for evidence of widespread cronyism in the state's charter schools.

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Education Week on NC's social studies standards

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 11:59 AM

Education Week reports on controversies over social studies standards in a handful of states, including North Carolina. In the article, NC State history professor Holly Brewer cuts through the NC DPI public relations nonsense.

DPI will release a second draft of the social studies standards later this month.

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Once more on Obamacare's consequences

Posted by George Leef at 11:50 AM

It will aggravate our current shortage of physicians, argues Dr. Jason Fodeman here.

Just as leftists think that prosperity just happens, no matter what they do to waste resources and change incentives, so do they think that medical care will just happen, no matter what they do to discourage capable people from going into and staying in the profession.

First, do no harm. Doctors understand that maxim. Too bad that politicians don't.

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Re: Bill Harrison dislikes charter schools

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 10:45 AM

I'd take it a step further.

Harrison must also demonstrate that any charter school cronyism he can identify is significantly greater in degree and reach than that found in county-operated public schools.

I guarantee Harrison cannot.

But he has confirmed that for a significant portion of the current education status quo it is all about getting paid -- getting your friends paid, getting your cousins, aunts and uncles paid, your political friends paid, their kids paid, etc.

Because Harrison and his ilk think that way, they assume everyone else does too.

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Bill Harrison dislikes charter schools

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 10:16 AM

In his latest column, Scott Mooneyham gets tough on state education leaders, particularly Bill Harrison, the chairman of the State Board of Education.

Harrison had another complaint the other day: cronyism. He said some charter schools seem to care more about doling out jobs to friends and relatives than educating kids.

The critics ignore some fairly significant public support for the schools across socio-economic and racial boundaries. In the fall of 2008, more than 800 people showed up for a rally in Durham in support of school choice options. About two-thirds were African-American.

If North Carolina's educational leaders believe that these folks are wrong-headed, that charter schools cause more harm than good, then they should make the case, very loudly and very publicly.

Or, if the state needs tougher rules to shut down failing charter schools, make that case.

Instead, the state has for more than a decade operated in some sort of twilight, where it neither rejects nor embraces charter schools.

That twilight isn't good enough for federal education officials. Harrison can deny it all he wants. It won't change it.
Bill Harrison needs to either 1) produce evidence of widespread cronyism within the charter school community or 2) resign his chairmanship immediately. The SBE has an obligation to protect all public schools, charter and district alike. If Harrison cannot maintain objectivity and impartiality in that role, then Bev Perdue should demand a letter of resignation from Harrison and appoint someone who can.

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More Obamacare unintended consequences

Posted by George Leef at 08:33 AM

It's going to have adverse effects on labor markets, especially for lower-wage workers, argues economics professor William Shughart here.

Government intervention always has unintended consequences and a 2000+ page bill is certain to have a huge number.

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JLF contributes to debate on N.C. transportation funding

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:33 AM

A legislative oversight committee takes testimony this afternoon on North Carolina's system for distributing transportation funds.

The John Locke Foundation will soon release a new report on the topic from Dr. David Hartgen, emeritus professor of transportation studies at UNC-Charlotte. In the meantime, Joe Coletti testifies during today's 1 p.m. meeting.

Hear a brief preview by clicking play below.

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Latest dispatches from the campaign trail

Posted by David N. Bass at 06:30 AM

  • The N.C. Association of Educators endorses Cal Cunningham in the Democrats' U.S. Senate primary.

  • State employees union announces its primary endorsements, including three highlighted here in the Greensboro area.

  • Richard Burr, Bob Etheridge diverge on whether to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

  • Jason Phibbs, running to un-seat state Sen. Bill Purcell in Senate-25, responds to flap over homosexual-related comments.

  • State Rep. Marian McLawhorn, who faces a Democrat challenger in the primary, talks up the 2010 Census in Greenville.

  • Republican Bettie Fennell, hoping to capture the retiring R.C. Soles' Senate seat, proposes cutting both taxes and the idea of a Southport port.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:18 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features David Bass' report on the electoral swing districts that could decide which party runs the General Assembly in 2011.  

John Hood's Daily Journal debunks the notion that moderates are the good guys in most political debates.

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