JLF Research Archive

Entries by Dr. Terry Stoops

Showing items 26 to 50 of 98

(8.18.10) Boone-Doggle: Watauga County’s proposed $1.9 million tax increase

Watauga County commissioners want voters to approve a $1.9 million sales tax increase to build new recreational facilities. If past is prologue, this new money will not be spent wisely. Watauga County commissioners recently approved the most expensive high school ever built in the state, and they did so without a vote of taxpayers.


(8.16.10) Good Classroom 'Disruption': Use the Internet to expand educational options in rural school districts

North Carolina has the infrastructure to expand online course offerings significantly. Districts that enroll few students in online courses generally have a higher per-pupil expenditure than those that enroll a higher number of virtual school students.This report offers several recommendations, including introduce virtual charter schools; expanding online course offerings from private and for-profit companies, community colleges, and universities; and developing off-site high school campuses.


(7.06.10) Survey of End-of-Course Test Questions: Many college and university faculty are concerned about the quality of state standardized tests

Between February and April 2010, the John Locke Foundation asked over 500 college and university faculty to evaluate selected test questions from North Carolina’s 2008-2009 end-of-course high school civics and economics and U.S. history tests. This study provides an overview of the responses from both the mailed and online surveys.


(5.20.10) Charter School Diversity: Too black, too white, or just right?

A state law that mandates racial/ethnic balance for charter schools contradicts another law that requires charter schools to use an enrollment lottery when applicants outnumber available seats. It is impossible for charter schools to use random (lottery) and non-random (affirmative action) student selection mechanisms simultaneously.


(2.03.10) Zero Tolerance for Charter Schools: The State Board of Education should regard all public schools as equals

Under the new “Revocation of Charter for Lack of Academic Performance” policy, only low-performing charter schools are subject to closure by the NC State Board of Education. There is no equivalent policy for district schools. This study asks the question: How many public schools would close if the state instituted the policy three years ago and applied to charter and district schools alike?


(11.30.09) Parent-Friendly Schools, 2009: How ‘parent-friendly’ are school districts in North Carolina?

North Carolina’s school districts are not parent-friendly organizations. While a handful of school districts fare reasonably well in the final ranking, the highest score was a 3.4, or a B+.
School districts in western North Carolina generally fared very well in the ranking, while the Triad, Triangle, Charlotte, and northeastern regions fared poorly. Seven of the top ten school districts are located in western North Carolina.


(9.03.09) Crucial Questions: A Checklist for School Board Candidates and Citizens

According to the North Carolina General Statutes, school boards have three broad functions: 1) to maintain general control and supervision of all matters pertaining to the public schools, 2) to enforce and execute the school law, and 3) to ensure that the administration of schools is efficiently and more economically accomplished. To simplify the process of understanding the work of school boards, the John Locke Foundation has developed a checklist for school board candidates and citizens.


(7.30.09) Ten Myths about North Carolina’s Private Schools: A Parent’s Guide

This guide is a first step in a larger effort to correct decades-old misconceptions about North Carolina's private schools. In the spring of 2009, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of all private schools in North Carolina. Much of the information below comes from responses to the questionnaire.


(6.29.09) Building a Case for School Choice: Initial Results from a Survey of North Carolina's Private Schools

Better information about North Carolina’s private schools is the first step toward persuading legislators and policymakers to increase educational options for North Carolina families. To this end, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of North Carolina’s private schools to gather and analyze data on private schools generally not available to the public. This policy report provides a descriptive overview of questionnaire results of North Carolina’s private schools, focusing on private school academics, students, personnel, finance, and attitudes toward school choice.


(5.28.09) No Bureaucrat Left Behind: N.C. public schools add staff at a much faster rate than enrollment

North Carolina’s public schools continue to add administrative, non-instructional, and instructional support positions at rates that far exceed enrollment growth. Since 2000, North Carolina’s public school student enrollment (Average Daily Membership) has increased by approximately 13 percent, while school personnel has increased by nearly 18 percent.
North Carolina’s pupil/staff ratio decreased from nearly 8:1 in 2003 to just over 7:1 in 2006.


(3.24.09) Dropout Prevention Grants: Legislators need to rethink their approach to the dropout problem

Only 14 of the 100 schools that received services from dropout prevention grant recipients had substantially lower dropout rates and higher graduation rates from the 2006-07 to the 2007-08 school year. Of the five types of recipients awarded grants, grants to non-profit organizations appeared to have the most success.


(2.03.09) Annual Report on Teacher Pay: N.C. teacher compensation is more than $4,000 higher than the national average

When adjusted for pension contributions, teacher experience, and cost of living, North Carolina’s adjusted average teacher compensation is $59,252, which is $4,086 higher than the U.S. adjusted average compensation and ranks 14th highest in the nation. In a comparison of Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) states, North Carolina’s adjusted teacher compensation is $674 higher than the SREB average adjusted compensation.


(1.12.09) Does Avery need a land-transfer tax increase?

The Avery County commissioners are asking county residents to approve a sale-tax increase on February 3. This report identifies over $10 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs; more than triple the amount that the proposed land-transfer tax increase is estimated to produce.


(11.18.08) Career and Technical Education: Meeting the needs of the 21st century economy isn’t rocket science

According to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, only a handful of fast-growing occupations require a four-year degree. A U.S. Department of Education report found that North Carolina devotes a relatively small share of its resources to vocational schools.


(10.20.08) Does Anson need a sales tax increase?

The Anson County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies more than $5.8 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than 17 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.20.08) Does Caswell need a sales tax increase?

The Caswell County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $4.8 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — almost 28 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.20.08) Does Onslow need a sales tax increase?

The Onslow County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $36.7 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than nine times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.20.08) Does Person need a sales tax increase?

The Person County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $14 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than 18 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.14.08) Does Chowan need a sales tax increase?

The Chowan County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $4.5 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than 14 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.14.08) Does Polk need a land-transfer tax increase?

The Polk County commissioners are asking county residents to approve a sale-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies over $11 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — almost 12 times the amount that the proposed land-transfer tax increase is estimated to produce.


(10.10.08) Does Cherokee need a sales tax increase?

The Cherokee County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies nearly $10 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — over 11 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.10.08) Does Columbus need a sales tax increase?

The Columbus County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies nearly $14.2 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — almost 15 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.10.08) Does Guilford need a sales tax increase?

The Guilford County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies nearly $65.3 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than four times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.10.08) Does Tyrrell need a land-transfer tax increase?

For the second time, the Tyrrell County commissioners are asking county residents to approve a tripling of the land-transfer tax (from 0.2 to 0.6 percent), this time on November 4. This report identifies over $6.4 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — almost nine times the amount that the proposed land-transfer tax increase is estimated to produce.


(9.23.08) Performance Pay for Teachers: Increasing Student Achievement in Schools with Critical Needs

In 2006, in recognition of the need to attract and retain experienced administrators and teachers who teach subjects (Math and English/Language Arts) that are part of the state and federal accountability requirements, Guilford County Schools, the third largest school system in North Carolina, initiated Mission Possible. The program offers recruitment and performance incentives for teachers and administrators who teach in the county’s low-performing and low-income schools.


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