Not Really “Bipartisan” – About Phil Berger’s Op-Ed On Cooper’s Veto Concerning Read to Achieve

Put aside the fact that Sen. Phil Berger seems to be “put off” by the fact that Gov. Cooper is playing hardball politics that Berger has been playing for his entire politial career.

Actually Berger really needs to get out a positive narrative with the recent decision on the gerrymandered maps in NC, a possible upset in the NC-09 election, a budge impasse, and a surplus he is holding hostage in the court of public opinion.

In what might be one of the biggest strokes of irony in recent memory,  Sen. Phil Berger , the most partisan man in the state, wrote an op-ed about how a certain legislative matter in Raleigh should not be a partisan issue.

Coming from a man who rammed through the budget vote in the summer of 2018 through committee rather than field amendments and debate.

Coming from a man who has orchestrated many a “special session” to pass legislation like HB17 and HB2 without opposition.

Coming from a man who was elected in a state that has unconstitutionally gerrymander voting districts.

Coming from a man who will not even hold a veto override vote on the budget because he doesn’t have enough votes.

That op-ed entitled “Childhood literacy shouldn’t be a partisan issue” is currently on EdNC.org.

It starts,

“In October 2017, I asked my staff to dig into the underlying issues surrounding the implementation and progress of Read to Achieve, a program that I, together with others, championed to ensure that North Carolina’s students can read by the end of third grade. Data conclusively shows this is critical to a child’s future success in school and ultimately in life.”

And the data also concluded that the program was not working. In fact, it had the opposite effect.

Image result for nordstrom read to achieve scores

He even bragged about the “bipartisan manner” in which the bill that Copper vetoed to overhaul RTA was conceived.

In the course of drafting and refining the bill, my office engaged the most bipartisan group of stakeholders that I have ever seen work on a single piece of legislation. Here are the people and organizations that we worked with:

  • J.B. Buxton, member of the State Board of Education appointed by Gov. Cooper
  • State Superintendent Mark Johnson
  • Brock Womble, Executive Director of the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Pam Shue, former Associate NC Superintendent for Early Education
  • Tara Galloway, K3 Literacy Director at the Department of Public Instruction
  • Munro Richardson, Executive Director of Read Charlotte
  • Mary Ann Danowitz, Dean of NC State University’s College of Education
  • Sens. Deanna Ballard, R-Alleghany, Rick Horner, R-Johnston, and Jerry Tillman, R-Guilford — Senate Education chairs
  • Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union, House K-12 Education chair
  • Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus
  • Rep. Billy Richardson, D-Cumberland
  • Surry County Schools
  • Mount Airy City Schools
  • Caswell County Schools
  • Stokes County Schools
  • Etowah Elementary School, Henderson County Public Schools
  • Pisgah Elementary School, Buncombe County Schools
  • SAS Institute
  • NC Community Colleges
  • NC Independent Colleges and Universities
  • UNC System staff
  • Anna Spangler Nelson, UNC Board of Governors
  • The Foundation for Excellence in Education

I don’t believe that is as bipartisan as Berger may think or want you to beleive.

Ballard, Horner, Tillman, Horn, and Pittman all follow Berger’s lead in legislation.

DPI is led by a Berger puppet in Johnson and after the reorg last summer and the turnover, most anyone who is in a leadership position at DPI is loyal to Berger’s platform.

Surry, Mount Airy, Stokes, and Caswell Counties are all in Berger’s district.

bergerrta.PNG

SAS is operated by Jim Goodnight, who donates much to the Republican party including 50K to Berger’s slush fund called the NC Senate Majority Fund.

slushall

Brock Womble was appointed by Phil Berger to his position.

womble

Dr. Shue was hired at DPI by Mark Johnson himself.

Just review the last few years and see what Berger and his cronies have done to shape the UNC Board of Governors.

The Foundation for Excellence in Education was founded by Jeb Bush.

FEE

Munro Richardson is part of the Belk Foundation. Along with DPI, The Gates Foundation, and BEST NC, the Belk Foundation helped launch the TEACH NC initiative which was championed by Mark Johnson and republicans.

Henderson County is represented solely by republicans on the state level.

Pisgah Elementary is located in Candler, NC in Buncombe County. It is represented by Mark Meadows in Congress.

Peter Hans is the president of the NC Community College system. He is a frequent donor to republicans.

hans.PNG

 

Classified positions on the UNC system staff are dictated by the State Human Resources Commission. Berger has something to do with that. From the UNC System Resources Page:

SHRA

That leaves the list at:

  • J.B. Buxton, member of the State Board of Education appointed by Gov. Cooper
  • Mary Ann Danowitz, Dean of NC State University’s College of Education
  • Rep. Billy Richardson, D-Cumberland
  • NC Independent Colleges and Universities

Of the fourteen people on Berger’s “bipartisan list” only four do not have strong ties to the republican party or initiatives championed by Berger.

Of the eleven entities, only one does not show representation or leadership that is rooted in the republican party.

Berger’s idea of non-partisan sure looks partisan.

 

 

 

 

 

Are NC’s Charter Schools Diverse As The NC Association of Public Charter Schools Claims? The Numbers Don’t Say So.

In a recent EdNC.org op-ed, Rhonda Dillingham, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools, defended North Carolina’s charter schools from criticism concerning perpetuating segregation.

She said,

“Since then (1996), charter schools, which will always be free and open to all, have offered exceptional student learning environments and created opportunities for all students nationwide — and especially in North Carolina. The facts speak for themselves; in three key metrics — student-family wellbeing, academic performance, and diversity — charter schools are a beacon.”

She also said,

“On top of that, charters in our state are serving virtually the same percentage of black and white students as district schools (and only a slightly lower percentage of Hispanic students).”

As well as,

“Today, as I look at the excellent work charter schools are doing in our state, I can confidently say that they have become active mobilizers in the ongoing fight for diversity and cultural competency in education. Indeed, cultivating schools that are diverse and capable of serving all students regardless of their race is central to the core missions of charter schools in North Carolina. And many public charter schools, recognizing that students from underserved backgrounds were not receiving the quality of education they deserve, have gone a step further, implementing plans to diversify their student bodies.”

As far as academic achievement in charters is concerned, Ms. Dillingham can explain this in another op-ed (credit: Kris Nordstrom):

reforms6

But it is the word “diversity” that will be the focus here.

Baker Mitchell of the Roger Bacon Academies made a similar argument in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks back. His outfit operates four of the charter schools in NC.

When considering the context in which his schools operate, the actual student body makeup compared to other geographically close schools, and Mitchell’s loyalty to privatization efforts in North Carolina of public education, then it is easy to see how baseless an argument he has.

Dillingham’s argument about how “diverse” NC’s charter schools are is about as baseless.

It would be nice if Ms. Dillingham would define what “diversity” is in her own words because in looking at the populations of the charter schools’ student bodies from the last recorded NC State Report Card tables, NC’s charter schools are not really showing as much diversity as she may want people to believe.

This is the breakdown of Pupil Membership By Race for NC over the last few years.

race1.PNG

For the 2017-2018 school year it was:

1.2% American Indian
3.3% Asian
17.4% Hispanic
25.3% Black
48.4% White
4.23% Two or More Races
1% Pacific Islander

According to the NC State Report Cards for Schools, 44.3% of students across the state are economically disadvantaged.

The Excel spreadsheet that follows this post is a list of every charter school that exists now in this state that had a school performance grade attached to it for the 2018-2019 school year. It is cross-referenced to the last full school report card it has on record from the 2017-2018 school year.

That school report card has the breakdown of each charter school’s student body by race and economic disadvantage.

race2.PNG

Please notice that “5%” is the lowest number allowed in a category. It could mean that there is anywhere from 0-5% in that given category.

In the Excel spreadsheet next to each school, these numbers are recorded in the order presented in the school report card for each of the 173 charter schools whose information is available.

Column I – American Indian
Column J – Asian
Column K – Black
Column L – Hispanic
Column M – Pacific Islander
Column N – Two or More Races
Column O – White
Column P – Economically Disadvantaged
Column Q – English Language Learners
Column R – Students With Disabilities

(Column F – This Shows of it is a Title I School. Title I funds can be given to charter schools, albeit a different formula than traditional schools. All but 51 of the charters with student makeup info are Title I schools.
Column G – This is the number of days missed from hurricanes last school year.)

And remember that the average across the state for all schools in NC 2017-2018 was:

1.2% American Indian
3.3% Asian
17.4% Hispanic
25.3% Black
48.4% White
4.23% Two or More Races
1% Pacific Islander
44.3% Economically Disadvantaged

According to the data table below which includes 173 charter schools,

  • 81 of them had a student population that was at least 65% white.
  • 40 of them had a student population that was at least 80%  white.
  • 100 of them had at least 50% of the students classified as white.
  • 31 of them had a student population that was at least 65%  black.
  • 17 of them had a student population that was at least 80% black.
  • 43 of them had at least 50% of the students classified as black.

To put in perspective, that means:

  • Over 110 of the 173 charter schools had a student population that was at least 65% one race/ethnic group.
  • 150 of the 173 charter schools had a student population that was at least 50% one race/ethnic group.
  • Over 50 of the 173 charter schools had a student population that was at least 80% one race/ethnic group.
  • 132 of the 173 schools listed had a 2017-2018 student population that was lower than  40% Economically Disadvantaged.

And remember that there is a strong correlation on the state level between school performance grades and levels of poverty in schools. Charters show just as much evidence as traditional schools.

  • Of the 20 schools that received an “A” on the 2018-2019 School Performance Grade scale, 18 of them were at least 57% white the year before.
  • Of the 59 schools that received a “B” on the 2018-2019 School Performance Grade scale, 48 of them were at least 60% white the year before.
  • Of the 11 schools that received an “F” on the 2018-2019 School Performance Grade scale, only one had a population of at least 50% white.
  • Of the 31 schools that received a “D” on the 2018-2019 School Performance Grade scale, only 5 were majority white.

 

You will need to scroll to the right in the table to get all of the values.

(Marjorie) Williams Academy Northwest 0K-12 Y 0 D 5 5 5 7 5 5 84 30 5 30
A.C.E. Academy Southwest 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 74 12 5 7 6 52 5 11
Alpha Academy Sandhills 0K-09 Y 0 B 5 5 64 15 5 5 14 5 5 6
American Renaissance School Southwest 0K-08 Y 1 B 5 5 9 8 5 7 76 5 5 13
Anderson Creek Academy North Central 0K-05 1 B 5 5 12 13 5 9 64 5 5 7
Arapahoe Charter School Southeast 0K-12 Y 10 C 5 5 10 10 5 8 72 53 5 16
Aristotle Preparatory Academy Southwest 0K-06 Y 2 C 5 5 85 5 5 7 5 71 5 10
ArtSpace Charter School Western 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 5 8 5 5 85 5 5 15
Ascend Leadership Academy Lee County North Central 06-07 Y 0 D New in 2018
Bear Grass Charter School Northeast 06-12 0 B 5 5 5 5 5 5 95 5 5 10
Bethany Community School Piedmont-Triad 06-10 Y 0 C 5 5 8 6 5 6 79 5 5 15
Bethel Hill Charter North Central 0K-05 Y 0 B 5 5 12 7 5 5 75 41 5 5
Bradford Preparatory School Southwest 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 23 7 5 8 59 5 5 9
Brevard Academy Western 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 5 5 5 5 89 5 5 10
Bridges Academy Northwest 0K-09 Y 0 D 5 5 6 5 5 5 86 26 5 27
Cabarrus Charter Academy Southwest 0K-12 Y 0 D 5 6 35 14 5 8 37 32 5 7
Cape Fear Center for Inquiry Southeast 0K-08 Y 7 B 5 5 5 5 5 5 87 5 5 10
Cardinal Charter Academy North Central 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 20 16 8 5 8 46 13 5 10
Carolina International School Southwest 0K-12 2 C 5 8 29 15 5 8 40 5 5 8
Carter Community Charter North Central 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 85 13 5 5 5 93 9 9
Carter G Woodson School Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 Y 0 F 5 5 41 59 5 5 5 63 32 7
Casa Esperanza Montessori Charter School North Central PK-08 Y 2 C 5 5 17 36 5 5 40 5 7 7
Central Park School For Child North Central 0K-08 Y 3 B 5 5 17 36 5 5 40 5 7 7
Central Wake High School North Central 09-12 Y 1 ALT 5 5 59 25 5 6 11 17 5 26
Charlotte Choice Charter Southwest 0K-08 Y 0 F 5 5 76 20 5 5 5 16 5 12
Charlotte Lab School Southwest 0K-07 Y 0 B 5 5 19 9 5 10 61 5 5 5
Charlotte Learning Academy Southwest 06-12 Y 1 F 5 5 86 7 5 5 5 50 5 15
Charlotte Secondary Southwest 06-12 Y 0 C 5 5 44 21 5 10 24 5 5 23
Charter Day School Southeast 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 9 7 5 7 75 5 5 10
Chatham Charter North Central 0K-12 0 B 5 5 11 5 5 6 79 5 5 8
Children’s Village Academy Southeast 0K-08 Y 3.5 F 5 5 95 5 5 5 5 76 5 15
CIS Academy Sandhills 06-08 Y 9 C 91 5 5 5 5 6 5 37 5 17
Clover Garden Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 5 5 5 5 88 5 5 11
Coastal Preparatory Academy Southeast 0K-07 0 C 5 5 5 5 5 9 85 5 5 5
College Prep and Leadership Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 Y 1 D 5 5 87 7 5 5 5 53 5 9
Columbus Charter School Sandhills 0K-08 Y 0 C 5 5 22 5 5 5 65 44 5 11
Commonwealth High Southwest 09-12 Y 2 ALT 5 5 55 21 5 6 16 14 8 9
Community School of Davidson Southwest 0K-12 2 A 5 5 5 5 5 5 85 5 5 13
Concord Lake STEAM Academy (formerly Kannapolis Charter) Southwest 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 33 18 5 7 40 55 5 6
Cornerstone Charter Academy-CFA Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 1 B 5 5 11 5 5 6 75 5 5 9
Corvian Community School Southwest 0K-09 Y 0 B 5 6 11 6 5 5 74 5 5 13
Crosscreek Charter School North Central 0K-08 Y 2 C 5 5 12 6 5 5 79 5 5 15
Davidson Charter Academy CFA Piedmont-Triad 0K-04 2 D New in 2018
Dillard Academy Southeast 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 92 5 5 5 5 91 5 13
Douglass Academy Southeast 0K-05 Y 0 D 5 5 90 5 5 5 5 68 5 6
East Voyager Academy of Charlotte Northwest PK-04 0 C New in 2019
East Wake Academy North Central 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 8 7 5 5 81 5 9 9
Emereau Bladen Sandhills 0K-07 Y 8 C 5 5 20 5 5 6 68 5 5 12
Endeavor Charter North Central 0K-08 1 A 5 5 5 5 5 5 84 5 5 10
Eno River Academy North Central 0K-12 0 B 5 5 5 8 5 6 82 5 5 12
Envision Science Academy North Central 0K-08 0 A 5 5 17 8 5 6 66 5 5 11
Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter Southwest 0K-04 Y 0 F New in 2018
Evergreen Community Charter Western 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 5 5 5 5 91 5 5 14
Excelsior Classical Academy North Central 0K-07 0 C 5 5 24 11 5 9 55 5 5 9
Falls Lake Academy North Central 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 10 6 5 5 77 5 5 11
FernLeaf Community Charter School Western 0K-05 0 C 5 5 5 5 5 7 86 5 5 5
Forsyth Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-08 Y 2 D 5 5 43 43 5 5 10 81 21 10
Francine Delany New School Western 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 27 10 5 6 52 5 5 14
Franklin Academy North Central 0K-12 1 A 5 5 5 5 5 5 84 5 5 5
Gate City Charter Piedmont-Triad 0K-07 Y 0 D 5 5 73 13 5 5 7 70 9 5
Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington Southeast 06-08 Y 12 D 5 5 52 13 5 6 28 68 5 6
Global Scholars Academy North Central 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 58 40 5 5 5 84 18 14
Grandfather Academy Northwest 01-12 Y 0 F 5 5 20 8 5 12 60 32 5 32
Gray Stone Day Southwest 06-12 Y 0 A 5 5 5 5 5 5 86 5 5 5
Greensboro Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-08 Y 1 A 5 12 10 5 5 5 71 5 5 6
Guilford Preparatory Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-08 Y 0 C 5 5 89 6 5 5 5 50 5 11
Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School North Central 0K-12 Y 0 D 74 5 13 5 5 7 5 58 5 18
Healthy Start Academy North Central 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 76 22 5 5 5 65 9 12
Henderson Collegiate North Central 0K-12 Y 2 B 5 5 69 22 5 5 5 41 5 5
Hope Charter Leadership Academy North Central 0K-05 Y 0 D 5 5 95 5 5 5 5 65 5 11
IC Imagine Western 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 5 6 5 5 85 5 5 10
Ignite Innovation Academy – Pitt Northeast 0K-08 Y 0 F 5 5 63 5 5 7 24 5 5 6
Invest Collegiate Transform Southwest 0K-08 Y 1 D 5 5 87 5 5 5 5 5 5 9
Iredell Charter Academy Southwest 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 9 10 5 7 74 37 5 7
Island Montessori Charter School Southeast 0K-08 10 B 5 5 5 6 5 5 90 5 5 16
Johnston Charter Academy North Central 0K-07 Y 2 C New in 2018
Kestrel Heights School North Central 0K-08 0 C 5 5 50 16 5 7 22 15 6 12
KIPP Charlotte Southwest 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 89 8 5 5 5 59 5 9
KIPP Durham College Preparatory North Central 05-08 Y 0 D 5 5 47 50 5 5 5 63 33 13
KIPP Gaston College Preparatory Northeast 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 5 78 5 5 5 11 79 5 5
KIPP Halifax College Prep Northeast 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 87 5 5 5 5 60 5 10
Lake Lure Classical Academy Western 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 5 7 5 5 86 5 5 12
Lake Norman Charter Southwest 0K-12 1 A 5 7 13 5 5 5 70 5 5 6
Lakeside Charter Academy (formerly Thunderbird) Southwest 0K-08 0 C 5 5 28 17 5 6 45 5 5 6
Langtree Charter Academy Southwest 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 7 5 9 5 8 70 8 5 11
Lincoln Charter School Southwest 0K-12 0 B 5 5 5 9 5 5 83 5 5 8
Longleaf School of the Arts North Central 09-12 0 B 5 5 19 10 5 9 62 5 5 13
Magellan Charter North Central 03-08 1 A 5 7 5 5 5 5 82 5 5 10
Mallard Creek STEM Academy Southwest 0K-08 Y 3 C 5 13 44 9 5 9 24 28 6 5
Matthews Charter Academy Southwest 0K-08 Y 2 C 5 5 25 15 5 5 55 35 10 5
Maureen Joy Charter School North Central 0K-08 Y 0 C 5 5 39 58 5 5 5 95 25 9
Metrolina Reg Scholars Academy Southwest 0K-08 2 A 5 59 5 5 5 5 34 5 5 5
Millennium Charter Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 0 B 5 5 5 6 5 5 87 5 5 13
Moore Montessori Community School Sandhills 0K-02 1 I New in 2018
Mountain Discovery Western 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 5 5 5 6 85 5 5 14
Mountain Island Charter School Southwest 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 24 5 5 5 64 12 5 7
Mountain Island Day Community Charter Northwest 0K-11 0 C New in 2018
Movement Charter School Northwest 0K-04 Y 0 D 5 5 89 5 5 5 5 75 5 5
NC Leadership Charter Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 0 B 5 5 5 6 5 5 84 5 5 7
NC Virtual Academy Virtual 0K-12 Y 0 D 5 5 21 10 5 10 59 5 5 11
Neuse Charter School North Central 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 5 13 10 5 7 68 5 5 11
New Dimensions Northwest 0K-08 Y 1 B 5 5 5 5 5 6 84 5 5 12
Next Generation Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-02 Y 1 I New in 2018
North Carolina Cyber Academy Virtual 0K-12 Y 0 D 5 5 19 13 5 7 57 5 5 9
North East Carolina Prep North Central 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 5 39 11 5 5 47 63 5 9
Northeast Academy of Aerospace & AdvTech Northeast 07-12 Y 0 C 5 5 16 5 5 7 72 5 5 8
Oxford Preparatory North Central 06-12 0 C 5 5 10 5 5 5 81 5 5 5
Paul R Brown Leadership Academy Sandhills 06-12 Y 1 F 6 5 65 6 5 7 15 5 5 5
PAVE Southeast Raleigh Charter North Central 0K-04 Y 0 D 5 5 64 27 5 5 5 27 15 5
Peak Charter Academy North Central 0K-08 Y 3 A 5 22 10 9 5 5 57 12 13 5
Phoenix Academy- Primary, Elem. IB MYP Piedmont-Triad 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 9 26 9 5 8 48 5 5 10
Piedmont Classical High School Piedmont-Triad 09-12 Y 0 C 5 5 37 6 5 10 47 5 5 13
Piedmont Community Charter School Southwest 0K-12 Y 0 B 5 5 17 12 5 5 65 5 5 10
Pine Lake Preparatory Southwest 0K-12 2 A 5 5 5 5 5 5 87 5 5 9
Pine Springs Prep Academy North Central 0K-07 1 A 5 5 5 7 5 9 76 5 5 6
Pinnacle Classical Academy Southwest 0K-11 0 B 5 5 11 6 5 5 78 5 5 7
Pioneer Springs Community School Southwest 0K-07 0 C 5 5 5 9 5 7 79 5 5 6
PreEminent Charter North Central 0K-08 Y 3 C 5 5 73 20 5 5 5 73 10 14
Quality Education Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 5 72 24 5 5 5 64 11 10
Queen City STEM School Southwest 0K-08 0 C 5 36 41 10 5 5 9 5 7 5
Queen’s Grant Community School Southwest 0K-12 Y 2 B 5 5 23 10 5 5 62 15 5 8
Quest Academy North Central 0K-08 1 A 5 5 5 5 5 9 80 5 5 15
Raleigh Charter High School North Central 09-12 0 A 5 23 5 5 5 5 64 5 5 5
Raleigh Oak Charter North Central 0K-04 0 C New in 2018
Reaching All Minds Academy North Central 0K-07 Y 2 F 5 5 38 61 5 5 5 5 33 5
Research Triangle Charter North Central 0K-08 Y 2 C 5 5 72 21 5 5 5 33 9 8
Research Triangle High School North Central 09-12 Y 0 B 5 14 18 7 5 7 54 5 5 7
River Mill Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 0 B 5 5 13 7 5 5 72 5 5 9
Rocky Mount Preparatory North Central 0K-12 Y 0 D 5 5 76 5 5 5 12 76 5 9
Rolesville Charter Academy North Central 0K-06 Y 3 C New in 2018
Roxboro Community School North Central 06-12 0 B 5 5 9 5 5 5 83 5 5 5
Sallie B Howard School North Central 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 58 38 5 5 5 56 17 9
Shining Rock Classical Academy CFA Western 0K-08 Y 0 C 5 5 5 5 5 5 91 5 5 13
Socrates Academy Southwest 0K-08 0 B 5 11 6 9 5 5 69 5 5 9
South Brunswick Charter Southeast 0K-05 Y 0 B 5 5 5 6 5 7 82 5 5 5
Southeastern Academy Sandhills 0K-08 9 A 12 5 10 5 5 5 71 5 5 9
Southern Wake Academy North Central 06-12 0 C 5 5 6 6 5 5 81 5 5 23
STARS Charter Sandhills 0K-11 Y 3 B 5 5 9 9 5 8 72 5 5 11
Sterling Montessori Academy North Central PK-08 0 B 5 41 8 5 5 5 44 5 5 8
Stewart Creek High Southwest 09-12 Y 2 ALT 5 5 67 22 5 8 5 14 5 5
Success Institute Charter Southwest 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 89 5 5 5 5 58 5 26
Sugar Creek Charter Southwest 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 5 90 9 5 5 5 91 5 5
Summerfield Charter Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-08 Y 1 A 5 13 11 7 5 5 67 14 5 7
Summit Charter Western 0K-09 1 C 5 5 5 17 5 5 81 5 11 10
The Academy of Moore County Sandhills 0K-05 Y 0 A 5 5 10 9 5 5 73 5 5 10
The Arts Based School Piedmont-Triad 0K-08 Y 0 B 5 5 19 5 5 7 69 5 5 13
The Capitol Encore Academy Sandhills 0K-08 Y 3 D 5 5 34 13 5 13 39 48 5 5
The Expedition School North Central 0K-08 Y 0 A 5 5 5 6 5 8 83 5 5 5
The Experiential School of Greensboro Piedmont-Triad 0K-06 2 D New in 2018
The Exploris School North Central 0K-08 3 B 5 5 7 5 5 5 81 5 5 10
The Franklin School of Innovation Western 05-12 Y 0 C 5 5 5 7 5 6 84 5 5 11
The Hawbridge School Piedmont-Triad 04-12 0 B 5 5 5 5 5 6 84 5 5 11
The Institute Development Young Leaders North Central 0K-08 Y 2 D 5 5 68 26 5 5 5 5 15 11
The Learning Center Western 0K-08 Y 0 C 5 5 5 7 5 5 84 30 5 22
The Mountain Community Sch Western 0K-08 0 B 5 5 5 7 5 5 86 5 5 21
Thomas Academy Sandhills 06-12 Y 0 ALT 5 5 22 12 5 16 47 5 5 19
Thomas Jefferson Class Academy Western 0K-12 0 B 5 5 6 7 5 5 80 5 5 5
Three Rivers Academy (formerly Heritage Coll. Aca.) Northeast 0K-07 Y 0 F 5 5 82 5 5 5 12 74 5 14
Tiller School Southeast 0K-05 Y 0 B 5 5 5 5 5 8 84 5 5 7
Torchlight Academy North Central 0K-08 Y 0 C 5 5 58 39 5 5 5 50 21 6
Triad Math and Science Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 Y 2 C 5 5 59 16 5 5 14 59 8 10
Triangle Math and Science Academy North Central 0K-12 2 A 5 37 16 5 5 8 34 5 5 7
Two Rivers Community School Northwest 0K-08 Y 1 B 5 5 5 5 5 5 95 5 5 16
Union Academy Southwest 0K-12 0 B 5 5 8 13 5 5 74 5 5 9
Union Day School Southwest 0K-05 0 C 5 16 6 6 5 5 66 5 5 5
Union Prep Academy at Indian Trail Southwest 0K-08 Y 2 B 5 5 22 18 5 7 51 28 5 8
United Community School Southwest 0K-06 Y 0 C 5 5 39 11 5 9 39 5 5 13
Unity Classical Charter Northwest 0K-03 0 C 5 5 32 19 5 8 34 5 8 5
UpROAR Leadership Academy Northwest 05-09 Y 0 F 5 5 91 9 5 5 5 5 5 10
Uwharrie Charter Academy Piedmont-Triad 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 5 5 5 5 5 88 5 5 5
Vance Charter School North Central 0K-11 Y 0 B 5 5 9 5 5 5 82 5 5 9
VERITAS Community School, CFA Southwest 0K-06 Y 1 D 5 5 45 14 5 11 28 5 5 5
Voyager Academy North Central 0K-12 Y 2 B 5 5 23 6 5 5 62 5 5 15
Wake Forest Charter Academy North Central 0K-08 Y 3 B 5 5 12 10 5 5 73 14 5 5
Washington Montessori Northeast 0K-12 0 C 5 5 5 7 5 5 86 5 5 14
Water’s Edge Village School Northeast 0K-08 0 B 5 5 6 6 5 5 82 5 12 6
Wayne Preparatory Academy Southeast 0K-08 Y 0 C 5 5 24 6 5 9 60 5 5 6
Willow Oak Montessori North Central 01-08 1 B 5 5 5 6 5 9 80 5 5 16
Wilmington Preparatory Academy Southeast 0K-08 Y 0 D 5 5 62 7 5 6 25 5 5 7
Wilson Preparatory Academy North Central 0K-12 Y 0 C 5 5 37 8 5 6 46 36 5 5
Winterville Charter Academy Northeast 0K-08 Y 3 C 5 5 49 11 5 5 35 47 6 5
Woods Charter North Central 0K-12 0 A 5 5 5 7 5 5 82 5 5 11
Youngsville Academy North Central 0K-05 1 C 5 5 6 6 5 5 87 5 5 5
Z.E.C.A. School of Arts and Technology Southeast 0K-08 Y 0 F 5 5 70 16 5 6 8 56 5 16

 

 

 

 

 

Before a Policy Maker Claims That “We Will Have To Raise Taxes On People To Fully Fund NC Schools,” Tell Him To Consider These Measures First

  1. Stop extending massive tax cuts to corporations and wealthy people. Maybe we as a state should not keep extending more corporate tax cuts for businesses and people who make significantly more than the average North Carolinian. We haven’t really seen the trickle-down effect from that here in our schools.
  2. Refund Unused Opportunity Grant Money. The money that this state has “invested” in vouchers has not even been totally used – maybe about half. That amounts to millions of dollars that could be put into public schools.
  3. In fact, do away with the Opportunity Grants. We should not invest almost a billion dollars’ worth into a voucher scheme over a ten-year period when it has not shown any real success and put that back into the public schools. No study has conclusively said that vouchers actually improve public educational outcomes because of “competition.” In fact, North Carolina’s version is the least transparent in the nation.
  4. Highly regulate the ESA’s and allow them to be spent on public schools as well. How about taking some of the money earmarked for Special Needs Education Savings Accounts (which might be one of the most unregulated versions in the country – just look at Arizona) and allowing parents to invest it back into services for their children in public schools?
  5. Not extend so much money into new unregulated charter schools. No report on the state level has shown they are working in the way that charter schools were intended to work: to be laboratories for public schools to find new ways of teaching and bring back to traditional schools to help all students. Instead many are run by private entities.
  6. Dissolve the Innovative School District. There is not community buy-in and all models of such “reforms” have proven to not help. Furthermore, it is giving money to a private entity. Besides look at the turnover rate of the people who are supposed to run the ISD.
  7. Repeal HB514. Bill Brawley’s Municipal Charter Bill bill is nothing more than legalized segregation and allows for municipalities to ask for county property taxes to create charter schools that only service certain zip codes. In essence it allows for more property taxes to be used to fund local schools and possibly state mandates.
  8. Allow ballot measures for school bonds to remain on the ballot. Let the voters actually decide, especially after destructive hurricanes destroyed so much in the eastern part of our state.
  9. Pass the budget in a democratic process. No more “nuclear options” to pass a state budget.  No more “stalling” like with this year’s budget. Let the democratic process have its say. That means debate and amendments.
  10. Consider who has been beaten in the last elections who also championed bad budgeting policies. Just ask Tarte, Nelson, Malone, Stone, Brawley, and Bradford how their recent elections in 2018 went. The people spoke.
  11. Consider who has been elected through unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts who also champion bad budgeting policies. Didn’t Phil Berger get his district lines changed to avoid having Guilford County being in his district?

Then we can start talking about “raising taxes.”

Besides, out kids are worth it.

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If The NCGA Wants To Prolong The Budget Process, They Should Meet In An Elementary School Trailer

The following screen capture is from Speaker Tim Moore’s webpage (dated August 21st):

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There is over $900 million dollars in “surplus,” or to put it another way, there is $900 million dollars that the NCGA decided not to use for the people in North Carolina by not investing in our schools and infrastructure.

Oh, and there was just a hurricane that hit the Outer Banks.

Moore and Phil Berger have literally held the budget process hostage for over 60 days and their keeping the NCGA in session to defy a veto by the governor is costing taxpayers a lot of money.

What these two men have simply done is not invest in what the state needs and called that money a surplus. They want to appease the very people whose voices they muted  when they championed unconstitutionally gerrymandered district maps to maintain power.

From this week’s News & Observer:

North Carolina received a C- grade and a score of 72 out of a possible 100 in the 2019 Quality Counts report released this week by Education Week. The report ranks North Carolina 37th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state’s low overall ranking is largely due to getting an F for the amount it spends per student.

That amount NC spends per student ranks near the bottom.

And we have an intentionally manufactured budget surplus from last year controlled by a few people who are making sure to not pass the current budget.

Maybe Berger and Moore need to start convening the current extremely long session in a place other than West Jones Street.

Maybe they need to get a better idea of what many schools are having to deal with because of a lack of investment in schools.

Maybe they should meet with their caucus in a trailer “off campus” that has shaky reception for internet, no bathroom, or stable temperature control. Most every school that is at least 15+ years in existence has to have trailers or pods to accommodate the needs of students.

Maybe they should have some of the members of their caucus sit on the floor because there will not be enough desks. In fact, do it when it is raining.

Then you might have an idea of what happens when personalities are honored more than principles.

No School Performance Grade Can Truly Tell Us What Schools Do

ruler

Dear public school teachers, administrators, support staff, and education personnel,

You can’t really be measured.

In fact, those who are measuring you do not have instruments complex enough to really gauge your effectiveness.

If you are a public school teacher / professional in North Carolina, you are always under a bit of a microscope when it comes to accountability. Everybody in the community has a stake in the public education system: students attend schools, parents support efforts, employees hire graduates, and taxpayers help fund buildings and resources.

But there are those who really question the path that public education has taken in North Carolina and lack confidence in our educators and their ability to mold young people. The countless attacks waged by our General Assembly on public schools is not a secret and part of that is framing teachers as the main culprit in our weakening schools.

Why? Because it is easy to manage data in such a way that what many see is not actually reflective of what happens in schools. For example:

  • We have a Jeb Bush school grading system that “failed” schools where wonderful learning is occurring.
  • We have lawmakers allowing charter schools to be created with tax payer money without much regulation.
  • We have an unproven voucher system that is allowing people to send children to schools that do not even have to teach the same standards as public schools.
  • We have an Innovative School District established even though no real evidence exists in its effectiveness.

Since you are a government employee, your salary is established by a governing body that probably does not have a background in an educational career. In fact, our state superintendent is a neophyte in education.

The tests that measure how well your students have achieved are sometimes constructed by for-profit companies under contract from the state government. Those same tests are probably graded by those very same companies – for a nominal fee of course. And now that we have less money spent per-pupil (adjusted for inflation) in this state than we had before the start of the Great Recession, we are demanded to teach more kids in bigger classes with less resources.

There simply is a lot working against us.

However, if anything could be said of the current situation concerning public education in North Carolina it is that teachers have not failed our students. That’s because you cannot simply measure students and teachers by numbers and random variables. You measure them by their personal success and growth, and much of that cannot be ascertained by impersonal assessments despite what an EVAAS score says with a secret algorithm.

Nor can a teacher’s effectiveness truly be measured by “student achievement.” There is more, so much more, working within the student/teacher dynamic. Take a look at the definitions of three words often used in our lexicon: “art,” “science,” and “craft.” These definitions come from Merriam-Webster.

  1. Art: skill acquired by experience, study, or observation
  2. Science: the state of knowing :  knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding
  3. Craft: skill in planning, making, or executing

Every teacher must display a firm foundation in his or her subject area. However, teaching at its source is an art and a craft. A teacher must marry that knowledge with skill in presenting opportunities for students to not only gain that knowledge but understand how they themselves can apply that knowledge to their own skill set.

There are not many people who are masterfully skillful without having to develop their craft. They do exist, but the term “Master Teacher” is usually given to someone who has a “skill acquired by experience, study, or observation.” That “Master Teacher” has perfected an art form and married it to a science. And most of all, that “Master Teacher” understands the human element.

A good medical doctor just does not deliver medicines and write prescriptions. There must be willingness to listen in order to make a diagnosis and then there is the “bedside manner.” A good lawyer does not just understand and know the law. A good lawyer knows how to apply it for his or her client in unique situations. A master chef doesn’t just follow recipes. A master chef takes what ingredients are available and makes something delectable and nourishing. A great teacher does not just deliver curriculum and apply lesson plans; a great teacher understands different learning styles exist in the same classroom and facilitates learning for each student despite the emotional, psychological, social, mental, and/or physical obstacles that may stand in each student’s path.

How schools and students are measured rarely takes into account that so much more defines the academic and social terrain of a school culture than a standardized test can measure. Why? Because there really is not anything like a standardized student. Experienced teachers understand that because they look at students as individuals who are the sum of their experiences, backgrounds, work ethic, and self-worth. Yet, our General Assembly measures them with the very same criteria across the board with an impersonal test.

Ironically, when a teacher gets a graduate degree in education, it is often defined by the college or university as a Master of Arts like a MAEd or an MAT, not a Master of Science. That’s because teaching deals with people, not numbers. When colleges look at an application of a student, they are more concerned with GPA rather than performance on an EOG or EOCT or NC Final.

And when good teachers look at their own effectiveness in their art and craft, they usually do not let the state dictate their perceptions. They take an honest look at the each student’s growth throughout the year – growth that may never be seen in a school report card or published report.

Like many veteran teachers, I have taught the gambit of academic levels and grades from “low-performing” freshmen to high achieving AP students who have been admitted into the most competitive of colleges and universities. And while I may take pride in their passing state tests or AP exams, I try and measure my performance by what happens to those students later in life.

  • When a student ends a “thank you” card because she felt like she learned something, then I did a good job.
  • When a student stops me in the grocery store years after graduating to introduce me to his child, then I made an impression.
  • When I read an email from a student in college who sends me a copy of her first English paper that received one of the three “A’s” given out of two dozen students, then I feel good about what I did in the classroom.
  • When a student comes to visit me on his break and flat out tells my current students that what I did in class prepared him for college, then I was successful.
  • When a former student emails me from half-way around the world to tell me what life is like for her since graduating, then I am validated.
  • When a parent comes to you to ask how his/her child could be helped in a matter totally unrelated to academics, then you have made an impression.
  • When you speak at a former student’s funeral because that student loved your class, then, well that’s just hard to put into words.

None of those aforementioned items could ever be measured by a test. Students do not remember questions on an EOCT or an EOG or an NC Final or a quarter test. They remember your name and how they felt in your class.

However, the greatest irony when it comes measuring a teacher’s effectiveness in the manner that NC measures us is that is it a truer barometer of how much NC is being hurt by this current administration and General Assembly.

  • Think about Medicaid not being expanded.
  • Think that over 20% of our children live at or below the poverty line.
  • Think about the gerrymandered election maps that were just ruled unconsitutional.
  • Think about the lax regulations for fracking and coal ash ponds that hurt our water supply.
  • Think about less money per pupil in schools.
  • Think about that our own state superintendent has been a no-show for public schools.

All of those affect students in our schools. And we still do the job. Rather, we still heed the calling.

That’s the best measure of what we do.

No school performance grade can truly tell me what schools do.

Using The School Performance Grading System On The NCGA’s “Educational Reforms” – Looking At Virtual Charters, ISD, and Other Charters

If the NCGA wants to argue that the current school performance grading system is a just and fair way to assess school achievement and school effectiveness, then it might be worth looking at the schools under the guise of the education “reforms” that the same NCGA wants to tout as solutions.

There are two virtual charter schools that have not very well in the past, but were renewed by the state for another four years and championed by Mark Johnson.Here are their grades and growth by subset groups.

reforms3reforms2

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NC Virtual Academy:

1 – F
6 – D’s
2- C’s
5 – Not Met’s
1- Met

NC Cyber Academy:

4 – F’s
4 – D’s
1- B
6 – Not Met’s
0- Met

Here is the only school that is currently in the Innovative School District:

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Southside Ashpole Elementary:
4 – F’s
Everything else is an “I” which stands for “Insufficient Data.”
1 – Not Met’s
2 – Met

Here is the data of charter schools versus traditional schools as far as growth is concerned (courtesy of Kris Nordstrom).

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And speaking of charter schools – remember when the the Wall Street Journal printed an op-ed by Baker Mitchell, the founder of the Roger Bacon Academies four of  which are classified as “public” charter schools in North Carolina?

He lauded one of his schools for its student body composition: Douglass Academy. Here are it’s current ratings:

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2 – D’s
7 – I’s
Negative Growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Important Data Chart Concerning The 2018-2019 State School Performance Grade Report

Last year when DPI released the school performance grades for the state not included in the report was a data table that showed a correlation between poverty levels and school letter grades received.

Until last year, it had been. Maybe there was a trend that Mark Johnson’s office did not want to publicize.

Here’s a table detailing the link between these grades and poverty levels from 2015–16 Performance and Growth of North Carolina Public Schools Executive Summary, NC DPI.

PSFNC2

Here’s a table detailing the link between these grades and poverty levels from 2016–17 Performance and Growth of North Carolina Public Schools Executive Summary, NC DPI.

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Last year’s report did not include the “Grades by School Poverty Percentage” bar graph, but the good people at the Public School Forum did the work for us.

poverty

And this year, the News & Observer reported this:

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Sure does look like poverty levels still have a lot to do with school performance grades.

Makes one wonder why DPI’s budget was cut and those support positions were eliminated in DPI to help high-poverty LEA’s in 2018.

 

School Performance Grades Come Out Today – The Gerrymandered NCGA’s Continued Use Of Poverty To Drive “School Choice”

Today school performance grades for the 2018-2019 school year will be released. The only positive about those school performance grades in relation to last year is that the NCGA kept the scale at a 15-point scale instead of what was planned for this year: making it a 10-point scale.

From Public Schools First NC (PSFNC.org) last year:

Budget fact

The formula is still the same however – extreme emphasis on test scores over growth.

From the January 2019 Public School Forum of North Carolina’s report on top ten issues in NC education:

graph

Last year’s school performance grades yielded the information shown in the graph above. School performance grades correlate heavily with poverty levels in schools. In fact, it almost is sure-fire measure of poverty rates.

It’s been that way since the school performance grading system began. And NC is unique in how it uses their school grading system.

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

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.

Fro 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.”

What if in the school year 2019-2020, the school performance grade scale did shift from a fifteen-point scale to a ten-point scale. Do you know what that would have meant?

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

There would have been 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 also wanted to shrink scales for those schools’ performance grades.

A legislative body that was elected with unconstitutionally gerrymandered maps.

NC still has policies that hurt the working poor and those in poverty (which in NC affects over 20% of 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 the school performance grades released today .

Guess what else happened for 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. Students who live in poverty in a state that refuses to attack the very issue of poverty will become potential targets for “reform” efforts.

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

Lawmakers and education “reformers” 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.”

357 Pages That Could Change North Carolina Public Education – For The Better

Today’s ruling in the Common Cause vs. David Lewis lawsuit over district lines drawn for state legislative races could be one of the greatest victories in the almost nine-year fight against the education reforms that have been tearing away at NC’s public education system.

It’s 357 pages and can be found here – 2018-09-03_Common Cause v Lewis Redistricting Case.

Gerrymandering

In making it mandatory that new district maps be drawn soon for the 2020 elections, this ruling will hopefully give pro-public education candidates a more solid and fair chance of being elected.

The nine-year long “experiment” of privatizing public education can be halted if 2020 produces a majority for pro-public education lawmakers.

This Petri Dish can then be cleaned.

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And maybe there won’t be a puppet of a state superintendent.