This installment of NCED Updates includes a Diversity Inventory, a Bill and a Scholarship. Also, more “equity” talk with no solutions and some state and national headlines.
#1 – Diversity Inventory given to 10th graders at Heritage High
A “Diversity Inventory” worksheet asking highly personal questions about religion and sexuality was yanked after outraged parents contacted the school, the district and images of the sheet circulated online.
View a clean copy here.
#2 – A bill for teacher pay
Since Governor Cooper vetoed the budget, the General Assembly has been working on several stand-alone bills on pay raises for state employees, law enforcement and teachers.
Bills for raises for state employees, correctional facilities staff and law enforcement all passed and were signed by Cooper. The teacher pay bill (HB 426) hasn’t been finished yet and will likely be taken up after the Labor Day holiday.
The bills below were signed into law and can be looked up at the NCGA website.
- HB 609 (Correctional facilities personnel)
- HB 226 (State employees)
- HB 126 (Highway patrol, law enforcement)
- HB 777 (State Bureau of Investigation, alcohol enforcement officers)
Governor Cooper has also been given SB 621, Testing Reduction Act of 2019, to sign.
#3 – A scholarship “regardless of citizen status”
North Carolina State University (NCSU) has opened up its prestigious Park Scholarship to any student who is graduating from high school “regardless of citizen status.”
NCSU is funded in part by public dollars as part of the UNC System, however, the scholarship is funded by an endowment.
#4 – More “Equity” talk with no solutions
James Ford & his new venture, CREED, have been putting out ‘analysis’ papers at Education NC. The main thrust is nothing new and centers on minority students not performing at the same levels as white or Asian students.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the entries at Education NC describing CREED:
“There needs to be an organization that’s expressly dedicated to tackling race issues and education, specific to the North Carolina context,” Ford said. “It needs to be able to dedicate all of its energies to researching the problem, engaging stakeholders around that problem, and furthermore helping to implement solutions for change. This organization, CREED, the Center for Racial Equity in Education, is positioned to do that.”
Except he doesn’t say what those solutions are or how it will be done.
According to the most recent NC State Board of Education newsletter promoting their “2025 Strategic Equity Plan,” the plan’s goals are listed as:
- Eliminate opportunity gaps by 2025
- Improve school and district performance by 2025
- Increase educator preparedness to meet the needs of every student by 2025
But the board doesn’t say how they will achieve those goals.
James Ford sits on the NC Board of Education and is the co-chairman of the board’s Strategic Planning Committee. In the board’s newsletter, it says Ford “emphasized the plan’s focus on equity, which he said for educational systems is a “recognition that gifts and talents are distributed fairly equally, but opportunity is not.”
The plan, he said, is intended to help correct those imbalances by “implementing interventions that take into account that differentiated distribution of opportunity and builds a system that recognizes that. What we’re really doing is equalizing opportunity.”
And once again, Ford doesn’t say how this will happen.
There is a glimmer of ‘how’ to overcome minority ‘equity issues’ in a single line of this nearly 5,100-word CREED analysis article at Education NC.
“First, all student groups of color have inequitable access to the kinds of rigorous coursework and effective teachers necessary to ensure college and career readiness for all students.”
Given Ford is on the State Board of Education and that board has had the low achievement of minorities on their radar since at least 2008, this is an absurd statement:
“The urgency of fully understanding the matter at hand is further increased by the recognition that those responsible for educational policy and practice in North Carolina do not appear to regularly conduct comprehensive, action-oriented analyses of the state of racial equity intended to produce reform.”
In another CREED related ‘analysis’ article at EducationNC, he writes about the SAT as if it was a tool of racism.
Ford writes that “our results suggest that non-Asian students of color may be differentially exposed to educational conditions and contexts that may limit the ability of students to be competitive in the college admissions process.”
His “takeaways” in a nutshell are that Asian and white kids are privileged and therefore do really well on the SAT and ACT and that’s just not fair. And again, he doesn’t say how.
#5 – Headlines, Quiet Epidemic, and Miscellaneous
- The roots of our educational failure
- My Schooling In The Soviet Union Surpasses U.S. Public Schools Today
- Public schools are ‘ripping parents off’ with classroom supplies scheme
- NYC School diversity panel wants city to scrap gifted programs
- Public schools should be places of learning, not propaganda
- Mom sues county for giving her minor son sex change without her consent
North Carolina Headlines
- Non-religious motives propel home schooling boom in Western North Carolina
- Group representing Wake County Schools leaders asks Cooper and NCGA to pass the budget
- NCGA votes to cut K-3 testing (Bill Link)
- School-supply funding remains at recession levels, NCAE says. Question not asked: Are NCAE dues at pre-recession levels?
- Greenville woman arrested for threatening to shoot up an elementary school
Caught my eye
“at least 81 school bus drivers at #CMS still behind the wheel even after being found at fault in a crash. That includes five drivers who have been involved in multiple accidents.”
“2,000 crashes since 2014” over “1,200 determined to be preventable.” (Charlotte Observer)
Higher Ed in NC
- UNC says NC Supreme Court should allow university to keep sexual assault records secret
- HPU freshman who plotted to ‘shoot up school’ to ‘kill people’ had been planning attack since December, DA says
Quiet Epidemic Updates
- Parents upset teacher cleared of assault charge is back in a Cumberland County Schools classroom
- Wilkes County Athletic Trainer indicted by Federal Grand Jury on porn and cyberstalking charges