Too Many Standardized Tests For Non-Standardized Students, i.e., Every Student

Exam

Below is a list of the standardized tests administered by the state of North Carolina in our public schools.

  1. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Math – Grade 3
  2. North Carolina End of Grade Exam English / Language Arts- Grade 3
  3. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Science – Grade 3
  4. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Math – Grade 4
  5. North Carolina End of Grade Exam English / Language Arts- Grade 4
  6. North Carolina Final Exam Social Studies – Grade 4 (Recently eliminated by DPI)
  7. North Carolina Final Exam Science – Grade 4 (Recently eliminated by DPI)
  8. North Carolina Writing Assignment – Grade 4
  9. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Math – Grade 5
  10. North Carolina End of Grade Exam English / Language Arts- Grade 5
  11. North Carolina Final Exam Social Studies – Grade 5 (Recently eliminated by DPI)
  12. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Math – Grade 6
  13. North Carolina End of Grade Exam English / Language Arts- Grade 6
  14. North Carolina Final Exam Social Studies – Grade 6
  15. North Carolina Final Exam Science – Grade 6
  16. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Math – Grade 7
  17. North Carolina End of Grade Exam English / Language Arts- Grade 7
  18. North Carolina Final Exam Social Studies – Grade 7
  19. North Carolina Final Exam Science – Grade 7
  20. North Carolina Writing Assignment – Grade 7
  21. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Math – Grade 8
  22. North Carolina End of Grade Exam English / Language Arts- Grade 8
  23. North Carolina End of Grade Exam Science – Grade 8
  24. North Carolina Final Exam Social Studies – Grade 8
  25. End of Course Test – Biology
  26. End of Course Test – English II
  27. North Carolina Writing Assignment – Grade 10
  28. End of Course Test – NC Math I
  29. End of Course Test – NC Math III
  30. NC Final – English I
  31. NC Final – English III
  32. NC Final – English IV
  33. NC Final – American History I
  34. NC Final – American History II
  35. NC Final – Civics
  36. NC Final – World History
  37. NC Final – NC Math II
  38. NC Final – Pre-Calculus
  39. NC Final – Discrete Math
  40. NC Final – Advanced Functions & Models
  41. NC Final – Earth & Environmental Science
  42. NC Final – Physics
  43. NC Final – Physical Science
  44. NC Final – Chemistry
  45. NC Test of Computer Skills

Depending on which math and science track a student has in high school, it is conceivable that a student who matriculates in NC’s public schools will take around 40 of these state tests.

That list does not include any local benchmark assessments, the PSAT, the ACT, the Pre-ACT, or any of the AP exams that may come with Advanced Placement classes.

Throw in some PISA or NAEP participants. Maybe the ASVAB and the Workkeys.

There’s probably more.

When I graduated high school last century, I never had to take even one-tenth of these kinds of assessments.

But we wrote a lot of essays in my school.

Not short answers.

Essays.

Graded by real people.

 

Put The Cap Back on NC Charter School Growth

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly under the control of the GOP in both chambers for the first time in decades lifted the cap on the number of charter schools in the state.

Until that time, the cap was 100. If the State Board of Education approves the 12 submitted for approval by the Charter School Advisory Board this week, then that number will rise to almost 200 (196).

Greg Childress posted an article on NC Policy Watch today on the upcoming SBE meeting that will decide which of the 12 will be approved and the call for more investigation into what charter schools are actually doing in this state.

Critics contend charters siphon students and resources from traditional public schools and contribute to the re-segregation of North Carolina schools.

In March, State Sen. Dan Blue, (D-Wake County) called for a “recess” from granting charters until a joint legislative committee he wants to create can study their impacts on traditional public schools.

Blue is a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 247, which would establish the joint legislative study committee and place a moratorium on charter growth.

SB 247 was referred to the body’s Committee On Rules and Operations of Senate on March 14. Because it didn’t cross over to the House, the bill is essentially dead through 2020.

Public Schools First NC has also called for a camp cap on charters while the state exams student performance, fiscal management and how charter impact students, traditional public schools and taxpayers.

Interestingly on May 30th, the Washington Post ran a piece entitled “School’s out: Charters were supposed to save public education. Why are Americans turning against them?” Written by Jack Snyder, it investigates what charters were supposed to do and how those expectations have never been met. He states,

Today, however, the grand promises of the charter movement remain unfulfilled, and so the costs of charters are being evaluated in a new light. For the first time in two decades, even as the number of charter-bound children rises (the schools will educate between 20 and 40 percent of American students by 2035, according to one projection), the opposition is gathering momentum.

And the conclusions that Snyder claims as a foundation for his argument are rather germane to North Carolina’s extreme charter school growth. They should be considered by the State Board of Education and the NCGA when thinking about granting more approvals for charter schools.

In fact, Snyder forces us in NC to ask:

1. Have charter schools in North Carolina actually brought back innovative pedagogical approaches? Snyder comments, “A report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education concluded that charter school innovation has often been in areas like “new uses of funding and governance,” rather than in instructional designs.” That observation holds true for North Carolina. Just look to the Municipal Charter Bill from last year championed by former Sen. Bill Brawley.

2. Have charter schools in North Carolina allowed lower income families to escape what Snyder categorizes as “bad schools?” Remember that there is a difference in offering choice and “ensuring quality.” Consider the following graph from Kris Nordstrom.

3. Has the rise of charter schools in North Carolina brought about that “systematic improvement” of the entire public school system? Again, refer to the graph above. In fact, many in this state would argue (including this teacher) that the very people who enable such unregulated charter school growth in NC make sure to have an evaluation system that shines a negative light on traditional public schools.

Kris Nordstrom (referred to earlier) is one of the best education writers and researchers in this state and a Senior Policy Analyst for the  NC Justice Center. He tweeted this today which includes even more observations that pertain to North Carolina, specifically the effects of charters on LEA budgets and racial segregation.

charter

As it stands now, many LEA’s are required to send millions of dollars to charter schools in their district without having any oversight over how those dollars are used. And the more students that a charter school can take away from a traditional school, the less money that traditional school may be able to ask for on the state and federal levels.

And as far as the segregation part is concerned, just last month Huntersville city commissioners recommended starting a charter school and removing itself from the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School system. At one point in that meeting one of the officials stated,

“The towns are looking to be as diverse both socially economically and racially,” Puckett said. “We are happy with the diversity we have. Can we be more diverse? Most assuredly in the future, but we don’t think it’s not up to the school system to socially manipulate the population.”

Huntersville is almost 85% white.

None of the “promises” made by those who championed charter school growth in North Carolina has been fulfilled except that it offers some sort of choice to some people. But even that new choice for some comes at a price for others.

Snyder quotes a member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce toward the end of his report:

“We’ve turned education into a commodity — if that kid walks across the street, you’re chasing after him for the money attached to his seat. That’s ridiculous if you think about the long term.”

Same thing here in NC.

This state needs to put a cap back on the number of charter schools and honestly study the effects they truly have on traditional public schools.

 

 

Dear Mark Johnson, Reducing Number of Questions on Tests Is Not “Test Reform”

This past January, Mark Johnson issued a statement regarding testing in North Carolina. As reported in the News & Observer:

The number of questions on the state end-of-grade math exams, science end-of-grade exams and biology end-of-course exams are being reduced, according to Drew Elliot, a DPI spokesman. He said changes in the state’s language arts end-of-grade exams will begin in the 2019-20 school year.

The reduction in questions will shorten those exams. Currently, the exams are expected to last three hours with a maximum of four hours to finish them. Elliot said the exams will now take two hours with up to three hours allowed.

In a recent email sent to parents and teachers, Johnson touted that testing reform and guided people to a page on his personal website that tried to explain some of what he has done to reduce the stress and burden on students.

testreduction

So far, the math tests for 3rd and 4th grades will be reduced by 8 items; the 5th grade math test by 6 items. Grades 6-8 will have math test reduced by seven items.

The 8th grade science test will be reduced by 10 items as will the Biology EOC.

That might sound great to some, but there are some serious questions and considerations that need to be answered and fleshed out.

First, if there are fewer questions for tests, will the tests still themselves count the same amount in the students’ final grades? As of now, an EOC or NC Final in high schools counts for 25% of a student’s final grade for the course. Would fewer questions on a shorter test still carry the same impact as previous tests with more questions on a longer test?

If so, that would mean a student’s final grade will depend on fewer test questions. That’s more room for error and a shorter amount of time would be used to dictate a student’s final grade.

Secondly, these tests would still be used in determining school performance grades. Remember that 80% of a school’s performance grade is based on achievement scores – scored derived from standardized tests.

That would mean if school performance grades still look to follow a formula of 80% achievement and 20% growth, then fewer questions on those tests would mean that each standardized test question would actually have more power in measuring achievement and, therefore, a school’s performance grade.

And there could be more pressure on students because room for error would be smaller. Fewer variables would be at work.

Johnson may be claiming that this will “reduce the amount of stress on students and teachers.” In a sense, he is right. But…

… the stress of standardized tests is the effect they have on student achievement and how schools are measured. Lowering the amount of testing and not reducing the effect of testing on school report cards actually has the effect of placing more emphasis on each question on those standardized tests.

That could induce a lot more stress.  That is unless Johnson is willing to to change how standardized tests are used to “measure” student achievement. He could actually push to eliminate many of the state tests. That would reduce testing.

And he could push to change how school performance grades are used to measure schools and change the formula by which school performance grades are calculated.

In fact, he could push to simply eliminate school performance grades.

 

“I Am Superman” Says The “World Leader Pretend”

The final song on the album Lifes Rich Pageant might be one of the largest collections of the first-person personal pronoun “I” within the limits of a song under three minutes. In fact, it is uttered no fewer than 40 times in a song that has around 170 words in its lyrics.

And the protagonist just might be one of the most conceited, arrogant, smug, and brash stalkers to ever narrate a song.  Whether that’s the intention of the original writer of the song, Gary Zeckley, or not, that cocksure voice in the lyrics certainly thinks an awful lot of himself and not as much of the object of his desire.

It has been noted that the reason that Mike Mills sang lead on this song is that Michael Stipe was not keen on putting the song on the album. And it works. The scratchy beginning, the strong bass, and Mills’s voice made this a favorite of many a rural Georgian teenager in the mid-1980’s. Yet the song has more gravity in the thirty-something years after it was first played from a cassette tape bought at a record store on Alps Road in Athens. GA.

Think of what the narrator claims he can do. He can “see right through” her. He will “track her down” even if she is a “million miles away.” He knows “what’s happening” and he “can do anything.”

Now think of our current president – a man addicted to talking about himself, what he believes he can do (and has done) and relishes his “effect” on others.

The one letter word “I” appears forty times. In fact, in every line of each verse save one, “I” or “me” is the subject and exerts the action of the verb. And no one likes to talk about himself as much a Donald Trump does.

Consider the following quotes from our current president:

  • “I have a great relationship with the blacks.”
  • “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
  • “I beat China all the time. All the time.”
  • “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
  • “I have so many websites.”
  • “My Twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth.”
  • “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
  • “I’m their worst nightmare.”
  • “I take advantage of the laws of the nation.”
  • “I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
  • “I’m proud of my net worth; I’ve done an amazing job.”
  • “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

Lots of first-person personal pronouns. Lots of bragging. Lots of tweets about how he is some superman.

From a “world leader pretend.”

220px-R.E.M._-_Superman

 

“I am, I am, I am Superman and I know what’s happening
I am, I am, I am Superman and I can do anything

You don’t really love that guy you make it with now, do you?
I know you don’t love that guy ’cause I can see right through you

I am, I am, I am Superman and I know what’s happening
I am, I am, I am Superman and I can do anything

If you go a million miles away I’ll track you down, girl
Trust me when I say I know the pathway to your heart

If you go a million miles away I’ll track you down, girl
Trust me when I say I know the pathway to your heart

I am, I am Superman and I know what’s happening
I am, I am, I am Superman and I can do anything

I am, I am, I am Superman and I know what’s happening
I am, I am, I am Superman and I can do anything”

 

Is Mark Johnson Going to Run Again in 2020?

In January of 2017 it was all about “urgency”.

In the first six months of 2017 it was all about a “listening tour.”

In all of 2017 into 2018, it was about a legal fight with a state board of education under control of the same political party about who had the most control over the public school system.

In early 2018, it was about rallying for school choice and speaking at the highlight event for school choice and shunning all rallies for public education.

In 2018, it was about a million dollar audit to find places for cuts that actually showed DPI was underfunded.

In May of 2018, it was about leaving Raleigh to avoid confronting over a fifth of the teaching force that descended upon Raleigh to demand answers.

In July of 2018, it was about bringing in Jeb Bush for a consultation about privatizing public education directly after laying off many DPI workers and reorganizing DPI staff into more silos.

In the summer of 2018, it was about iPads.

In the fall of 2018, it was about creating a new personal campaigning website to drive people to in order to control information about public education during a hurricane.

In early 2019, it was about doughnuts.

In Feb. of 2019, it was about 2030 and a private dinner for announcements about public education.

In March of 2019, after four people have filed and/or declared their intentions to run for the office of state superintendent, Mark Johnson was asked point blank if he will be running to keep the office he currently holds on this episode of Education Matters with Keith Poston:

education matters

He did not say in that episode. He is too busy working on 2030 in 2019 to think about 2020.

Or is he?

Elect Mark Johnson.png

Apparently, it requires more money than the average teacher takes home in pay in a month to even “chair” part of the “Roundtable.”

A Thank You Letter to Graduates From a Middle-Aged Public High School Teacher

2019

Dear Graduates,

This next week, I will be a part of what I believe will be my twenty-second high school graduation as a teacher (student teaching included).

And every year, it gets a little different, but for the right reasons.

If I do the math correctly, I literally have had thousands of students come through my classrooms whether to take a class from me or to be a part of a club or extracurricular that I helped sponsor. Add to that the familiar faces who engaged me throughout the halls of the schools where I have taught, especially the place where I now teach.

Not everyone gets a chance to be enmeshed that much in the lives of others. Good teachers see that as a gift, and I try and be a good teacher because I have come in contact with great young people like yourselves.

I would love to say that I got into teaching riding on a wave of positive ideology prepared to sacrifice myself into a life of service worthy of a feel-good movie about teachers.

I didn’t. There were selfish reasons why I got into teaching and there continue to be selfish reasons why I remain in teaching.  One is that I like to listen to myself talk. Another is that I like to engage people in conversation that requires thought.

And, it keeps me young – at heart at least. I still get run across athletic fields, scream for the home team, dress in spirit wear, and still learn about the very things that I went to school for and go to games for free.

I actually keep thank you notes and letters from students. I will take them out every so often to look over them when I need some validation. Teaching is a hard occupation, especially in North Carolina where the terrain of politics and reform has changed so much that the structure of public schools has had its foundations cracked in multiple places.

But if there is one thing that my almost twenty-two years of teaching has taught me to be grateful for is that what keeps everything together are students. And so I want to thank you for that and for…

  • every eye roll that let me know my jokes were overused,
  • every groan given because of an unannounced in-class essay,
  • every comment about how my clothes did not match,
  • every gasp of relief because you actually passed the test,
  • every vulgar word you put in annotations about having to annotate,
  • every bite of food you took in class when you were not supposed to,
  • every excuse for not doing homework,
  • every confused, far-off look you gave because you were not paying attention,
  • and every non-sequitur you offered to keep the class off topic.

Why? Because those instances made me decide to be a better teacher and those instances pale in comparison to all of the other intangibles could never measure or put a monetary value on.

Those instances also made me learn to celebrate every victory you had in class or out of class.

So many people will measure you with standardized test scores, transcripts, and other arbitrary measurements. I don’t really see you as standardized people.

I hope you don’t see yourself as “standard” either.

Many of you will be leaving home to venture new roads. Remember to call your loved ones and there are many of us teachers who would love to hear from you no matter how long it has been. In fact, most of us will always consider you our students.

My classroom is always open to you.

Just make sure you check in at the front office.

TeachNC.org – $750,000 for Educational Propaganda

When a state superintendent has to print up a lot of glossy fliers for students to “invite” them to become teachers in North Carolina, then our state obviously is having a hard time recruiting teachers.

There are many reasons why we are losing teachers. Johnson himself should know as he is part of that problem and is propped up by those who created that problem.

IMG_7633

The half-truths on this flier and the refusal to show the realities of being a teacher within the proper context is what makes this nothing more than political propaganda. And this type of information is being perpetuated with the new TeachNC.org website and dashboard.

The price tag for it? $750K. For what? To show “appreciation” for the teaching profession and present it as a viable option for a career in North Carolina.

Mark Johnson has an initiative that takes money from the Gates Foundation, Belk Foundation, and Coastal Credit Union and pays BEST NC and Teach.org to develop a website for what Kelly Hinchcliffe on WRAL.com described as a:

 “public-private teacher appreciation campaign to better align the image of the teaching profession with the fruitful, fulfilling career it is and develop a statewide teacher-recruitment system to attract the next generation of North Carolina teachers.”

And just one look at the website shows that it is spreading the very same half-true, out-of-context information about being a teacher in NC as that glossy flier above Johnson has his personal website advertised on.

teachnc2

Just peruse the “Get Paid to Make a Difference” page for example.

teachnc3

If BEST NC can argue that the current salary schedule that a new teacher will enter with could sustain that average listed above that includes the very veteran teachers this state legislature seems to abhor, then I am all ears. But they can’t. And every person who is thinking about being a teacher in North Carolina should look very closely at the current salary schedule and see how it works and does not work for him/her.

salary

And getting National Boards is a great thing. The problem is that the state used to pay for teachers to get it. Now, teachers have to front their own money to work on them.

Plus the Public School Forum of North Carolina just issued a report that literally showed over 80% of districts in the state do not even make that “average” salary.

teachnc4

Vacation time? That’s a little misleading. If people do not like that fact that teachers must abide by a 10-month contract and not a 12-month one, then they can do one thing that really is quite complicated and goes against the very fiber of the current NCGA and many in our communities: get the state legislature to send students to school for eight more weeks. Get the legislature to dismiss the tourist industry lobbyists and ask the state and local school systems to help finance the needs to allow for more school days – monies for physical facilities, supplies, resources, etc.

And benefits? Maybe BEST NC should have read State Treasurer Dale Falwell’s last missive to teachers.

Oh, and BEST NC can explain to the new hires that they will not have health benefits when they retire. Those were taken away a few years ago.

teachnc5

Well, if a teacher wanted to be a principal, then that teacher will have to decide whether the principal pay plan that BEST NC rammed through the legislature in a surreptitious manner is a good thing.

And what is a “Policy Staff” of “Fellow” that is being labeled here?

AND MASTER”S DEGREE PAY IS NO LONGER!

teachnc6

Interestingly, the state no longer funds professional development in its budget.

teachnc7

Teachers have student debt? But they make so much money!

teachnc8

See above.

How about re-institute graduate degree pay, longevity pay, and salary step increases for every year; give back due-process rights and career status; stop the cycle of never ending testing and evaluations; stop measuring schools with a bad performance grading system; actually listen to teachers in making policy decisions; stop giving money to non-transparent voucher systems and unregulated charter schools;  fund state mandates; treat veteran teachers better; and bring back the Teaching Fellows Program to its original state (among other things), then…

This propaganda would never be needed.

And new teachers could know the truth about teaching in this state.

 

 

It’s Here! TeachNC.org – And NC Doesn’t Need It

This past March Mark Johnson released his budget recommendations for the next two-year cycle for the North Carolina General Assembly to use in their shaky investment in NC’s public schools.

He published those recommendations on his website. Here is part of that list.

budgetrequest1

There was a $750K request for TeachNC  described by Kelly Hinchcliffe on WRAL.com as:

His second initiative is a collaboration among the Department of Public Instruction, BEST NC and Teach.org, with support from the Belk Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Coastal Credit Union. “Teach NC,” launching this spring, is a “public-private teacher appreciation campaign to better align the image of the teaching profession with the fruitful, fulfilling career it is and develop a statewide teacher-recruitment system to attract the next generation of North Carolina teachers.”

And today many people received this email.

teachnc.org1

It leads one to a beta-version of the site that will serve as a dashboard for potential openings and  public relations front using the glossy exterior of Mark Johnson’s rhetoric.

It is rather interesting that with all of the glorious reforms that Phil Berger and his cronies have put in place in North Carolina to “help” public education, NC needs to “attract” people to the profession with this site.

Truth be known, if NC re-instituted graduate degree pay, longevity pay, and salary step increases for every year; gave back due-process rights and career status; stopped the cycle of never ending testing and evaluations; stopped measuring schools with a bad performance grading system; actually listened to teachers in making policy decisions; stopped giving money to non-transparent voucher systems and unregulated charter schools;  funded state mandates; treated veteran teachers better; and brought back the Teaching Fellows Program to its original state (among other things), then…

TeachNC would never be needed.

#NC2019.

Not #NC2030.

Keeping The School Performance Grade Formula At 80/20 Is The NCGA’s Way of Fueling “School Choice”

Budget fact

From the recent Public School Forum of North Carolina’s report on top ten issues in NC education:

graph

From Lindsay Mahaffey, Wake County Board of Education – District 8:

16 states

If NC is the only state that puts more emphasis on proficiency than growth and counts proficiency for 80% for a school performance grade, then NC weighs proficiency at least 30% more than the next ranking state.

If one thing is for certain, North Carolina’s school performance grades are a confirmation that student poverty levels have so much to do with how schools perform.

The people who made the decision to institute and maintain the school performance grading system formula and still expand vouchers and rapid charter school growth ABSOLUTELY UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROFICIENCY AND GROWTH. IT HELPS TO VALIDATE THEIR WANT OF MORE “REFORMS.”

Interestingly enough, in the school year 2019-2020, the school performance grade scale will shift from a fifteen-point scale to a ten-point scale. Do you know what that means?

IT WILL BE HARDER FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO QUALIFY AS PASSING. IN FACT, SCHOOLS COULD HAVE A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF STUDENT GROWTH AND STILL GET A LOWER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE GRADE!

There will be more failing schools. This comes from a legislative body that endorsed the state board a couple of school years ago to institute a ten-point scale for all high school grading systems to help ensure higher graduation rates, but now shrinks scales for those schools’ performance grades.

The only way that this grading scale would stay at 15 points is if a bill is passed that would keep the scale from converting to a 10-point scale. There is one bill that aks for this: House Bill 145.  The problem is that it isn’t moving.

spg1

There was also a bill to change the School Performance Grade ratio form an 80/20 to a 50/50 so that growth and achievement would have equal effect on the score. Two bills were introduced in late February that were then combined into one action bill: HB 249.

Ironically, that bill is stuck as well.

spg2

With policies that still hurt the working poor and those in poverty (which in NC affects over 20% of public school students) and the refusal to expand Medicaid and the other policies that hurt poorer regions, it is almost certain that poverty will have as much if not a bigger role in school performance grades in the near future.

Guess what else is happening in 2019-2010? Voucher expansion!

SECTION 6.6.(b) G.S. 115C-562.8(b) reads as rewritten: “(b) The General Assembly finds that, due to the critical need in this State to provide opportunity for school choice for North Carolina students, it is imperative that the State provide an increase of funds of at least ten million dollars ($10,000,000) each fiscal year for 10 years to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve. Therefore, there is appropriated from the General Fund to the Reserve the following amounts for each fiscal year to be used for the purposes set forth in this section:
Fiscal Year Appropriation

2017-2018: $44,840,000
2018-2019: $54,840,000
2019-2020: $64,840,000
2020-2021: $74,840,000
2021-2022: $84,840,000
2022-2023: $94,840,000
2023-2024: $104,840,000
2024-2025: $114,840,000
2025-2026: $124,840,000
2026-2027: $134,840,000

For the 2027-2028 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter, there is appropriated from the General Fund to the Reserve the sum of one hundred forty-four million eight hundred forty Page 14 Senate Bill 257-Ratified thousand dollars ($144,840,000) to be used for the purposes set forth in this section. When developing the base budget, as defined by G.S. 143C-1-1, for each fiscal year specified in this subsection, the Director of the Budget shall include the appropriated amount specified in this subsection for that fiscal year.”

Read that first line again: “due to the critical need in this State to provide opportunity for school choice for North Carolina students.”

That “critical need” has been created in part by making sure that many schools look bad – i.e., school performance grades. With a shrinking scale, more schools will “fail” and most of those schools will have higher levels of poverty in their student populations.

Those are exactly the students who will be targeted for expanding vouchers, because the Opportunity Grants are supposed to help “low-income” students and newer charter schools are being create simply to provide “choice.”

They know damn well the difference between proficiency and growth – the less proficient public schools look in the eyes of the public through a lens that the NC General Assembly prescribes, the more growth for “reforms.”

Within the NC Senate Budget The Following Are Mentioned…

budget

The NC Senate released its proposed budget this week. In its pages the following search terms were used to find the frequency at which they were used.

  • “school” – 953 times
  • “teachers” – 127
  • “EVAAS” – 25
  • “achievement” – 14
  • “teacher salary” – 12
  • “teacher assistant” – 1
  • “graduate degree” – 0
  • “hurricane” – 13
  • “Teaching Fellows” – 2
  • “minimum wage” – 1
  • “Medicaid Expansion” – 0
  • “tax” – 452
  • “bonus” – 80
  • “test” – 76
  • “advanced teaching roles” – 22
  • “public school” – 128
  • “curriculum” – 14
  • “poverty” – 13
  • “Virtual e-wallet” – 1
  • “vendor” – 11
  • “charter school”  – 26
  • “low-income” – 10
  • “food” – 4
  • “subcommittee” – 24
  • “Department of Public Instruction” – 55
  • “bus driver” – 0
  • “gun” – 1
  • “firearm” – 0
  • “school safety” – 18
  • “Superintendent of Public Instruction” – 21
  • “tuition” – 66
  • “raise” – 15
  • “lunch” – 7
  • “calendar flexibility” – 0
  • “pilot” – 70