UnLOCKEing the John Locke Foundation, Part 6 – Using a Lot of Words to Say Not a Lot

The latest op-ed by Dr. Terry Stoops on EdNC.org entitled “Enrollment changes have consequences” is another successful endeavor in glossing over the real issues that face public education in North Carolina.
You may read it here – https://www.ednc.org/2016/08/22/enrollment-changes-consequences/.
And after you read it, ask yourself, “What was that about?” I have yet to see the real point of his argument, much less why it was written.
I am not kidding you. I have no idea what the article is trying to achieve. It simply says that there are fluctuations in student enrollment and that overall the state has gained students. Some districts have experienced a drop in student numbers, but to what end does this information serve. Over half of the article is full of numbers that could have just as easily been linked to.
When the table of data is scrolled through, Dr. Stoops delivers a rather stunning conclusion: “These enrollment numbers are critical.”
I can only say sarcastically that Dr. Stoops has really nailed it there. Yes, they are critical. Yet, he offers no analysis that furthers the conversation.
As the Director of Research and Education Studies for the John Locke Foundation, Dr. Stoops has the responsibility to promote the ideology of the very people he works for, mostly Art Pope, a staunch conservative libertarian who was the budget director for Gov. McCrory’s first year. Mr. Pope was a critical cog in the move to alter funds to public education (resources, teacher salaries, etc.) over three years ago.
Since then, NC has experienced a growing population, and Dr. Stoops shows that clearly in his large data table.
And then with the last three paragraphs, Dr. Stoops rides a fence of his own construction showing that those counties who experienced loss in students will have to make adjustments and counties that are gaining students will have to make – yep, you guessed it – adjustments.
He simply identifies a problem that has been exacerbated by his boss’s economic policies – the funding of public schools.
Yet there is no mention of the effects of charter schools, Opportunity Grants, teacher salary “readjustments”, or any of the other actions that have affected public schools.
In fact, what is not said by the Director of Research and Educational Studies for the John Locke Foundation speaks more loudly than what was said.
No substance. No solutions.

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