Fifty Shades of No Way – New SBOE Member Todd Chasteen’s First Book To Challenge

Now that Todd Chasteen has now been appointed to the NC State Board of Education, I would like to go ahead and ask that he and others on the board read the latest installment of the Fifty Shades of … book for possible inclusion in schools, or at least in the dialogue of what is happening in North Carolina.

I will offer only this table of contents to the SBOE and Mr. Chasteen in deference to any delicate sensibilities toward works of literature that actually display and describe the human condition through creative use of language, strong diction, vivid imagery, incredible detail, and varying syntax.

I must admit that the other books in this series really are not that well written and have one driving motif, but I would ask that this book, Fifty Shades of No Way, be investigated as it does accurately portray the climate and terrain of the Old North State.

Here is the list of chapter titles. There are 50 –Get it? Fifty Shades of No Way. In each chapter there is deception, manipulation, vivid imagery, hurt feelings, but most of all in each one of them someone is getting screwed pretty hard and often, mainly the citizens of North Carolina.


  1. HB2 – Bathroom Bill
  2. HB3 – 5.5% income tax cap – TABOR
  3. Medicaid Expansion Denied
  4. Voter ID Law
  5. Gerrymandering of Districts
  6. Duke Coal Ash Ponds
  7. Fracking Industry Without Oversight
  8. Teacher Pay still at the bottom tier in the nation
  9. Removal of due-process rights for new teachers
  10. Tom Ross Replaced With Margaret Spellings
  11. Graduate Degree Pay Bumps Removed for new teachers
  12. Bad Teacher Evaluation Systems
  13. Push for Merit Pay
  14. “Average” Raises and neglecting veteran teachers
  15. Central Office Allotment Cuts
  16. Rainy Day Fund That Can’t be Accessed Unless The Apocolypse Comes
  17. Religious Freedom Bill
  18. Attacks on Teacher Advocacy Groups (NCAE)
  19. Revolving Door of Standardized Tests
  20. Less Money Spent per Pupil in Traditional Public Schools
  21. Remove Caps on Class Sizes
  22. Jeb Bush School Grading System
  23. Opportunity Grants Expansion
  24. Allowing Private and Religious Schools To Profit From Tax Payer Money
  25. Charter School Growth Without Regulation
  26. Virtual Schools Deregulation
  27. Achievement School Districts
  28. Reduction of Teacher Candidates in Colleges
  29. Elimination of Teaching Fellows Program
  30. Governor’s Inability to Defend Policies to the Press
  31. Governor’s Unwillingness to Defend Policies to the Press
  32. Attacks on Teacher Assistants
  33. Elimination of State Employees Rights to File Discrimination Suits in State Courts
  34. Pissing Off Bruce Springsteen
  35. Using God and Jesus as Political Crutches
  36. Gov. Dan Forest’s request to have Charter School Report to be Rewritten
  37. Buck Newton Keeping Our State Straight
  38. House Bill 539 – Giving Charters Money For Services They Do Not Provide
  39. Rowan-Salisbury Pepper Spray Proposal
  40. Chad Barefoot’s Appt. to Senate Education Committee Chair
  41. Teach For America Expansion Plans
  42. SB 873 – Access To Affordable College Education Act
  43. Clyde Edgerton and New Hanover County’s Superintendent
  44. What the Teacher Working Conditions Survey Really Said
  45. Arresting of Teachers Who Protested and Saying They Were At Fault
  46. McCrory’s Didaskalithedemosiophobia – Yep, That’s What I said – Look it up on my Blog
  47. SB867 – Background Checking Bill
  48. Appointing People Who Are Not Qualified to the SBOE
  49. Special Sessions of the General Assembly
  50. Surreptitious Midnight Meetings to Craft Bills That Only Benefit a Few

My Bruce Springsteen Mixtape for Pat McCrory

Remember the 1980’s when you used to make mix tapes for people? They were the soundtracks for different facets of life. You put them in your cassette player and immersed yourself down a path of memories and emotions where only certain songs could lead you.

When I found out that Bruce Springsteen was cancelling a show in Greensboro to protest HB2, I felt badly for the fans who had tickets, but I also commended The Boss’s stance on discrimination. Then I wondered how Gov. McCrory might have felt knowing that his signing of this bill into law was the reason that so many like Springsteen are looking at North Carolina with such bewilderment and making strong overtures for the repealing of discriminatory laws.

So I made the governor a mixtape of Bruce Springsteen songs that I thought best represented this fictional reality that North Carolina has been thrown into by a fearful few like Pat McCrory.

I even made liner notes for him.

  1. “Better Days” from Lucky Town. This song talks of maybe having “better days” ahead for North Carolina when McCrory became governor. He did win the election with that hope. Wow! How ironic it is to actually have regressed in the last three years.
  2. “Born in the U.S.A.” from Born in the U.S.A. I put this on the mixtape because the possible nominee for president from the political party that McCrory bows to actually was not born in the U.S.A.
  3. “Brilliant Disguise” from Tunnel of Love. As someone who touted his ability to moderate between political ideologies and reach across the aisle, the governor really has been a puppet for the GOP leaders in the General Assembly.
  4. “Down in the Hole” from High Hopes. This song could represent how in three years we have dug ourselves into a hole created by disastrous policies born on West Jones Street. It makes me think that the governor could have vetoed a lot more when he had a chance to.
  5. “Glory Days” from Born in the U.S.A. First of all, it is baseball season. Second of all, it makes people think of a past when conditions were better.
  6. “Hungry Heart” from The River. Not only are there hungry hearts, but hungry people here in North Carolina where over 20% of people live in poverty and almost 25% of children live in poverty.
  7. “My City of Ruins” from The Rising. This song talks of deterioration and desolation that is experienced by many in our state as the needs of the many have been neglected because of the greed of a few.
  8. “One Step Up” from Tunnel of Love. The chorus of the song says, “One step up, two steps back.” No further explanation needed.
  9. “Red-Headed Woman” from MTV’s Plugged: In Concert. I added this one because Springsteen is married to a red-headed lady as I am and both are beautiful women with great voices. Call this a bonus track.
  10. “Souls of the Departed” from Lucky Town. This is a political song that explores social injustice. Think of the Moral Monday movement and the Voter ID law.
  11. “Streets of Philadelphia” from the soundtrack for the movie Philadelphia. Remember this iconic movie? Tom Hanks plays a gay man who happens to have AIDS. He is ostracized because he represents to the establishment someone who is different and therefore should be treated as an inferior. Hanks’s character simply wants to live as he is without being dehumanized. He was also wrongly terminated from his job because of his sexuality. What law in North Carolina does this remind you of?
  12. “This Depression” from Wrecking Ball. This song is amply representative of the lackluster “Carolina Comeback” that the governor has been so eager to talk about.

Songs have such a way to reflect on real life and a poet/singer like Springsteen has done it for years for so many people. So while he may not have performed here in NC for reasons that are valid, his music can still speak to people like the governor.

That is if he only listens.

I Don’t Believe Bruce Springsteen Will Ever Proctor a Test in North Carolina

The Boss has spoken on HB2. This is for him.


Calling all proctors. Calling all proctors. Is there a proctor in the house?

It’s testing season here in North Carolina and the all-calls have been placed by all public schools to recruit enough proctors to watch over our students as they take tests which arbitrarily measure their achievement.

A proctor usually works with a test administrator to make sure that all goes smoothly in the testing process and that all protocols are followed according to instruction. But when the school year is over, testing is usually over. And that means no proctoring for those who may want to continue proctoring for whatever.

Help is on the way. It’s the Public Facilities Privacy and  Security Act, better known as HB2.

Since North Carolina now has a law that requires people to use the public restrooms aligned with their birth gender, there will be a need to check anatomy in public facilities to ensure that the right facilities are used by those with corresponding anatomy.

Therefore, a test must be administered. And if there is a test in North Carolina, there must be a proctor.

Since people must relieve themselves year-round in many public places, there will always be a need for proctors (and administrators) for the gender testing that must be performed in order to comply with the law, especially in Charlotte, which ironically already has the state’s largest public school system (and possibly the most trained proctors).

So why not use those who proctor for tests in schools to proctor for tests in gender monitoring. The training for proctoring a standardized test in schools is really the same training one would need to be a proctor for an ad-hoc gender test in the field. The similarities are striking if not identical. Just look at the requirements for performing the duties of a test proctor.

  • You must be a legal adult of tested gender to perform the duties of proctoring
  • Proctors are needed for every testing session, whether it is for a large group or even a separate setting.
  • You do not have to be a state employee to be a proctor. You could just volunteer. In fact, there are many proctors who just want to help out the neighborhood.
  • If someone gets sick while testing because of the stress, then the proctor can assist that person to a nearby facility (OK, that’s funny).

How serendipitous!

Just look at some of the descriptions used by school systems in recruiting proctors to get volunteers to help with test administration.

Here’s one for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system that ran in the Charlotte Observer on May 7, 2014 ( It says (with quotes remaining anonymous),

The state requires that two adults be present in every classroom where exams occur, mainly to ensure nothing goes wrong, _______ said. Extra volunteer “runners” are also needed in the hallways to escort students to the bathroom.

The task isn’t difficult, mainly just dull. “The tests are extremely long, (proctors) are not supposed to bring anything to read, they can’t have their phone on, or a computer,” she said.

The number of proctors needed varies by school, and the length of most exams is two to four hours, depending on the subject matter, _______ said.
You could simply substitute the type of test administered and see that the training for a test proctor in schools is the same as it is for the HB2 gender check.


The state requires that two adults be present in every public bathroom where exams occur, mainly to ensure nothing goes wrong, _______ said. Extra volunteer “runners” are also needed in the areas to escort people to the proper bathroom.

The task isn’t difficult, mainly just dull. “The tests are extremely long, (proctors) are not supposed to bring anything to read, they can’t have their phone on, or a computer,” she said.

The number of proctors needed varies by public facility, and the length of most exams is two to four hours, depending on the subject matter (literally), _______ said.

Here’s a description of duties and training that the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County School System just released on April 6th of this year on the systems website entitled “Proctors, proctors, and more proctors.”

It states,

Before volunteering, proctors receive the training necessary to do the job properly. Often, the training is done in conjunction with the first session as a volunteer. As part the training, proctors learn that, as part of the state’s efforts to make sure that everything is done fairly, proctors have to be careful not to help students with questions or do anything that might suggest to a student that he might want to reconsider an answer.

Proctors need to be at least 18 years old. Because public school students cannot be proctors, high school students aren’t eligible even if they are 18. People don’t serve as proctors in classes where they have relatives.

While serving as a proctor, volunteers are required to turn off their cell phones and other electronic devices.


Simply substitute the word “student” with the words “one who is heeding nature’s call” and you see how we have already stockpiled a number of people to do the job.

Ironically, there may be difficulty in being able to staff enough proctors for all of this standardized testing whether it be for school tests or gender tests. That’s probably because many feel that testing so much, be it for student achievement or anatomy, is just a way for insecure people in power to validate their actions.

But I have faith we can overlook principles for personalities.

Because in a state of vast natural resources, we again can prove that our most valuable assets are our people who can rise to the occasion as need calls.

Or maybe squat down to the occasion.