What They’re Saying About Education In NC (9/18/15) – #NCed

NCED IconSome quick hits on Education in North Carolina.

Reminder: The next Common Core commission meeting is Monday, the 21st.

Related Common Core reading: Former USED Official on RTTT: “We forced alignment among the top three education leaders in each participating state …”

Also: State Budget Deal: Education Spotlight
Adding $530 million this year for an overall $12.3 Billion.
Knocks down DPI budget by $2.5 million — GOOD. They’re bloated and they know it.

#1 – The best and worst schools in NC last year


On the other hand, school performance data suggests that the schools listed above have failed to deliver a sound, basic education to the children assigned to them. The list of the fifteen lowest growth scores includes three schools from Nash-Rocky Mount, three schools from Rowan-Salisbury, and two schools from Iredell-Statesville. Taxpayers, school board members, county commissioners, administrators, and teachers in these communities have some soul searching to do.

Accountability growth measures only capture particular state-administered grade and subject tests, including math, English Language Arts, and sometimes science.  It is possible that subjects not included, such as social studies, would show more promising growth trends.  It is also possible that this year’s results are an anomaly for schools that experienced a change in district or school leadership.

#2 – Bladen School Closures


In May and November of 2014, voters did not pass a Sales and Tax Use referendum that would have helped fund the school system. Newton said the referendum’s failure, and the lack of additional funds from county commissioners, played a big part in the proposal.

If the proposal is approved, it would mean the Clarkton community would lose two of its schools: Booker T. Washington Primary School and Clarkton School of Discovery. As a result, parents would have to send their students farther away to go to school.

#3 – Wake County Buses

Despite WCPSS’s Board statements to the contrary, buses have been running late all over Wake County. Hardest hit are elementary kids, who saw their rides take up to 50 minutes for kids to get home in the first weeks of school.

Part of the problem seems to be buses showing up late. Another part might be that Wake county slashed the number of buses in service by 70. In some cases, buses as pulling ‘shared’ routes, Wake County Schools told me:

“Some of our shorter bus runs are scheduled as shared routes. Shared routes serve two groups of students at the same school. The first group is usually a small group of students who live close to the school. The bus driver picks up the first group of students, transports them home and then returns to the school to pick up a second group of students.”

Departure times are assigned to some routes. Our departure time this year is the same time my child used to arrive home for the last three years. So far this year, my own child’s return bus has not left on time from his school a single time.

To put that in perspective, dismissal is 3:45, some buses start to leave as early as 3:55.
Not ours. We get to leave at 4:08. My child is getting home at close to 4:30 every day.
Punchline: We live just a couple miles from the school.

Remember, WCPSS messed with buses last year too.

#4 – SAT Scores Plunge.

“Top testing official says ‘ebbs and flows’ are perplexing”

“Plunge in SAT scores for CMS seniors puzzles officials”

Education officials, Educrats and Think Tanks scratch their heads.
‘Whatever could be causing this?’, they say… as North Carolina heads into year four of Common Core.

Related: A Look at NC’s 2015 SAT Scores – #NCED
Related: A Look At The 2015 NC ACT Scores – #NCed
Related: The Push For H-1B Visas And The Common Core Math FAIL

#5 – HB 334 heads to McCrory’s desk.


See the bill here.

#6 – Federal “Educational Equity” Initiative


The Office for Civil Rights’ equity DCL is a throwback to the 1960s in another way: at its heart lies the assumption that spending more money on minority students will reduce the racial achievement gap. OCR focuses entirely on inputs, tacitly assuming that outcomes will improve if more resources are channeled to existing schools.

There are three problems inherent in this assumption: 1) since the early 1970s, real per-capita spending on K–12 public education has nearly doubled, yet student performance in the 12th grade has barely budged, and the U.S. has fallen further behind other nations; 2) at the same time, states have reformed their funding processes to allocate more money to schools with high percentages of poor children, yet the racial achievement gap has hardly changed; and 3) a wide array of academic studies show that what matters most is not how much money is spent but how well it is spent. From hard experience we have learned that simply sending more money to failing schools will not improve them.

Now consider the damage Common Core is doing, in particular to minority students. Time to get off the sidelines and into the fight.

#7Alamance-Burlington Board Member Patsy Simpson.

In response to the proposal to open the ABSS district’s Virtual Academy to homeschooled children, Ms. Simpson said:

““I want to make sure they don’t get anything else that our other students who are enrolled in our school system get,” Board member Patsy Simpson said Monday.” – Greensboro.com

Clearly, it’s all about the children, for Ms. Simpson.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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