It’s “School Choice Week.” I Choose…

It’s “School Choice Week.” And while there have been a plethora of op-eds, perspectives, and statements made by pro-choice advocates this week that claim to also champion traditional public schools as a “choice,” what really is happening is that a narrative continues to be put forth that puts down public schools as failing our students and our communities.

But I have a choice as well – many in fact. I have the choice to advocate for public schools and shed light on disingenuous viewpoints which seek to spin how others view public schools. I have the choice to call out the lies, half-truths, and cursory observations that turn speculation into a false gospel.

In short, I choose public schools.

Our public schools are better than many lawmakers  and “pro-choice” portray them to be – many of whom have never spent time as educators.

A lot better. And the problem is not the schools. The problem is the lawmaking body that controls the narrative of how schools are performing.

With the constant dialogue that “we must improve schools” and the “need to implement reforms,” it is imperative that we as a taxpaying public seek to understand all of the variables in which schools are and can be measured, and not all of them are quantifiable.

And not all of them are reported or allowed to be seen.

Betsy DeVos’s March, 2018 assertion on 60 Minutes that America’s schools have seen no improvement despite the billions and billions of dollars thrown at them was a nearsighted, close minded, and rather uneducated assessment of public schools because she was displaying two particular characteristics of lawmakers and politicians who are bent on delivering a message that public schools are not actually working.

The first is the insistence that “they” know education better than those who actually work in education. DeVos has no background in statistical analysis, administration, or teaching. The second is the calculated spin of evidence and/or the squashing of actual truth.

The premise of DeVos’s argument was the performance of US students on the PISA exam. She was trying to control how the public saw the results. She framed the context to promote a narrative that her “reforms” were the only solutions.

What she did not say was that:

  • “The U.S. average performance appears to be relatively low partly because we have so many more test takers from the bottom of the social class distribution.”
  • “A sampling error in the U.S. administration of the most recent international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample.”
  • “Conventional ranking reports based on PISA make no adjustments for social class composition or for sampling errors.”
  • “If U.S. adolescents had a social class distribution that was similar to the distribution in countries to which the United States is frequently compared, average reading scores in the United States would be higher than average reading scores in the similar post-industrial countries we examined (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), and average math scores in the United States would be about the same as average math scores in similar post-industrial countries.”
  • “On average, and for almost every social class group, U.S. students do relatively better in reading than in math, compared to students in both the top-scoring and the similar post-industrial countries.”

Those bulleted points come from a study by Richard Rothstein and Martin Carnroy entitled “What do international tests really show about U. S. student performance?” Published by the Economic Policy Institute, the researchers made a detailed report of the backgrounds of the test takers from the database compiled by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Either DeVos did not want you to know that information because it would defeat her reformist narrative or she just does not know. But when the public is not made aware, the public tends to believe those who control the dialogue.

Those who control the dialogue in North Carolina and in many other states only tell their side of the spin and neglect to talk of all of the variables that schools are and should be measured by.

Consider the following picture/graph:

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All of the external forces that affect the health of traditional public schools generally are controlled and governed by our North Carolina General Assembly, rather by the majority currently in power.

The salaries and benefits that teachers receive are mandated and controlled by the NCGA. When graduate degree pay bumps and due-process rights were removed from newer teachers, that affected recruitment of teachers. When the salary schedule became more “bottom-heavy” for newer teachers, it affected the retaining of veteran teachers.

With the changes from NCLB to RttT, from standard Course of Study to Common Core, from one standardized test to another, and from one curriculum revision to another, the door of public school “requirements” has become an ever-revolving door. Add to that the fact that teachers within the public schools rarely get to either help create or grade those very standardized tests.

North Carolina still spends less on per-pupil expenditures than it did since before the Great Recession when adjusted for inflation. Who has control of that? The North Carolina General Assembly.

Within the next ten years, NC will spend almost a billion dollars financing the Opportunity Grants, a voucher program, when there exists no empirical data showing that they actually improve student outcomes. Removing the charter school cap also has allowed more taxpayer money to go to entities that do not show any more improvement over traditional schools on average. When taxpayer money goes to vouchers and charter schools, it becomes money that is not used for the almost 85% of students who still go to traditional public schools.

And just look at the ways that schools are measured. School Performance Grades really have done nothing but show the effects of poverty. School report cards carry data that is compiled and aggregated by secret algorithms, and teacher evaluation procedures have morphed more times than a strain of the flu.

When the very forces that can so drastically affect traditional public schools are coupled with reporting protocols controlled by the same lawmaking body, how the public ends up viewing the effectiveness of traditional public schools can equally be spun.

schools 2

If test scores truly dictated the effectiveness of schools, then everyone in Raleigh in a position to affect policy should take the tests and see how they fare. If continuing to siphon taxpayer money into reforms that have not shown any empirical data of student improvement is still done, then those who push those reforms should be evaluated.

So much goes into what makes a public school effective, and yes, there are some glaring shortcomings in our schools, but when the very people who control the environment in which schools can operate make much noise about how our schools are failing us, then they might need to look in the mirror to identify the problem.

Because in so many ways our schools are really succeeding despite those who want to reform them.

Just consider the following when looking at our public schools and then see what is really “working.”

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View image on Twitter

Source: Kris Nordstrom

Image result for nc virtual charter school performance grades

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10 Reasons Why Bonus Pay Has Not And Will Not Ever Work In NC Public Education

Remember this from February of 2018?

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Sen. Phil Berger’s words in reference to the teacher merit bonuses based on 2017 scores reflected a growing willful ignorance that is still being bred in secret chambers in Raleigh amongst GOP stalwarts.

In fact, his statement was so preposterous and outlandish that the only thing keeping this teacher from laughing out loud was the fact that Berger’s reasoning was more the norm than the exception for the state’s most powerful lawmaker.

There are a couple of places in the statement that immediately seem incongruous. North Korea strikes me as more of a communistic totalitarian state. The government controls everything. Actually, the government owns everything. When I think of a socialist country, I tend to think of countries whose economies provide large “welfare” and social services to all citizens like Norway, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, or even Ireland. Many talk about the “socialized” medicine in Canada and England. Putting North Korea in that context seems a little extreme. Besides, many socialized countries have education systems in which the teaching profession is much more highly revered than here.

Oh, and Sen. Berger also seemed to forget that North Carolina is a “right-to-work” state. That means there are no unions. NCAE is not a union. It’s an association of education professionals. If Berger really wants to see how teacher unions work, then he should go to Chicago and New York City. Now those are unions.

But it’s the word “bonus” that seems to be most spun by Sen. Berger.

The longer this state keeps giving bonus pay for student scores, the more I feel that it just exacerbates the real problem: continued lack of respect for all public school teachers. In fact, I do not even consider the “bonus” a bonus. To me it’s just academic “blood money.”

One thing about bonuses is that they are highly taxed. Ironically, almost 40% of my bonuses was taken out by three different taxes every year.

25% of it went to the federal government. Some of what the feds will get may be paying for Medicaid in other states, which is ironic because we didn’t expand it here in NC. Sen. Berger was a champion in not expanding Medicaid in NC.

Almost 8% went to Social Security, which at my age may not be around when I am old enough to receive it.

Almost 6% went to the state. That’s actually kind of funny to think about because the state gave me bonus money to give back to them – maybe to increase the state surplus that they in turn will not reinvest in our schools?

There are many reasons for my opinion, and all are rooted in principles and respect, but if I had a chance to tell Sen. Berger why I feel that his statement is rooted in political “newspeak,” I would talk about the following:

  1. I do not need a carrot stick. If getting a bonus to get students to perform better really works, then this should have been done a long time ago. It’s funny to think of rewarding me for my students working harder and not other teachers who do absolute wonders in the classroom that do not get measured.
  2. This creates an atmosphere of competition. I did not get into teaching so that I could compete with my fellow teachers and see who makes more money, but rather collaborate with them.
  3. I did not take those tests. The students took the tests. Students need to be able to harness their own motivation and hopefully I can couple it with my motivation. Yet many of these students are taking eight classes, participating in extracurricular activities, and helping families. Plus, with all of the testing that we put on students that takes away from actual instructional time is staggering. Sometimes, I am amazed at what our students actually accomplish in light of the gravity they are placed under.
  4. I was not the only person who taught them. To say that the success of my students on the AP English Language and Composition Test solely rested on my performance is ludicrous. While the cliché’ “It takes a village” might be overused, I do believe that the entire school’s faculty and staff has something to do with not only my students’ success, but my own.
  5. Bonus pay does not work. It’s like merit pay. There is really no evidence that it helps public schools. Remember the ABC’s from the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s? Yep, I do too. So should Sen. Berger.
  6. The state does not have a reputation of fully funding their initiatives. Again, remember the ABC’s? I still do. Those bonuses dried up because they were not fully funded. And after the bonuses are taken away in the future (which they probably will), will the expectations of student performance be lessened? History says that it will not.
  7. My class is not more important as others. They all matter.
  8. This sets a dangerous precedent in measuring students and teachers. Effective public schools are collaborative communities, not buildings full of contractors who are determined to outperform others for the sake of money. And when teachers are forced to focus on the results of test scores, teaching ceases from being a dynamic relationship between student and teacher, but becomes a transaction driven by a carrot on an extended stick.
  9. This is a reward, but far from showing respect. Many teachers got a raise in the past four years, but again that is an “average” raise. Bonuses in this case seem more like “hush money” and a means to brag that lawmakers seem to care about teacher compensation. But if Berger really respected teachers, he would do more for them than give “bonuses” to a few of them. He would reward them with salaries comparable with the rest of the nation. He would restore due-process rights for new teachers, he would give back graduate degree pay, he would stop measuring schools with a defeatist model, and he would restore longevity pay.
  10. It’s pure grandstanding. There is uncontrolled charter school growth. There are loosened sanctions on for-profit virtual schools. There are massive amount of money going to Opportunity Grants which will no doubt fill the coffers of schools that do not even teach the same curriculum as those teachers you want to “reward” with these bonuses. There is a lawsuit between our puppet state superintendent and the state school board Berger helped appoint, and an ISD district still out there. There is the lowered per pupil expenditure. All of this affects the very schools that Berger thinks a bonus will help to hide.

Sen. Berger thinks that bonuses are part of the solution. Rather, it’s a symptom of a bigger problem.

But if he wants to make comparisons with North Korea, then he might want to look at his own actions in promoting unconstitutional mandates that gerrymander districts to ensure certain people remain in power and that suppress minority voters so they do not have a voice.

And there are so many excellent teachers who will never receive a bonus because the work they do in advancing kids can never be measured by the eyes of the narrow-minded who have no idea of what happens inside of a classroom.

Like Phil Berger.Image result for bonus pay stock

The Best Thing That Could Happen To NC Public Education Is To Take Away Phil Berger’s Power (And Not Elect Dan Forest)

stalemateFrom WFMYnews2.com:

The North Carolina General Assembly’s long session adjourned in the fall, with state lawmakers unable to pass a new state budget. 

And if you ask Senator Phil Berger, he doubts there will be compromise in 2020. 

“It’s entirely possible that it will be 2021 before we actually have another opportunity to adopt a full budget,” he said Friday in an exclusive interview, “But remember, we have a certified budget for that two-year period in North Carolina.”

When the most powerful lawmaker in Raleigh can single-handedly stall a budget from passing, keep the NCGA in an extra long session and accomplish next to nothing, vilify teachers and public school advocates, and allow for more corporate tax breaks to take effect while not adequately funding public schools or expanding Medicare, then there is something terribly wrong.

When a man can spear-head efforts at racial gerrymandering, pass controversial Voter ID laws, and sit on a large state surplus without investing in social services for the state’s citizens, then this state has a problem.

In the news post referred to above Berger went on to say,

“I think your viewers need to ask themselves, do they even know that we have a budget stalemate in North Carolina? I would say that for 95% of the people in the state of North Carolina, the current situation with the budget has had zero impact on their lives,” he said. 

“The schools are open, the kids are going to school, social services are functioning in North Carolina. Law enforcement is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. So, for most people it has no impact.”

No impact? Not on schools or other services that rely a lot on non-recurring funds? That’s funny because literally he then told WFMY News 2 that “across the state, counties are losing out on significant new funding. For state funding allocated to just Guilford County, he says – it’s around $100 million dollars we aren’t getting.”

Losing significant funding does not have a “significant impact?”

It’s that kind of deliberate lying and manipulation that is holding this state hostage and hurting our public schools (among other things).

But a Phil Berger without a GOP majority in the NC House would be weakened.

A Phil Berger without a GOP majority in the NC Senate would be even weaker.

A Phil Berger defeated in the 2020 election would be even better.

And remember that if Dan Forest is elected governor, he would never veto a Phil Berger budget.

 

So How Would Candidates For NC State Super Respond To Betsy DeVos’s Recent Claim About Teaching Colleges Using “Junk Science?”

From the current Secretary of Education who has no degree in education, no teaching experience, never attended a public school or state supported university or sent her children to one, is totally anti-union, and believes that teachers are paid too much:

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“Nearly half of teaching colleges are preparing future educators with what amounts to junk science. No wonder nearly 1/2 of our low-income 8th graders are functionally illiterate. We know how to teach kids how to read. Teachers need the tools to teach it.”

That’s a hell of an assertion coming from a woman whose policies on student debt, predatory student loaners, and social services are trying to keep those same 8th graders in the world of poverty.

It’s also a hell of an assertion to claim that schools of education are teaching “junk science” when she herself is so enamored with intelligent design.

And it’s incredibly dense of her to think that maybe low-income 8th graders don’t suffer academically because they live in poverty.

Oh, and to quote a study by the National Council on Teacher Quality when it’s reputation as an actual non-partisan research entity is next to nothing? Read page 46 of Dr. Diane Ravitch’s newest book, Slaying Goliath. There she talks about how some of their “ranking” methods do not even include visiting campuses but just reviewing catalogs.

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Then go to the page on the biggest donors to the NCTQ and you see a Who’s Who of privatizers – Gates, Broad, Walton….

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But it would be nice to hear what current candidates for NC State Superintendent have to say about what the top public education official in America tweeted today, especially Rep. Craig Horn and Catherine Truitt.

Do they believe that half of our teacher prep programs in our colleges and universities are teaching junk science?

 

I Will Definitely Talk About Kobe Bryant In Class Tomorrow

And I will speak highly of him – not just because he was a man who played twenty years and excelled in scoring more points than any other LA Laker in history.

It’s much more than that. It’s what he did to make himself a great basketball player and one of the most respected people ever associated with the NBA.

If you ever followed the NBA with more than a passing glance at scores and highlights, not many people could ever make the claim of having outworked Kobe Bryant on the details of the game. No one prepared himself physically, mentally, and emotionally as much. He did everything he needed to do to make himself ready and better than the day before. He did his homework.

For 20 years.

For one team.

And he played defense like he valued it more than anything.

When he graciously retired from playing, he stayed involved giving back to the sport that made him the role model that he was willing to be. And as the father of four girls, he came to understand that was his biggest role.

Oh, and he won an Oscar for a documentary he made and produced about basketball.

One particular story about Kobe I thought about today and I remember reading it a couple of years ago because it was about his English teacher in high school.

kobe

It said,

It’s been more than two decades since Kobe Bryant graduated from Lower Merion High School, a public school in the suburbs of Philadelphia. But the retired NBA star, now 40, still remembers one teacher in particular: Mr. Fisk, who taught English.

“He had a great quote: ‘Rest at the end, not in the middle,’” Bryant told podcast host and best-selling author Lewis Howes on an episode of “The School of Greatness.” “That’s something I always live by.”

I’ll definitely talk about Kobe Bryant in class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Use The FORCE, Join the Resistance Against Reform, And Vote in 2020.

As a veteran public school teacher, I know that the most sacred part of education is the student–teacher relationship. There is a power in the exchange of knowledge and the nurturing of skill sets. It is kind of like using the Force to train new Jedi. Remember the Force? Here’s the actual definition from Obi-Wan Kenobi, who happens to be a great teacher. He says,

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

However, when there is money to be made by profit-minded entities, many in power turn to the Dark Side and manipulate the Force for personal gain. Look at the virtual charters run by profit-minded companies. Look how many new “private” schools have been created in response to the Opportunity Grants which are getting less and less transparent by the year.

Yet when these profit-minded reforms are questioned, lawmakers swear they are doing the will of the people. It sounds like Darth Vader’s great quote from the first Star Wars movie:

“I find your lack of faith disturbing”

In 2020 there will be major elections, and the GOP-led NC General Assembly and will take major steps to show great improvement for the 2019-20 school year. But in the immortal words of Admiral Akbar in The Return of the Jedi,

“It’s a trap!”

Monies, resources, and benefits have been eroded away to create an environment of dependency on false reforms. Furthermore, the move to discredit teachers and educators through the removal of due-process rights and graduate degree pay along with shoddy teacher evaluation protocols have harvested more fear than real progress. And the greatest of teachers, Yoda, tells us that,

“Fear is the path to the dark side.”

It is this false fear that public schools are the root of the problems that now plague North Carolina and drives the actions of the NC General Assembly in “reforming” our public school system. So much has changed in the landscape of education in North Carolina in these last few years. My hope is that we can avert further damage and not suffer the fate of the Alderaan system.

The establishment of a grade letter school performance system and the expansion of Opportunity Grants has not strengthened public education; it has hurt public education. These initiatives are what Obi-Wan Kenobi refers to when he states,

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for….”

Add to those reforms the ISD and the erosion of DPI under a neophyte of a leader and I see a move to depend more on computers (iPads) than on the best resource that our state has for public education: our teachers. Even a droid can tell you that that is not good for education like when C3PO tells R2-D2,

“R2-D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer!”

People without educational experience are dictating what happens in classrooms more than those who have the proper experience and knowhow. Han Solo makes this point in the 1977 release of A New Hope. He tells Luke Skywalker,

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.”

And it isn’t. Traveling through hyperspace is not for those who have never been in a spaceship before. A wookie could tell you that.

Additionally, reforming public education in North Carolina is not a job for those who have no idea what a classroom is like. Teachers and educators see that increased human interaction between a teacher (especially when experienced and respected) and student can overcome great odds.

When C3PO tells Han Solo that he cannot fly through an asteroid field, he does not put into consideration who is doing the piloting. The droid states,

“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”

But Solo is an expert. He’s like an experienced veteran teacher in the classroom and he is confident. That asteroid field is akin to all of the obstacles placed in front of teachers (increased class size, too many standardized tests, expanded duties, etc) as they try and do their job. Han Solo and his crew make it through.

This next election cycle really starts now. This requires actually educating yourselves on the issues and practicing your rights to speak out, speak up, and speak to. It also means to vote and take action to advocate. One cannot be passive – Yoda instructs us on that (with his inverted syntax).

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Many of my colleagues are leaving the profession. Some leave because their salaries have been frozen in carbonite and will not allow them to raise families in the way they wish. Some leave because our profession is not respected. We need our teacher education programs in our colleges and universities to be invested in, not divested from.

But I am hearing more and more teachers speaking about how they will not leave; they are staying to fight the fight. It’s just like Obi-Wan Kenobi when he looked Darth Vader in the eye and calmly stated,

“You can’t win, Darth. Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”

That’s the attitude that we need to have as teachers, educators, and advocates for public education. This fight is far from over and why should we keep fighting for our schools? As Yoda states,

“Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”

Grab your closest wookie and ewok friends. Hop on your land speeder, X-wing fighter, or Millennium Falcon and go to the polls this next election cycle. Educate yourselves about the real issues surrounding public education. Like a great teacher, Yoda instructs us well when he says,

“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”

Send messages to others through your droids, see past the Imperial rhetoric, stand up against the Greedos and the Jaba the Huts and,

“Always pass on what you have learned.”

And last but not least, always remember…

“the Force will be with you, always.”

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From The Same Person Who Claims That He Has Done More For Public Education In NC Than Anyone,

From the same person who helped orchestrate some of the most egregiously gerrymandering based on racial voting trends,

From the same person who championed a Voter ID law that mostly targets poor minorities to keep their vices from being heard in the democratic process,

From the same person who has blocked Medicaid expansion from so many in this state who could desperately use it when it would actually create economic growth for NC, comes this gem:

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That movement he is referring to is “Blexit” started by Candace Owens.(One might want to read about her and some of the things she has said and aligns herself with. Oh, and tha Russian bot thing, too).

 

 

 

One Resource All Teachers Need But is Never “Funded” For : TIME

When budgets are “made” by lawmakers in North Carolina, there are usually multiple requests for monies attached to “reforms” or investments in resources. Some deal with mentoring and helping younger teachers become more acclimated to the education profession. Some deal with “advanced roles” for teachers. Some deal with curricula that focus on specific “21st century” skills.

That’s how we get lots of iPads and iStation and glossy proctor guides as well.

These requests along with other initiatives (most actually being counterproductive) that call for more teacher roles, collaboration, extension of personalized learning, and even “deputizing” teachers has ignored the very resource ultimately needed to even begin allowing for teachers to really help students: time.

Time.

TIME.

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It is one of the single biggest deficits in the teaching profession.

The day only has 24 hours. The year is still 365 (+1/4) days long. School still has to meet the equivalent of 180 school days.

Caps on class sizes have been removed. Funding to alleviate class sizes in early grades was never extended to LEA’s as was erroneously claimed by many a GOP lawmaker in the last couple of years. Students also take more standardized tests than ever before and more schools have turned to block scheduling meaning that more teachers are teaching more classes and more students.

Any veteran teacher can tell you the need for collaboration with others is critical to academic success for students. The need to plan and create/grade authentic assessments is also most critical.

That requires time. And there is nothing in Mark Johnson’s budget proposals or an NCGA proposal that helps to address the “time” shortage.

Please remember that in most public schools, there are important duties that must be fulfilled by teachers that may not be considered academic in nature or part of the classroom experience: supervision, committees, coaching, sponsoring of clubs, etc.

Then there is the grading.

All of that requires time. And while one cannot buy extra time to add to a day, there is a lot of truth in the cliche’ “Time is money.” That means that Mark Johnson and the NCGA can make more investments in public education that remove obstacles and current constructs to give more teachers time to truly and fully work on those very facets to teaching that so affect school/student growth.

Imagine what benefits could be reaped if teachers had the time to collaborate, tutor, plan, and assess a more varied sampling of student work.

And it would be easy for Johnson and the NCGA to help that become a reality if they would just seek to fully fund schools and listen to teachers about what really needs to be done in schools.

2016 Vs. 2020 – Measuring Catherine Truitt’s Words As a Candidate For State Super Against Being McCrory’s Education Advisor

Today the North Carolina School Board Association held a “Superintendent Candidate Forum” for the two people running to be the republican party nominee for NC State Superintendent. Rep. Craig Horn and Catherine Truitt, Chancellor of WGU-NC,  answered many straightforward questions about funding, teacher-prep programs, school performance grades, and Read to Achieve among other things.

Liz Bell of EdNC.org live tweeted throughout the forum for those not in attendance.

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Here is the text from some of those tweets:

“We need to have an excellent teacher in every single classroom across our state,” says Truitt. She says teacher quality will be her North Star in office.

Truitt says NC is not teaching kids how to read w research-backed methods. Says reforming Read to Achieve would be one of her priorities. “Third grade is too late.”

Truitt says fully funding school support personnel is one piece that is doable. She says to dismiss the report just bc it comes from the outside “is disingenuous at best.”

Truitt says she supports some funds for opportunity scholarships bc low-income parents need school choice options like everyone else. Says that current funding is too much.

In 2020, Truitt is calling for reforming Read to Achieve, the need to better recruit teachers, fully funding schools, and revisiting how much money goes into vouchers in this state.

But here are some of the statements she made in 2016 in an op-ed for the News & Observer.

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About “fully funding schools:”

“K-12 education funding has increased by 18 percent under McCrory. In fact, 57 cents of every taxpayer dollar spent goes to fund education. That means that 57 percent of our $22.3 billion General Fund budget is spent on education, compared with a national average of 46 percent. Funding for textbooks and digital resources has tripled under this administration, and we are leading the nation in school connectivity.”

About teacher pay and “recruiting” people to teach:

“Teacher pay in North Carolina is growing faster than in any other state in the country under McCrory’s leadership. Since 2013, North Carolina has invested more than $1 billion in teacher raises, and the budget signed by McCrory increases average teacher pay to more than $50,000 for the first time in state history.”

In an op-ed for EdNC.org that same year, she made these statements:

About what Read to Achieve’s goal:

“He (McCory) also signed legislation that will dramatically increase access to summer reading camps to ensure every student achieves the needed literacy by third grade.”

About the Opportunity Grants:

“In 2014, the governor increased choice for low income parents by enacting the Opportunity Scholarship that provides financial assistance for alternative schooling for students who are not succeeding in a traditional school setting.”

Kristopher Nordstrom, senior analyst for the NC Justice Center, was even more specific in demonstrating the contradictions that Truitt presents in following today’s forum.

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Yes, anyone other than Mark Johnson would probably be a huge improvement as far as being the NC State Super is concerned, but Truitt and Horn would be a extension of what has been happening these last nine years to public schools in NC.

 

 

Rep. Tim Moore Is REALLY Scared Of Public School Teachers

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Nothing like having your own spokesperson who can deliver your “spun” take on a situation in such a way that it shields you from actually having to answer real questions and confront true criticism.

I would expect nothing “moore” from a man who hides behind constructed machinations the likes of which are not seen in any other state. He is a man who is only enabled by the unconstitutional supports of prejudiced policies.

That’s how weak he really is on his own.

He attacks NCAE and it’s “limited” membership in a state that makes collectivebargaining for state employees illegal. The ban itself was established in the Jim Crow-era. It literally is the last holdover as far as those laws are concerned. And NC is one of seven states that makes collective bargaining illegal.

Image result for map of states with collective bargaining rights 2018

Eleven allow for them to be used. 32 require them to be used.

That’s right. NC is one of seven states that bans collective bargaining rights. And Tim Moore is attacking NCAE? That’s fear.

And that “represents 5% of teachers” part? That’s Moore’s way of trying to pit teachers against teachers. But it’s more than teachers. It’s about students and public schools. It’s about communities.  Besides, this looks like more than 5% of teachers:

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It’s also funny to consider that Moore is enabled by some of the most extreme gerrymandering in the country because of how district lines were drawn based on racial disparities. Repeatedly.

Image result for north carolina racial gerrymandering maps 2019 general assembly

Moore “legislates” and condemns pro-public education groups openly, but stigmatizes the state’s public schools with the most egregious school performance grading system in the country.

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Moore screams about opposition to a Voter ID law that was passed before it was completely written and then stopped by the courts until further litigation is done.

He screams about people wanting to expand Medicaid in a state whose citizens overwhelmingly support its expansion all while several other red states are expanding it.

He screams “expanding” federal entitlements when he is in a state that has the lowest corporate tax rates in the country.

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This is all coming from a guy who helps craft secret ALEC-inspired legislation through special sessions and passive-aggressive measures.

And he can’t even pass a budget.

So, the only thing Tim Moore can do is try to pit teachers against teachers. But he’s been doing that for years.

Because he’s scared of teachers.