MITCHELL: Nearer, my bank, to thee: state and local taxes must remain deductible

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn walk after meeting with Republican law makers about tax reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Russell Kirk’s eighth conservative principle teaches us that the more local the power and decision-making, the better we are served.  Because tax revenue confers power on the collector, taxation at the local level is much preferred to taxation at the national level.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How a Generation Lost Its Common Culture

By  Patrick Deneen, February 2, 2016

My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy,

Dr. Patrick Deneen

mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.

Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Prepositions last? Why never.

The purpose of language is to convey ideas. Whether written or spoken, our use should maximize clarity. Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Let My People Go: Removing the Shackles of Academic Jim Crow

Dr. Root

On Wednesday March 29, Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, gave a thoughtful speech before the Brookings Institution.  She appropriately noted that, “parents know what is best for their kids. No parent should be denied the opportunity to send his or her son or daughter to a school with confidence that he or she can learn, grow and be safe.”

The sad fact is that most parents and their children are trapped in their neighborhood public schools.  Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Politics, Politics - NC, Politics - US | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Forced bussing hides failed curriculum, instruction. What succeeds?

Lindalyn

Guest Opinion, By Lindalyn Kakadelis, Senior Consultant

Wilmington, NC – School Superintendent Tim Markley’s “confidential,” memo laments his inability to raise scores of black students in schools with majority populations of minority and low-income students.  The only option left to him, it seems, is to follow Wake and Mecklenburg’s failed attempts at busing— that is, to assign students to schools based on their socio-economic status rather than their proximity to a school. Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DPI calculations reveal NC public charters better serve 12 of 13 student groups

Charters outscore in 12 of 13 demographic categories on state tests

Newly released academic testing data from NC’s Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) reveal that NC’s public charter school students significantly outperform peers in traditional public schools in 12 of 13 demographic categories. Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

HB242 Tightens SBE Scrutiny of Charter Schools – House should concur.

June 22, 2016

The Honorable Tim Moore, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Larry D. Hall, Democrat Leader
N.C. House of Representatives
16 W. Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Re: House Bill 242

Dear Speaker Moore and Representative Hall:

Please concur with HB242 which tightens scrutiny and control over charter schools by the State Board of Education (SBE).

For the first time, HB242 will require the SBE to annually identify all low-performing charter schools and all continually low-performing charter schools. [See page 5, beginning with line 48 through page 6 line 6].

For the first time, HB242 clearly defines the criteria for low-performing and continually low-performing schools and these definitions conform with the NC grading system based on End-of-Grade testing that applies to all.

HB242 also provides that, annually, the SBE may terminate, not renew, or transfer the charter of a continually low-performing charter school.  The exception is for such a school that has met its state-designated academic growth for each of the three years immediately prior or if the SBE chooses to approve a school improvement plan.  The fate of such a low-performing school is totally within the hands of the SBE.

These provisions are in addition to current statutes that require an annual independent financial audit performed to SBE specification and a regulatory compliance audit also performed to SBE standards for every charter school.  These audits must be reported to Raleigh no later than October 31 following the June 30 year-end.

It is thus impossible for any low-performing charter to escape being identified by the SBE on an annual basis under HB242.

As you know, DPI reported that charter students outperformed district students in 12 demographic groups, including minorities and low-income students, by significant margins.  Charter schools are successfully improving education and parental choice in NC, and HB 242 will ensure that this superior performance is sustained.  The SBE has the option of fully reviewing any charter at any time, and the bill does not impede this option in any way.

I hope that you concur with HB242 that will further enhance the SBE’s ability to oversee this excellent educational choice for our parents and students.

Sincerely,

Baker Mitchell, President

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Politics, Politics - NC, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Judge Clarence Thomas on the “Heroic Virtues”

The following is an excerpt from Judge Thomas’ Feb. 13, 2001 Boyer lecture at the American Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner.  His lecture was entitled “Be Not Afraid,” and he addresses our tendency for self-censorship.Judge Thomas

“This tendency [for self-censorship], in large part, results from an overemphasis on civility. None of us should be uncivil in our manner as we debate issues of consequence. No matter how difficult it is, good manners should be routine. However, in the effort to be civil in conduct, many who know better actually dilute firmly held views to avoid appearing “judgmental.” They curb their tongues not only in form but also in substance. The insistence on civility in the form of our debates has the perverse effect of cannibalizing our principles, the very essence of a civil society.

Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Politics, Politics - NC, Politics - US, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

If a tree falls in the forest and no media carries the story …?

If a tree falls in the forest and no media carries the story, did the tree really fall?

If public charter students test the highest and no media carries the story, did the public charter students really test the highest?

In disaggregating official state test results posted by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI)  for 2015, public charter school students outscored public traditional students 66.6% to 56.2%. Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Politics - NC, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National School Choice Week: Are NC public charters a good choice for your child? Demographic data reveal, “Yes!”

In acknowledgement of National School Choice Week, the following evaluates North Carolina’s public charter school option. What are public charter schools? What is their academic record?  Who are their students?

Information compiled directly from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction test data shows that the state End-of-Grade (EOG) test performance average of public charter students is higher than that of traditional public students, and that in 10 of 12 demographic subgroups— including minorities, economically disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities— students at public charter schools academically outperform students at traditional public schools on EOG tests. Continue reading

Posted in Education - K-12, Learning and Education, Politics - NC, Politics - US, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments