Here are some quick hits on what’s going on in Education in North Carolina.
#1 You’re going to hear about the ‘teacher shortage crisis’ which, back in June, I told you was coming.
The NY Times is writing about it, so it must be true, right? Nope. Teacher hiring and quitting is often cyclical and economy driven.
What this ‘crisis’ narrative is really about is the fact teacher education colleges are showing declining enrollment. Enrollment in such colleges also tends to be cyclical, but the media doesn’t bother to dig below the surface on this topic.
I heard a rumor that one of the high-profile ‘resignations’ is back from Pennsylvania and will be teaching in North Carolina again. If so, welcome back Amy Kyle.
#2 Halifax county schools are essentially being taken over by the State Board of Education. The Department of Public Instruction email called the move “strengthening the role of the SBE in Halfiax County Schools”. Po-tay-toe, Po-tah-toe…
In the letter to Halifax, the State Board of Education levels the charge that Halifax County school board members “irresponsible decisions” to blame.
From the NC Public Schools press release:
“We are concerned that the Halifax Board is making decisions that are unaffordable and that undermine the many quality teachers and principals who are trying to make a difference for students,” said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey.
The issues in Halifax date back to 2009. Seeing as how it is now late in 2015, it’s taken six years of continued failure for any real action to be taken.
If these were a charter schools, they’d have been shut down ages ago – just sayin’.
-Read the court order from 2009.
-Read the letter to Halifax County schools.
#3 Teacher Assistant Layoffs.
There’s a lot of sound and fury on this topic. The way the NCAE and district leaders paint things, you’d think all teaching assistants were going to be fired all at once with no plan in place to support teachers in the aftermath.
That’s not what’s happening. Tiered lay-offs with adjustment to the budget to allow for the hiring of more full-time, accredited and licensed teachers is the plan. For a more rational and full explanation, try this clip from NC SPIN featuring Becki Gray.
#4 The next Common Core Commission meeting is Monday, 8/17/15.
Funny coincidence, that same day the John Locke Foundation is hosting Brenda Berg of BEST NC at a luncheon.
The topic is, “The Business Case for Education: Why North Carolina Can (and must) Have The Best Education System In The Nation”.
Another funny ‘coincidence’ is that Rep. Craig Horn has sponsored multiple bills related to this topic:
Again I ask, Who drives education in North Carolina?
#5 Opportunity Scholarships were ruled constitutional.
Opponents immediately freaked out and started saying making really telling statements along the lines of ‘parents shouldn’t get to choose’.
Think I’m kidding? Check out this embarrassing News and Observer article which I highlighted yesterday.
#6 A Study in “All Your Kids Are Belong To Us”
Apparently Mr. Hogan likes digging holes.
Perhaps he should re-think part of one of his comments to me that, “I don’t take my tax dollars for highway improvement to only over the roads I travel. I don’t get to direct my tax dollars to bomb ISIS if that’s what I wanted to do. Why should I be able to control my education tax dollars? Why should I be able to take them to unaccredited or for-profit schools?”
I dunno – maybe because the child belongs to you and not to the state? Ask Halifax county parents that question. See what happens.
Finally, some food for thought for parents in Wake County. Is this policy designed to force your compliance?:
“All or nothing” in #wcpss on technology use? Doesn’t bode well for parental choice coming digital curriculum. http://t.co/wHAWMDaOfP #nced
— A.P. Dillon – LL1885 (@LadyLiberty1885) August 11, 2015