• John Locke Update

    School Choice Keeps Growing Thanks to Cooper and Cohen

    posted July 7, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    State reopening mandates led to sizable increases in home and private school enrollment during the 2020-21 school year. According to statistics published by the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education, homeschool enrollment soared by 20.6% (not a typo) and private school enrollment increased by 3.3%. An estimated 23% of North Carolina families selected a home, private, or charter school last school year.
  • John Locke Update

    Fordham Institute pans North Carolina’s new social studies standards

    posted June 29, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    A majority of State Board of Education members approved the controversial K-12 social studies standards in February 2021. A new report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute awarded North Carolina’s new civics and government standards a D− and our U.S. history standards an F. Despite this assessment, plans are underway to implement the new standards in the fall unless the General Assembly intervenes.
  • John Locke Update

    Civitas Poll: North Carolinians are worried about politicization and indoctrination in K-12 schools

    posted June 24, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    65% of likely North Carolina voters believe that classroom instruction in K-12 schools has become more political over the last five years. 57% of survey participants agreed that teachers give their personal beliefs in the classroom to influence the beliefs of children. To address these problems, respondents supported a proposed academic transparency requirement and a mandate that teachers show no preference for certain ideas.
  • John Locke Update

    A Closer Look at Education in the Senate Budget Plan

    posted June 23, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    The Senate budget plan would address current education spending needs, increase salaries for teachers and education personnel and offer bonuses, and increase all steps of base teacher salaries. It would also expand eligibility for Opportunity Scholarships, raise the value of the scholarships, and increase the annual payment to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve. These are steps in the right direction, but the budget needs to be more responsive to parents seeking additional educational options and other ways to redress the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the education of our children.
  • John Locke Update

    Worried About Critical Race Theory? Tell School Boards to Get to Work

    posted June 16, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    State law empowers school boards to establish policies to ensure adherence to the code of ethics for North Carolina educators, which requires that teachers "not proselytize for personal viewpoints that are outside the scope of professional practice." School boards have broad authority to make curriculum decisions, select instructional materials, and create community media advisory committees tasked with addressing concerns about the appropriateness of textbooks and other resources.
  • John Locke Update

    Reality Morphs Covid Funds into Windfall for NC K-12 Education, Part 2

    posted June 11, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    North Carolina public schools will receive over $6 billion in funding to address the academic, emotional, and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Such levels of funding present high-risk and high-opportunity options for schools. Schools can ensure these funds are well spent by developing plans that are transparent, are strategic, discuss relevant trade-offs, encourage flexibility, and understand the implications of their choices.
  • John Locke Update

    Reality Morphs Covid Funds into Windfall for NC K-12 Education, Part 1

    posted June 10, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    Under the growing threat of a coronavirus combined with the government-imposed economic shutdown, Congress approved $6 billion in Covid-19 relief funds for K-12 public schools in North Carolina. A recovering economy has taken the worst-case scenarios off the table and resulted in more aid for K-12 schools than at any time in recent history. These dollars should be returned to taxpayers; otherwise, state leaders should take proper steps to ensure they are spent wisely and accomplish intended purposes.
  • John Locke Update

    Teacher Pay: A Look at the Last Decade

    posted June 3, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    Overall, North Carolina teacher pay has improved despite periods of no or moderate pay increases. North Carolina ranks 34th nationally and 2nd in the Southeast in teacher pay. The increase in teacher benefits — specifically the rising cost of retirement benefits — is the biggest reason for the escalating costs of teacher compensation.
  • John Locke Update

    Academic Transparency Does Not Undermine Professionalism; It Promotes It

    posted May 20, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Academic transparency is one way to guarantee that teachers adhere to the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators, which requires that they do not “proselytize for personal viewpoints that are outside the scope of professional practice.” Teachers have an ethical obligation to separate their personal views from their professional responsibilities, particularly when discussing issues as contentious as the conflict in the Middle East.
  • John Locke Update

    Lack of teachers may threaten learning loss summer program

    posted May 5, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Because teachers have the option of declining summer employment, summer learning programs designed to address learning loss may be short-staffed. Reasons for opting out of the summer learning programs vary, but they fall into three categories: political, financial, and psychological.

Education (PreK-12) by Author