public schools

New Policy Watch news story shows the “genius of the market” at work in education

BY: - February 14, 2013

Anyone who pays any attention to the debate over public education knows the rap consistently advanced by the pro-vouchers/pro-privatization crowd: “We need to bring the ‘genius’ of the free market to education so that schools will compete with each other and thereby drive up the overall quality of education.” This is the same argument under which charter […]

Encouraging signs on high school graduation

BY: - January 22, 2013

It’s only incremental progress, but it is worth noting the quite measurable bump (almost 3%) that has taken place in the most recent data on American high school graduation rates. The data are from 2009-10 so there may even be grounds for hoping that the actual rate is now even higher. This is from the story in […]

Economic disparity in state public schools is growing

BY: - January 18, 2013

Although racial balance in North Carolina’s public schools has remained steady since 2005-06,  students are increasingly separated by income. That’s one of several findings in a new report by Duke University professors Charles Clotfelter, Helen Ladd and Jacob Vigdor, “Racial and Economic Diversity in North Carolina’s Schools: An Update.” “Although state-enforced school segregation is now a distant […]

Canaries in the school bus lane

BY: - September 7, 2012

(Cross-posted from the blog of the North Carolina Council of Churches). By George Reed, Executive Director You probably know how the phrase “canary in the coal mine” came into being, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. Before there were other ways of monitoring for dangerous gases in coal mines, like carbon monoxide, miners took […]

Budget cuts are not helping this problem

BY: - August 21, 2012

The folks at Public News Service highlighted an often underreported story this morning that confronts public school administrators at this time of year: the difficulty that schools have in attracting and retaining good teachers — especially in math and science.  The story focuses on the special challenges confronting poorer, rural districts, but as even the folks in bigger […]

Conservative pols: NC’s “failing schools” are doing great

BY: - August 3, 2012

It’s been fascinating this week to listen to the state’s conservative political leadership try to spin the new graduation data released by education officials. Observers had to be careful not to get a case of whiplash from the 180 degree change in tone. Here’s State Senate leader Phil Berger just three months ago in a statement that […]

Private equity, hedge fund vultures “circling public education”

BY: - August 2, 2012

Don’t expect the upbeat news from the state education world reported in Sarah Ovaska’s post below to slow down another powerful trend in public education: the attempt  by corprate pirates to steal our schools. As Reuters reporter Stephanie Simon reports in this story via the HuffPost, the big money guys on Wall Street are hard at work figuring out ways […]

Hagan touts bill to restrain abuses by for-profit colleges

BY: - August 2, 2012

This morning’s Greensboro News & Record includes an editorial by Senator Kay Hagan about a promising bill that she’s co-sponsoring to rein in some abuses in the for-profit college industry. The bill (“the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act”), which has been endorsed by the watchdogs at Consumers Union, would require all colleges and […]

Greensboro N&R editorial decries last minute school year change

BY: - July 18, 2012

This morning’s Greensboro News & Record editorial page contains an excellent piece on the General Assembly’s last minute “technical” change to the length of the K-12 school year. The wrong word North Carolina public schools must operate at least 185 days and offer 1,025 hours of instruction each year. 185 days or 1,025 hours. That small […]

Forsyth County: A case study in school re-segregation and the illusions of “choice”

BY: - July 2, 2012

Reporter Travis Fain had an interesting story in the Winston-Salem Journal yesterday about the re-segregation of Forsyth County’s schools that has occurred in recent decades and the illusion that “school choice” can somehow provide a remedy for this situation. Wake County and others that have not already become fully resegregated themselves should pay attention. Here’s […]

Fitzsimon File: Monday numbers

BY: - June 25, 2012

(Please note: The main NC Policy Watch website — the usual home for the Fitzsimon File – is down temporarily this morning for a very brief repair so today we’re cross-posting Chris’ regular “Monday Numbers” here on The Progressive Pulse.  The main PW site will be back up very shortly).   Editors note: This morning’s Fitzsimon File cross-posted from […]

You know things are bad when…

BY: - June 21, 2012

Conservative leaders announced their “budget deal” yesterday and at least some supporters of public education have been emitting sighs of relief in light of the fact that it includes minor pay raises for teachers and does not include far right proposals to introduce a school voucher/corporate tax credit program or transform all teachers into temporary employees. Have […]