North Carolina

Former charter school foe tells why he changed sides

The teacher unions and the vested interests of the current education system oppose charter schools.

They dream up all sorts of horror scenarios and push them onto a compliant media in order to oppose changes in education.

Brian Lewis was one of those people…until as he put it “life happened”.

From 2008 to 2013, I was the front line of defense against all proposals before the General Assembly that would privatize public education, including tax credits for students with special needs, opportunity scholarships for children living in poverty and charter school expansion.

I opposed all efforts to “drain funds from public schools,” especially for private schools that I described as “unaccountable” and “scams” for the North Carolina taxpayer and the children they served.

Then life happened.

In December, my daughter enrolled in a private school in Raleigh, a heart-wrenching decision our family made after six great years in public schools. This past fall, Isabel found herself in a middle school environment for which she was unprepared and ill-suited. She was sinking in a new setting nearly void of the nurturing teacher-student relationships we enjoyed a year ago.

From the start, we advocated within the system for Isabel through emails, teacher conferences and calls with administrators. Eventually, testing accommodations were made. Still, Isabel was slipping away. She dreaded school, we dreaded school, and it was clear the teachers dreaded it, too. We hit the wall in November and came to the conclusion that public middle school was not the answer. In fact, it was the problem.

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North Carolina gets smart, ignores alarmists

The North Carolina state government has got smart. They are ignoring alarmists and their insane predictions about climate change. Even better they have passed a law about it.

A new law in North Carolina will ban the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise, prompting environmentalists to accuse the state of disrespecting climate science.

The law has put the state in the spotlight for what critics have called nearsightedness and climate change denial, but its proponents said the state needed to put a moratorium on predictions of sea level rise until scientific techniques improve.

The law was drafted in response to an estimate by the state’s Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) that the sea level will rise by 39 inches in the next century, prompting fears of costlier home insurance and accusations of anti-development alarmism among residents and developers in the state’s coastal Outer Banks region.  Read more »

A good Democrat?

The Telegraph

Could this Democrat have actually done good or is she just thick?

Becky Carney, a Democratic member of the North Carolina general assembly, had been a vocal critic of plans to allow hydraulic fracking, a pollution-heavy method of extracting natural gas from the ground.

Yet by pressing the green “aye” button at her desk rather than the red “no”, she cast the deciding vote in favour of a Republican bid to override a veto on the practice by Bev Perdue, the Democratic governor.

“Oh my gosh,” Ms Carney reportedly said on the assembly floor, after seeing her name flash up in the Republican column on a chamber TV screen after the 11.30pm poll. “It won’t let me change my vote.” The 67-year-old Democrat, who has represented a Mecklenburg County constituency for 10 years, asked Thom Tillis, the Republican House Speaker, to allow her to change her vote, but he declined.

Members are permitted to change their votes only if the overall result is not altered, Mr Tillis happily pointed out. Republicans then used a procedural move to ensure the vote could not be reconsidered.

Ms Carney’s “yes” vote meant the result was 72-47 in favour of the Republican override – precisely the number they required. Without Ms Carney’s vote, the governor’s veto would have been sustained.