#NCED Updates: USED takes on sexual assault in K-12, CMS’ illegal survey, Guilford busing and more

This installment of NCED Updates includes the U.S Dept. of Education investigating sexual assault in K-12, local Quiet Epidemic updates and news from the State Board of Education. Also, Policy Watch gets per-pupil spending wrong, more on Guilford busing kids to the polls, CMS’s lawbreaking survey and Leandro updates.

National Education headlines

NC Education Headlines

Higher Education

K-12 Education

State Board of Education 

The state State Board of Education has its monthly meeting next week. Items of note on the docket include the annual school crime report, renaming of the Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) and a report on the status of the teaching of cursive and multiplication tables in the districts as required by law.

The KEA is being renamed to NC Early Learning Inventory. As I had first reported back in 2014, the KEA has layers of invasive “social-emotional learning” or SEL components to it. In addition, your child may be photographed or videoed as part of the assessment process. Those records and data are put into the Statewide Longitudinal Database System (SLDS). Once in there, it cannot be changed and follows the child forever.

Parents, you can opt-out. I know, I did it.
There is an Opt-Out letter you can use here. Read more here. More resources here.

The teaching of multiplication tables and cursive writing were made state law after it became clear that they were missing from the state’s newly adopted standards, Common Core. The draft report has a list of districts allegedly complying with G.S.115C-81.75 and it says 91% of districts are.

Wake County is on the compliance list, but I can tell you first-hand that the district definitely not complying with the cursive writing part. Third-graders in Wake County are supposed to be getting this instruction a couple times a week.  My oldest was already well past third grade when the law was passed so I taught him myself. It looks like that will be the case again as I’ve seen zero of evidence of this in my youngest child’s third-grade classes.

School Choice

Quiet Epidemic

In the Wilmington case that was thrown out, Port City Daily wrote that Arlene Johnson’s arrest happened last April and that she was an 8th-grade language arts teacher at Myrtle Grove Middle School. According to PCD, she was stopped “at around 10:15 p.m. after allegedly driving 49 mph in the 35 mph zone on S. 3rd St. near Orange Street, according to the Wilmington Police Department (WPD).”

“Johnson, 29, initially refused to take a breathalyzer but later agreed, blowing a BAC of .15%, nearly double the legal limit, according to WPD. Willmington police officers also found 11 hydrocodone pills (325mg), for which Johnson allegedly had no prescription, according to the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office,” the PCD article states.

None of my sources or police feeds caught this arrest. I did a time period specific search and found no media reporting of Johnson’s arrest at the time either. PCD’s report on her case being dismissed is apparently the first.   This represents a serious transparency problem which I have pointed out to various officials on multiple occasions.  It would be a smart step to require enforcement to report the arrest of an education employee both to the district officials, the Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education.

By the way  – The NC State Board of Education took no action against her teaching license after her arrest.  It is still active and valid:

License Number: 1166942
Name: JOHNSON, ARLENE ELIZABETH
License Type: Educator
License Status: Current
Expiration Date: 06/30/2023
Effective Date: 07/01/2018
License Area(s): English 9-12
Language Arts 6-9

Kids bused to the polls on the taxpayer dime is a “field trip.”

In case you missed it, Guilford County schools bused their eligible junior and senior students to the polls to vote in the primary. (See the full story midway down in this article.)

Left-leaning NC Policy Watch complained that “GOP critics” were upset by that and were calling it politically motivated.

Now, why would anyone think busing kids to the polls on the taxpayer dime and calling it a “field trip” is politically motivated?  Maybe ask #GCS board member Deena Hayes-Greene? She’s the perfect one to ask,  as she is the one NC Policy Watch cited in their mile wide & centimeter deep article.

GCS Board Member Hayes Coordinating with Guilford Dem Women - NCED - Busing to polls

This busing had a definite impact on primary results in Guilford:

CMS’s Gender Identity Survey broke federal law

Decades-old School to prison pipeline narratives continue unquestioned

The News and Observer reported that “Black students in North Carolina are more likely to be punished, civil rights group finds.”

More “likely to be punished?” How does one actually conclude intent from discipline data? Either the student was punished or they weren’t. What the data says is they ARE being punished more than children of other races. The question not being asked, again, is why were they disciplined and if that discipline was actually warranted.

Southern Coalition for Social Justice also said that  “implicit racial bias” and “explicit discrimination” against students of color are making schools in the state racial inequal. Note: This organization is Left-leaning and was founded by NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls.

Online media outlet misreports per-pupil spending

left-leaning NC Policy Watch consistently manipulates data to support the story they want to tell. This time, it’s per-pupil spending and it prompted right-leaning Civitas’ Bob Luebke to ask, Do income and wealth dictate school spending?

Key section, emphasis added:

In 2018-19, average total per pupil spending was $9,865. What was average total per pupil spending in the seven districts with the lowest local spending? Duplin County $10,168; Columbus County $10,205; Graham County $13,490, Greene County $10,731, Robeson County $10,413, Hoke County $9,523 and Swain County $11,737.

Of the seven counties with the lowest ranking for local spending, six of the counties exceeded the per pupil state average. Two of the counties, Graham ($13,490) and Swain County ($11,738) spent more than Orange County ($11,538), the county referenced as the wealthiest county.

Now, let’s all ask the question: where do those thousands of dollars per student go?

Leandro Updates

Check out the latest articles added to the Leandro repository.

Highlighted this week:

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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