Now U.S. News & World Report Is Ranking K-8 Schools – And Stigmatizing Many Of Them

U.S. News & World Report is probably most well-known for its rankings of colleges and universities.

It’s a rather fragile system for ranking. Malcolm Gladwell in his latest season of the podcast Revisionist History deals with the parameters and variables used in the ranking system and shows its drastic shortcomings. Whether you agree with Gladwell’s approaches or conclusions in his other works, it is worth a listen to the episodes on the college/university rankings as they clearly show many subjective inconsistencies in ranking schools.

U.S. News then started ranking America’s high schools. Many dubious measurements were used there as well to come up with rankings which many who do not totally understand how effective schools really are based on the clientele they serve simply take as gospel.

Now they are ranking elementary and middle schools…

…in the name of school choice.

If and when you look at the rankings, please make sure to understand their methodology.

Then understand that there is so much more to a school. Maybe perhaps go to this site (Neighborhood Atlas) and catch a glimpse of the socio-economics that affect schools that are never really considered in the U.S. News rankings.

This NFL Coach Resigned. Our Lt. Gov. Won’t Even Apologize.

Jon Gruden resigned as a head coach of a privately held professional football team for egregiously harmful comments linked to him in emails before he took over his current post.

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson won’t even apologize for his homophobic, transphobic and hurtful comments as an elected official for much more publicly given comments made just in the past few months.

Actually Michele is a woman.

Gruden will probably never work again in the NFL.

Mark Robinson is supposedly eyeing a run at higher office.

Gruden offered an “apology.”

Mark Robinson is going after teachers.

A Double-Down Vs. A Double Sausage & Egg McMuffin

Consider that we have the highest ranking republican doubling down on his stance on “filth.”

Furthermore, his political enablers in the NC General Assembly have refused to pass a budget in three years and have kept passing negative education reform after another.

And there is this:

McDonald’s is giving more respect to teachers in one week than the NCGA has in years.

Let that sink in over some good coffee.

This guy is doing more for teachers…

… than this guy:

2 Minutes & 38 Seconds Of Unsubstantiated BS

For all of the pushback (and some support) that Lt. Mark Robinson has received for the now viral video of his talk at Asbury Baptist Church last June, releasing a video today to answer his critics on his choice of words and stance just confirms what most of us already know: Robinson is trying to make a large issue out of unsubstantiated claims just to villainize public schools.

Here’s the video:

https://fb.watch/8zlSNzt15S/

In it he shows the contents of a book that he alleges is being used in North Carolina schools. He never names any school that uses it.

He claims that it was a book reported to him and the F.A.C.T.S. task force through the reporting portal he established this past spring.

If this was the case, then it should have been investigated well before this video. Has it?

In fact, has any one of the supposed reports given to the F.A.C.T.S. task force ever been verified and shown to be true?

No.

Which makes this claim unsubstantiated.

Pleading The “Filth”: This Man Sits On The State School Board

Those words were spoken by Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson this past summer talking at Asbury Baptist Church.

You can read more about this newly uncovered controversy surrounding Robinson here.
But this behavior is not new to Robinson. He has had multiple social media posts that display his homophobic and transphobic stances.

He sits on the State Board of Education and has been very vocal about what the curriculum especially social studies curriculum should and should not include.

He also has been the leader of a sham task force (F.A.C.T.S.) put together to carry out witch hunts on teachers who supposedly are indoctrinating students based on slanted hearsay and suspent circumstantial evidence.

He is the embodiment of what a teacher in our public schools should never be. Yet, he carries the power to waste taxpayer money to “indoctrinate” others on what he thinks “filth” is.

The pertinent segment of the video of Robinson’s speech can be seen here.

Two Letters & An SNL Skit: About School Board Meetings

This week, the Washington Post printed a letter it uncovered which serves as a template for many fighting against mask mandates in public forums – forums like contrentious school board meetings.

Here is a copy:

The letter is full of links to other material to “use” in confronting public officials.

Then this letter from the U.S. Attorney General appeared today.

So ubiquitously contentious have school board meetings become across the country that Saturday Night Live featured a rather accurate parody of one in its season premiere this past Saturday.

The B***S*** Campaign Against NCAE And How It Is Hurting All Of North Carolina

The News & Observer editorial staff printed an op-ed this morning about the latest attack from the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute against the North Carolina Association of Educators.

In what could be the toughest year to be a teacher in the state of North Carolina, the repeated antics from the John Locke Foundation and its other half (Civitas) are really nothing more than veiled attempts at weakening the entire public school system and to make it more vulnerable to educational reforms such as unaccountable vouchers and segregating charter schools.

Makes one wonder why this “think-tank” spends so much money to suppress a group of educators who advocate for fully funding our public schools and call out issues that affect our students’ lives.

Actually it shouldn’t. Just look at the pattern over these last few years.

First, North Carolina is the only state in the country without a new budget passed in the last two years.

Next consider these conditions:

  • 21 states currently have a minimum wage that matches the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25/hour. North Carolina is one of them.
minwage
  • 7 seven states currently outlaw collective bargaining for public employees. North Carolina is one of them.
collectivebarg
  • 14 states did not adopt Medicaid expansion. North Carolina is one of them.
medicaidexp
  • 18 states have vouchers and charter schools. North Carolina is one of them.
vouchercharter
  • 2 states measure public schools with a formula that weighs achievement more than growth. North Carolina is one of them.
ncvermont

Name the only state in the country with the lowest legal minimum wage, no collective bargaining rights, no Medicaid expansion, loosely regulated voucher and charter school expansion, and a school performance grading system that measures achievement over growth. North Carolina.

Now name a state that has a lower state corporate flat tax. None do.

nc

Not to mention that North Carolina has the nation’s worst unemployment benefits.

ALL OF THIS AFFECTS PUBLIC EDUCATION.

Now consider all of the actions that have been directly aimed at public education teachers in the last decade that have been championed by the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute.

timeline 1

Throw in a pandemic – and we get a teacher/education shortage like we have never seen along with a teacher pipeline that has been drying up over the last ten years.

That 22310 figure? It’s from today, October 2nd.

Wait, there’s this little thing called LEANDRO that the powers-that-be in Raleigh who are supported by the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute refuse to comply with.

The John Locke Foundation even said this about the LEANDRO ruling.

And as this state sits on a surplus that could more than fulfill the LENDRO decision’s call for funding public schools, the John Locke Foundation not only is trying to vilify NCAE, but is trying to use the the boogeyman of CRT and “indoctirnation” to scare teachers into submission.

Over a third of those people in the F.A.C.T. S. task force are directly linked to that same libertarian think tank founded by Art Pope that is putting up these billboards:

Pathetic.

Either that makes the John Locke Foundation / Civitas Institute wimpy enough to spend so much money to suppress a teacher “union” within a Right to Work / At Will state that outlaws collective bargaining rights for public employees and has instituted constricting limitations on teacher rights and incomes all while financing a non-transparent voucher system and unregulated charter schools, …

…or they absolutely despise educators who advocate for fully funded schools at the hearts of communities.

Probably both.

Garrison Keillor once wrote, “When you wage war on the public schools, you’re attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You’re not a conservative, you’re a vandal.” Public school advocates and organizations like NCAE realize that public schools are more than just physical classrooms – they are the very fabric of the community.

To fight for schools is to fight for communities.

It’s clear who is fighting for schools.