Your “must read” education story of the day:

In a nationwide investigation, the USA TODAY NETWORK, which includes the Asheville Citizen-Times, found fundamental defects in teacher screening systems used to ensure the safety of children in schools in almost every state.

The patchwork system of laws and regulations, combined with inconsistent execution and flawed information sharing between states and school districts, fails to keep teachers with histories of serious misconduct out of classrooms.

In reviewing states, the USA TODAY NETWORK handed North Carolina an F, ranking it among the worst states in the country for screening teachers.

State education officials blame the 2010 murder of NC State Board of Education member Kathy Taft and recession-imposed “funding cuts” for their failure to implement a better system.

[Staff attorney for the North Carolina State Board of Education Katie] Cornetto recalled that a planned news conference never materialized, as officials were left numb by Taft’s brutal death, and the state’s economy also cast its shadow on the agency’s doorstep.

In other words, they take no responsibility for allowing the bottom-feeders of the teaching profession to teach in North Carolina.

This is appalling in so many ways.