Progress NC, the far left activist group and partner of Blueprint NC, is still pushing politically motivated and hyperbolic rhetoric when it comes to NC education.
This is the same stuff we saw back in 2013.
Their protest group, AIM HIGHER NC, has fizzled out and flopped.
Progress NC then took their education fear mongering show on the road. Did you hear about that ‘Truth’ tour? Yeah, no one did. Another flop.
Now it’s a new website promoting the same scare tactic crap we’ve seen out of them since Republicans took control of the legislature. The site is called “How Far We Have Fallen“. Apropos, given how far Progress NC has fallen, using teachers to attack the legislature.
Hilariously, the website is privately registered, yet at the bottom there is a tag that says ‘paid for by Progress NC’.
Anyway, Progress NC has an odd way of promoting this new site. Apparently, part of that promotion includes sending their fan boy, Wes Kyatt, to launch an assault on me on Twitter. His glee at asking me for “data” was, frankly, pathetic and creepy. He didn’t care for me calling bullshit on the site as being pure political propaganda. Boo Hoo.
Kyatt never answered me about why the comparisons were being made between 2015 and 2008. The Republicans took over the budget in 2011, which means half of the blame falls on Democrats. Also, why stop at 2008? Why not go back father? Does that change the narrative? Yes, it would.
A lot of this Progress NC propaganda on their new attack website reminds me of that blog post by James Hogan, which Washington Post reprinted. It was thoroughly debunked by Brenda Berg of BEST NC. Readers know she and I disagree on a number of things, but her article nailed it.
Back to the Propaganda – Let’s look at the sections on the website.
“Investing In Students”
What does that mean? No data points are linked to and the source is unclear. What is clear is the website wants to instill a sense of fear with the way it presents the data.
“Not Enough Textbooks”
Yes, and? The purchase of textbooks is cyclical in nature and are largely under the control of local county and districts. Textbooks have also become very expensive.
I notice there was no mention of the move to digital resources? Why? Also, no mention of the fact when parents ask to see textbooks or workbooks, they are treated to a tribunal style meeting at their related school.
“Teachers Struggling To Survive”
Once again, no mention of the county and local districts who have the power to set supplemental salary schedules.
[Related Read: Stokes County: Biggest Teacher Turnover Reason Was Local Supplement]
An example of the supplement in action is Wake county. Wake has set their average supplement at $5,444. That’s down from $6,318 in 2013 despite the giant budget this year.
Where is the outrage from Progress NC on that? Well of course there is no outrage, the Wake Board and County Commission are Democrat held. It doesn’t fit the ‘bash the Republicans’ narrative.
Also, when talking about where NC “ranks” in teacher pay, one must realize that the scale is skewed by the top 2-3 states with high salary rates. The difference in average pay between states is often small.
Meanwhile, our Education budget continues to climb.
Superintendents in this state have fat contracts with perks and many at DPI make six figures.
In 2014, 433 people at DPI made over $70k and 45 made $100k or more. Rebecca Garland was top paid, even above June Atkinson, at $153,824.
I’m not seeing any outrage from Progress NC on this front.
“Listen to what Teachers have to say”
Both case studies are teachers Progress NC has used on their Education “Truth” tour, also known as the “First Person Project“.
More salary narratives just like we saw last week. No mention of former Democrat Governor Bev Perdue freezing teacher pay anywhere to be found.
Catherine Stennette says she went to Texas despite the average salary being nearly the same there as in North Carolina. Go Figure, Houston’s advertising was false? Also, it looks like she landed in Corpus Christie, not Houston?
[Related Read: Mystery Teacher Pay Group To Hold Another Rally]
The other, Callie Hammond, is still here. Hammond is in Lee county, where the supplement is $2,911. Any outrage, Progress NC?
“Eliminating Teacher Assistant Positions”
There is no data out there suggesting Teacher Assistants improve classroom outcome. Having said that, I’ve seen them be a help with class management due to size in Kindergarten and First grade.
The current proposal out there would scale back Teaching Assistant positions over time. In doing so, the funds for those positions can be funneled into full-time teaching positions in conjunction with reduced class sizes.
Progress NC doesn’t mention any of this.
Instead, they go with more hyperbolic, fear mongering statements hoping that the average citizen out there will take these statements at face value. In fact, that is what Progress NC counts on.
- An overview of the NC Senate K-12 education budget
- Stokes County: Biggest Teacher Turnover Reason Was Local Supplement
- Another Day, Another Teacher Pay Article
- But.. But.. Moral Monday Told me…
- Teacher Pay in NC
- The Real War On Education In NC