On the latest edition of NCSPIN, the topic of the loud and ridiculous protesters interrupting an event at UNC was brought up.
During the conversation, Chris Fitzsimon says that he thinks college tuition should be ‘free’.
Fitzsimon cites the NC Constitution as the basis for his opinion:
“I don’t think free tuition is that radical of an idea considering our constitution says it should be as free as practicable… maybe they got it from the Constitution.”
Mr. Fitzsimon is being a bit disingenuous about what the NC Constitution says about ‘free’ schools. The majority of the intent surrounding ‘free schools’ is clearly about K-12 public schools, but Fitzsimon misuses the language.
Here is what the NC Constitution says about “Higher Education”:
Sec. 8. Higher education.
The General Assembly shall maintain a public system of higher education, comprising The University of North Carolina and such other institutions of higher education as the General Assembly may deem wise. The General Assembly shall provide for the selection of trustees of The University of North Carolina and of the other institutions of higher education, in whom shall be vested all the privileges, rights, franchises, and endowments heretofore granted to or conferred upon the trustees of these institutions. The General Assembly may enact laws necessary and expedient for the maintenance and management of The University of North Carolina and the other public institutions of higher education.
Sec. 9. Benefits of public institutions of higher education.
The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.
The other members of the panel sort of call him out and call out the inappropriateness of the protesters interruptions. Around the 14:37 mark, Fitzsimon just can’t help himself any longer and says the Tea party interrupted political town halls in the past.
I think he’s confused or reads too many ThinkProgress articles, since Occupiers were the ones interrupting political town halls with ridiculous demands.
At around the 20:10 mark, they get into the Academic Standards review commission who is wrapping up their work and are getting ready to submit their final reports. The host singles out the math standards work group — GEE, following the same attack script as the News and Observer and their sister paper.
Connie Wilson brings up the NAEP scores. Good. They were scary – flat and declining.
Host Tom Campbell then makes the incredible and unfounded claim that once kids ‘grasp’ the new Common Core way of doing math, that they understand the principles better.
NO, Tom. Not even close. Our kids are being trained to jump through hoops in order to pass a test again. Only this time, the hoops are a series of overly convoluted math strategies that assume 6 to 8 year old kids already have a fully functioning math foundation — Which they don’t.
Fitzsimon then spouts off nonsense about having a better math foundation when they get to the higher grades. Clearly, he ignored everything Connie Wilson said about the 8th grade NAEP math scores.
John Hood has a nice zinger near the end when asked about the Commission:
“I think that they will conclude that the Common Core math standards just don’t add up.”
Watch the exchange: