North Carolina’s teacher shortage: the inevitable result of the General Assembly’s decade-long effort to degrade the profession
While there are many disagreements in education policy, nearly all researchers agree that within the school walls, there’s nothing more important than an excellent teacher. North Carolina’s Supreme Court agrees. In 2004, they established that staffing each classroom with a competent, well-trained teacher is vital to providing students with the “sound basic” education guaranteed under […]
A tale of two realities
As the climate emergency worsens, grounds for hope and optimism continue to emerge It was the best of summers, it was the worst of summers. It was the summer the United Nations declared a healthy environment a universal human right, and a summer that shattered heat records across the globe. The U.S. enacted a historic climate bill not long after the Supreme Court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
Child poverty estimates point to a record low in 2021 – here’s how it could have been even lower
The U.S. government will likely report in September 2022 that for 2021 its most accurate measure of child poverty was the lowest on record. This was due, in large part, to generous government benefits. Our research suggests child poverty in 2021 would have been even lower had the government made it easier for families to receive these benefits.
Free, simple tax filing puts interest of Americans above corporate profits
Paying taxes is our civic duty. The government’s duty is to make it as easy and inexpensive as possible for us to pay our taxes. But for too long, Congress has failed to uphold this responsibility, favoring instead corporations that profit from our need to file tax returns. A bill recently introduced in Congress would fix this problem.
Dems need to grab the high ground of freedom
As an ad guy I’m used to working on tightly choreographed brand campaigns, so I get frustrated with the communications efforts of the Democratic Party. And I’m not just talking about the annoying daily flood of emails from congressional candidates 10 states away pleading for a few dollars “to help me meet my urgent fund-raising goal by midnight tonight.”
To prevent shootings, teachers need to be armed with information, not guns
Schools do not need more resource officers, armed guards or for that matter armed teachers. Schools need to become adept at gathering information, sharing intelligence and, most importantly, making sense of what they learn. In Uvalde, Texas we’ve learned far too well that good guys—many good guys—with guns can’t always stop a bad guy with a gun. In Florida, Nikolas Cruz is on trial for his life after killing 17 people at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Your plane landed safely — thank the bureaucrats at the FAA
A faddish phrase on the right is something called “the administrative state,” which refers to the federal workforce deputized by Congress to craft and enforce rules over the environment, banking, health care, product safety, mass communications, the power grid, etc. A recent profile of the Claremont Institute — which has the unenviable task of stitching together an intellectual fig leaf for Trumpism — noted that scholars there view our nation’s bureaucrats as a “fourth branch,” effectively overturning the Constitution.
Teacher shortage underscores the unaddressed crisis in NC’s public education system
“We don’t have any teacher applicants for our vacancies,” said two superintendents from rural North Carolina public school districts. Think about that. If they do not find qualified replacements or come up with alternative solutions, students will arrive on the first day of school Aug. 29 in classrooms without teachers.
Endless nonsense about the high price of gasoline
What a lot of complaining I hear about gas prices. I’ve done some myself. I also see a lot of blaming, especially of President Joe Biden. “It’s all his fault.” Hmm, could Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have just a little bit to do with the latest surge in prices at our gasoline pumps? Oil is a dense fuel, moved around with relative ease across the globe.
The Webb telescope images remind us who we really are
The views of the universe are gifts of perspective So much of our collective experience as a country these days involves division and strife, but this week we rediscovered our capacity for unity and awe, occasioned by a picture. Last Monday, NASA released the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope, a “deep field” photo that captures hundreds of galaxies, each containing roughly 100 million stars...
The right-wing assault hits close to home
And a case from North Carolina threatens to topple American democracy It’s pretty hard not to take it personally when the highest court in the land erases your humanity. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rolled back a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion, the power of the state reaches right through us, deciding what happens inside our bodies. What we think and feel doesn’t matter. It doesn’t get more personal than that.
Abortion access in post-Roe v. Wade North Carolina: Providers face big challenges
As a family medicine physician in training, I have been closely following the news about Roe v. Wade. I am training to be an abortion provider because it is fundamental to how I comprehensively care for pregnant people and their families. Abortion is safe, normal, and essential. The recent reversal of Roe poses a direct threat to my training, and to the patients I serve here in North Carolina.