Category Archives: Education

Blain Dillard Wake County NC parent sued by MVP for criticizing Mathematics Vision Project Common Core based program,  Son went from A-B to D-F math student

Blain Dillard Wake County NC parent sued by MVP for criticizing Mathematics Vision Project Common Core based program,  Son went from A-B to D-F math student

“When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”…Adolf Hitler 

“North Carolina should have the highest education standards in the world, but we can do better than Common Core.”

“5. Teachers need to be free to teach. Common Core is just another set of bureaucratic mandates that will force teachers to teach to the test. There has been much frustration from the teaching community regarding this aspect of No Child Left Behind, so the federal government created waivers from NCLB only to replace it with more burdensome guidelines that will take creativity and innovation out of the classroom. If we want innovation in education, we should focus less on standards and more on allowing our teachers to do what they do best — teach.”…NC Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

From WRAL News.

“MVP math suing Wake County parent for ‘libel and slander’ after he criticized program

The company behind a controversial math curriculum being used in Wake County public schools has filed a lawsuit against a Cary parent, accusing him of “libel and slander” and “tortious interference with business relations” after he criticized the program.

An attorney for the Utah-based Mathematics Vision Project, or MVP, said the company decided to sue parent Blain Dillard after he made “false statements” about the company. Dillard says he is “innocent of all allegations and can defend each and every point made in the summons.””

“Dillard has spoken at numerous Wake County Board of Education meetings and with the news media about his dislike of MVP, which he says caused his 10th grade son to go from being an A and B math student to failing the subject in a short time period.”

“Karen Carter, another parent who has been critical of MVP, emailed local, state and national education leaders Tuesday to show support for Dillard.

“Is this the type of company WCPSS is comfortable being in business with? One that sues parents?” Carter wrote. “How can WCPSS parents and taxpayers be assured that their money, which WCPSS gave to MVP for various services, licensing fees, etc., isn’t being used to sue one of our own citizens? Although WCPSS cannot control MVP’S actions, they can control giving more taxpayer money to them which can be used to go after one of the district’s parents.””

Read more:

https://www.wral.com/mvp-math-suing-wake-county-parent-for-libel-and-slander-after-he-criticized-program/18540021/

From Blain Dillard.

“I am a parent in Wake County, NC, which includes Raleigh. We are home to the Wake County Public School System, one of the 15 largest in the US.

This past weekend I was served a summons written by Strong & Hanni, PC, of Salt Lake City, UT, for a complaint against me from Mathematics Vision Project, LLC (MVP), of Lehi, UT. The complaint alleges “libel and slander” and “tortious interference with business relations” related to statements I’ve made about MVP either on Facebook, my blog, or at our county school board meetings. I am innocent of all allegations and can defend each and every point made in the summons.

The case was filed in the Utah Fourth Judicial District Court as Case number 190401221.

This is an attempt at intimidation and bullying to silence my and other parents’ free speech advocating for our children’s education.

BACKGROUND
MVP creates curriculum resources for mathematics, and was adopted by my county beginning in 2017. My son was a 10th grader taking MVP Math 2 in 2018 when I noticed his grades suddenly declining. He went from being an A-B math student to a D-F math student almost instantly. I later found that this was largely related to the nature of how MVP is taught. It is considered a “discovery methodology” where students work in groups to try to figure out the math while the teacher facilitates. MVP is strongly supportive of Common Core math standards.

I soon found that my son was not alone. Many other parents in our county were complaining about MVP in various parent Facebook groups I saw. In February, 2019, I created a Facebook group dedicated to supporting parents of students in MVP. The group now has over 1400 members. I also created a web page and a blog where I and others gathered research and resources and documented cases where I analyzed data related to districts which adopted MVP. Many parents attended protests and spoke at school board meetings and some have been featured in our local news. Over 400 students at my son’s school conducted a student walkout in protest of MVP. Working with an attorney, 16 parents filed a formal complaint with our school system alleging 10 policy violations related to MVP in our county. The school system denied the complaint in June.

I am not alone in this fight. However, I am being singled out by MVP in this lawsuit because I am one of the originators of the social media campaigns and much of the research advocating against using the MVP curriculum.

Thank you for your prayers and support during this time.”

https://www.gofundme.com/f/wake-county-math-parent-legal-defense-fund

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

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Decline of middle class? Increase of stupidity and bad habits, Plenty of jobs in “education” restaurants breweries tattoo parlors, Common sense and time tested frugality out the window

Decline of middle class? Increase of stupidity and bad habits, Plenty of jobs in “education” restaurants breweries tattoo parlors, Common sense and time tested frugality out the window

“Mercury is a highly toxic element; there is no known safe level of exposure. Ideally, neither children nor adults should have any mercury in their bodies because it provides no physiological benefit.”…National Institute of Health

“U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, investigating the issue”
“What he learned was astonishing. In 2013 and 2014 alone, ICE set loose more than 66,000 illegal immigrant criminals who had over 166,000 convictions (30,000 for drunk or drug driving, 414 kidnapping, over 11,000 rapes or other sexual assaults and 395 homicides). Already thousands of those have already been convicted of new crimes in the U.S., including felonies, since their release.”…WND October 25, 2015

“There is an epidemic of stupid in this country.”…Citizen Wells

 

From Zero Hedge.

“The Number Of Americans Living In Their Vehicles “Explodes” As The Middle Class Collapses

As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, the middle class is steadily eroding.  In fact, I recently gave my readers 15 signs that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.  More Americans are falling out of the middle class and into poverty with each passing day, and this is one of the big reasons why the number of homeless is surging.  For example, the number of people living on the street in L.A. has shot up 75 percent over the last 6 years.  But of course L.A. is far from alone.  Other major cities on the west coast are facing similar problems, and that includes Seattle.  It turns out that the Emerald City has seen a 46 percent rise in the number of people sleeping in their vehicles in just the past year

The number of people who live in their vehicles because they can’t find affordable housing is on the rise, even though the practice is illegal in many U.S. cities.

The number of people residing in campers and other vehicles surged 46 percent over the past year, a recent homeless census in Seattle’s King County, Washington found. The problem is “exploding” in cities with expensive housing markets, including Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco, according to Governing magazine.

Amazon, Microsoft and other big tech companies are in the Seattle area.  It is a region that is supposedly “prospering”, and yet this is going on.

Sadly, it isn’t just major urban areas that are seeing more people sleeping in their vehicles.  Over in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, many of the homeless sleep in their vehicles even in the middle of winter…”

Read more:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-01/number-americans-living-their-vehicles-explodes-middle-class-collapses

People in the US during the Great Depression had to resort to desperate measures.

Though times now can be challenging, the situation now is far better than then.

So why are so many homeless? Living in cars.

Part of the answer is the epidemic of stupid which I believe began in the sixties.

Growing up, I not only had a good education in school, I had one at home.

My parents were depression era survivors and also survivors of the hard times of settling this country. What used to be status quo.

They shared their stories of growing up in rural NC and what they and their families did to survive. This has stayed with me.

Part of my life and training was my duties (luxurious compared to theirs):

  • I was the oldest of 4. I babysat my siblings.
  • I was given a tiny allowance. If I wanted more, I had to work for it in addition to my chores.
  • I had a paper route, cut grass, babysat for others, picked blackberries, collected returnable bottles, etc.
  • I knew how to use a hammer & tools and liked it. We collected used nails & lumber scraps for our treehouses. Recycling.

By example we learned reality 101.

Starting with we ate out infrequently. Drank our own coffee. Used hand me down clothing. Had a garden. Paid with cash. My mom made some of our clothing and repaired much. And of course, my mom’s sayings for every occasion such as “You’re not too old for your wants to hurt you.”

I am frugal to this day.

I made really good money most of my life, lived beneath my means and this served me well when my disability hit.

I am a strong believer in education, real education, not just receiving a piece of paper and piling up debt.

There are many fine institutions of higher learning training medical professionals, engineers, accountants, etc.

However, we have created a myth, perpetuated by an unholy alliance between institutions and politicians that a diploma will cure practically everything.

We are not educating our young folks. And older folks.

I am around a lot of young people near the university and I have advised many of them to buy a house in an area that is conducive to high rent demand and perhaps with a layout that facilitates having renters who will help pay the mortgage. I knew an attorney couple years ago who did just that.

Many of them are sharing houses and that is another good way to save money.

We are not sacrificing enough, as our Greatest Generation did, to get started or managing our spending habits.

Just examine what is thriving in the economy. Restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, tattoo parlors, etc. None of which are essential for survival or condusive to saving and prospering.

We are not prepared for marriage and having kids and we are not being educated about the costs or responsibilities.

Too many people are having kids too soon without having the necessary funds or skills.

What more important skill to be educated about?

Our understanding of survival skills, cost versus benefit and common sense must increase, not attendance at college, restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, tattoo parlors, etc.

Wells

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

 

 

 

 

Independence Day July 4, 2017, Declare independence from lies misinformation herd mentality, Ask questions seek truth, Colleges preparing kids for economy that no longer exists, Continue to scam parents and students

Independence Day July 4, 2017, Declare independence from lies misinformation herd mentality, Ask questions seek truth, Colleges preparing kids for economy that no longer exists, Continue to scam parents and students

” “Four-Letter Words, the Keys to Success: Home Work, Hard Work, Team Work, Good Luck, Good Lord, and a Good Idea.” Out of money in 1939, he dropped out of college and returned home to work in his brother Glenn’s store in Kannapolis, and later worked for Cannon Mills as an auditor. He volunteered for the army after the attack on Pearl Harbor, serving in North Africa and Italy from 1942 to 1945. Upon his return from the war, Mr. Ketner did everything possible to stay out of the grocery business, working nine jobs he didn’t like before ultimately returning to work for Glenn. When Glenn sold his chain of 25 stores to Winn-Dixie in 1956, Ralph and brother Brown worked briefly for that chain before starting Food Town with former co-worker, Wilson Smith, in 1957.”…Ralph Ketner, founder of Food Lion obituary

“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells

 

I suppose I am as qualified to write this as anyone.

I have been vocal and active in trying to reveal the truth at Citizen Wells since early 2008.

I attended college, taught college, spent most of my life in the real world of business and in recent years mingled with many students, faculty and learned folk.

I am not anti education, real education, and certainly many colleges and courses serve a valuable and necessary function.

However, the notion that a four year degree is essential and that a college education is a guaranteed meal ticket is a myth or if you prefer, a conspiracy theory.

And of course as all of you who are not low information voters know, most modern colleges are brain washing factories and proponents of left leaning ideologies.

Colleges have been self serving entities from the start when itinerant scholars around a thousand years ago began tutoring those of money and title. This morphed into colleges.

The paradigm of mass college attendance only worked for a short while after World War II and was enabled by the GI Bill and a vibrant economy.

We need a vibrant economy.

From Zero Hedge July 3, 2017.

“Colleges Are Preparing Kids For An Economy That No Longer Exists” As They Continue To Scam Parents And Students”

“Is there really anything that takes 4 to 8 years to learn or become an expert in?

Seriously, what a waste of time. Even Ham, the first ape that went into space, only trained for 2 years.

Colleges have convinced nearly everyone that you need a degree to be an effective employee or higher-income adult, but this is just not true.

I can tell you as an employer that I’ve never asked a single person what their grades were and I’ve never asked to see a degree.

The ugly truth is the ones with college degrees usually end up writing SEO articles for $15 an hour and the skilled workers who’ve been writing code as a hobby or editing videos for years on a MAC end up as managers making $75+ per hour.

Young people today who sign up for college are committing to 3 things.

1. Debt: It’s pure insanity that you’re required to pay for information that is freely available to all.

Think about it: a Google search, a 6-week or 6-month course, on the job training… All of these beat the price of college tuition.

Why anyone would borrow money for a college degree makes no sense. Unless the government has screwed your industry with a mandatory college degree in order to get some sort of license, like to practice medicine or law, what exactly is it that you need to pay the college for?

2. Four unproductive years: Ouch! One of the biggest negative effects is that you’re detouring a life for 4 full years or more.

It’s totally unnecessary at this point. When I was 18 years old, I made $55,000 while my peers sat in a classroom learning things that were forgotten before they even left the campus that day.

By the time I was 22 years old, instead of having a degree, I had made $260,000 working at a job for the past four years, I owned two businesses that cash-flowed, and I had over 10 rental properties, not including about $400,000 I had made from flipping homes as a side gig.

3. A workforce that isn’t there: Let’s be honest, colleges are preparing our young people for an economy that no longer exists!”

Read more:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-03/colleges-are-preparing-kids-economy-no-longer-exists-they-continue-scam-parents-and-

 

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

 

Greensboro News Record receives “F” for article and opinion citing flawed Education Law Center report, Media and so called researcher bias, Report very subjective, F for “effort”???, News Record also receives 4 Orwells for repeating Big Lie

Greensboro News Record receives “F” for article and opinion citing flawed Education Law Center report, Media and so called researcher bias, Report very subjective, F for “effort”???, News Record also receives 4 Orwells for repeating Big Lie

“[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.”…Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf

“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells

 

 

The Big Lie.

Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup described the stated unemployment rate as a big lie.

He was correct.

Websters New World College Dictionary

“The official dictionary of the Associated Press”
Lie definition (noun)

“anything that gives or is meant to give a false impression.”

The Greensboro News Record, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has a reputation for employing liberal bias and attacking Republicans.

They have done so again and apparently have not fact checked or reasonableness checked their source.

From the Greensboro News Record June 8, 2015.

“Report: State gets an F for education spending”

“In its annual report card, the law center gave North Carolina a B for spending a greater share of funds on high-poverty school systems. But the state received an F for its effort, or how much it spends on education compared to the overall fiscal capacity.

North Carolina also ranked No. 46 for its overall investment in K-12 public schools, according to the law center’s report.

Some states including North Carolina have gradually started increasing post-recession school funding, but some say that’s not happening fast enough.

“The issue of fair funding is one that we have to work on, on a continual, annual, year-to-year basis,” David Sciarra, the law center’s executive director, said during a press call. “Even if you build in substantial fairness over time, it can quickly erode.”

A joint report released by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund, raised questions of funding equity. Public school systems in many states are seeing poverty levels swell while funding remains stagnant or in decline.”

“That report notes it’s important to not just increase funds for schools but ensure funds are used efficiently and effectively.

“School funding decisions are too often made out of political expedience and not on the basis of student need, population or fairness,” Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, told reporters. “This leads to a corrosive culture of disinvestment that cheats children and entire communities out of the bright futures they deserve.”

That reality, Henderson said, creates two school systems — one for the wealthy and influential and another for low income students. The problem exists nationwide, he said.”

http://www.greensboro.com/news/report-state-gets-an-f-for-education-spending/article_47dbd87a-0e3a-11e5-9e92-6b15098a0c2a.html

NewsRecordNCedSpending

Effort???

Who defines effort and why is that the headline?

Then the News Record has the gall to produce this next Orwellian piece.

From the Greensboro News Record June 11, 2015.

“Grading the graders”

“State Republican lawmakers, who are so fond of “accountability” that they’ve mandated a letter grade for each public school, got report cards of their own this week.

A new national study on school funding gives North Carolina an F for not spending on K-12 education what it can and should invest. In other words, the Education Law Center, which advocates for educational opportunity, flunked the state for its reluctance to fund its public schools adequately.

Further, the annual report ranks North Carolina 46th in the nation in its overall spending on public schools.

Small wonder. Even as the state has gradually begun to increase school spending, it still languishes below pre-recession levels. During the 2008-09 school year, North Carolina spent $5,896 per student; in 2014-15, it spent only $5,766 per student.”

“It means fewer teachers and teacher assistants. It means larger classes. It means funding that fails to keep pace with growing enrollment. It means the discontinuation of the N.C. Teaching Fellows program, which attracted quality students to become teachers.”

“To lawmakers’ credit, they did raise teacher salaries — though little, if any, for veteran teachers. And they have funneled more money to the poorest schools, earning a B in that category. But those slices for the needy still come from a smaller overall pie.”

http://www.greensboro.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/grading-the-graders/article_3605b0d6-0fb0-11e5-a3a2-77e923801679.html

From the NC House Republicans.

“NC House Republicans- State education spending: the facts”

“The North Carolina House Republicans have released some useful information regarding the latest budget passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by the Governor.  Equipped with useful charts and answers to some of the liberal left’s most outrageous claims, information packet is chocked full of documented, factual material that is easy to share.

We’ve all heard the dire predictions about the Republican-passed budget: “They’re going to decimate the whole public education system in this state!” and “This proposed budget will set back this state 25 years!” and “Cuts near this magnitude will dramatically eviscerate the ability of this state to provide a constitutionally-sound education to all of the students of our state!”

Do those claims sound familiar? They should — they’re from over two years ago. On February 24, 2011, Democrat representatives Mickey Michaux, Rick Glazier, and Ray Rapp all clucked that under the Republican budget the sky was falling. Former Governor Perdue, for her part, warned that 20,000 teachers would be fired, class size would double, and the Republican budget would “result in generational damage” to North Carolina’s public schools.

But none of it happened.

Not only were all our teaching positions fully funded, but according to the Department of Public Instruction’s own figures, North Carolina’s public schools actually added 3,198 state-funded education jobs this school year — and 7,811 total teaching jobs since Republicans have held the majority in the General Assembly. And significant education reforms enacted over the last two years have already begun bearing fruit: last year, North Carolina’s high school graduation rate surpassed 80 percent – a first in the state’s history and a 12-point jump from six years ago.

It’s shameful how the hyper-partisan teachers union — the largest and most organized group of paid lobbyists in the state — and their mouthpieces in the media continue to scare hard-working teachers and parents with wild claims that never seem to materialize. Let’s cut through the wild rhetoric and look at the facts.


I heard on the news last week that you cut education by half a billion dollars!

Nope. The amount spent on education programs will actually increase by $400 million next year. Total spending on public schools, community colleges, and universities amounts to $11.5 billion (that’s more than half of the entire state budget) and of that, $7.9 billion will go to K-12 education. That figure is up from the $7.7 billion we spent last year on K-12 (an increase of 2.1%) and the nearly $7.3 billion spent two years ago.

This year’s state budget will spend more money on public education in North Carolina than we have ever spent.

Source: Current Operations and Capital Improvements Appropriations Act of 2013″ (Senate Bill 402) and the North Carolina General Assembly’s  Fiscal Research Division’s report “North Carolina Public Schools Expenditures, FY 2003-04 to FY 2011-12” For a printable PDF of this chart, click here.


But this week, the newspaper said that the increase isn’t even enough to keep pace with inflation or the growth in the number of students.

The new budget keeps pace with both inflation and the growth in the number of students: economists forecast inflation at 1.5% for the coming year and the Department shows stable growth in student enrollment — averaging about a half percent over the last five years. That’s a total of 2%, which is about where we are in terms of the increase in K-12 appropriations over what it was last year. So when you look at it from that perspective, by fully keeping pace with growth, K-12 essentially breaks even next school year.


I hear we rank near the bottom in terms of how much we spend per student. What about the children?

According to the most recent data compiled by the National Education Association (page 55, Chart H-11), North Carolina taxpayers spend $8,757 on each student per year, something bureaucrats call “per-pupil expenditure.” New York state spends the most at $18,616 per-pupil; New Mexico ranks in the middle of the pack at $10,203 per-pupil; and Arizona spends the least at $6,683 per-pupil. The report puts us North Carolina at 45th. Sounds terrible, right?

What the partisan media doesn’t tell you is that North Carolina public schools receive among the highest percentages of their funding from state dollars, ranking 11th in the nation and 2nd in the Southeast (according to that same DPI report).

In the US, K-12 education is funded by three sources: federal dollars, state dollars, and local dollars. Here in North Carolina, the federal government provides only about 16 percent of K-12 funding, with state government picking up most of the tab at 60.1%. Local governments contribute less than a quarter of the cost of educating our children.

State, federal, and local funds combined, North Carolina spends approximately $12 billion on K-12 education every year — and that does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on school buildings and the debt used to build and maintain them.

In other states, education is funded primarily by local governments — with property taxes and bonds — and not with state dollars, as we do in North Carolina. The fact remains that our county and city governments could choose to spend more on educating our children, but they don’t.

Why is this important? It’s not really, except to say that when the media casts blame on the General Assembly for not spending enough on our children’s education, there are many other significant factors to consider. And of course, it’s easy for the media to point fingers, especially at Republicans.


So where does all that state money go?

According to the DPI report, of the $7.2 billion the state spent two years ago on K-12 programs, 90% of the entire amount goes to pay teachers and administrators and provide them benefits. This figure doesn’t include the tens of billions of additional dollars the state pays out to retired teachers and administrators in monthly guaranteed pension checks and lifetime healthcare benefits.


But why did you cut teacher pay?

Contrary to rumors spread by liberal advocacy groups, teacher pay has not been cut. Period.


But you couldn’t give teachers at least a 1% raise?

The legislature sets the base pay for public school teachers in North Carolina. The actual pay level for teachers is determined at the local level. Local governments can always decide to pay teachers more.

But local governments seem to have other priorities than our teachers. For example, in the City of Asheville, the unelected school board gave its retiring superintendent a gift of $175,000. City school board members were under no obligation to pay him anything (he wasn’t owed a buyout payment because he quit his job). That $175,000 gift for a retiring administrator (that’s on top of his generous monthly pension) could have equated to an additional $875 in pay for every teacher in Asheville. (Note: most school superintendents in North Carolina make in excess of $100,000 in annual salary, not including benefits and pension.)

Curiously, also in Asheville, its City Council just voted to give $2 million dollars to a non-profit group that runs a local art museum. That $2 million dollars could have been spent giving every one of Asheville’s teachers an additional $1,000 annual pay raise — every year for the next ten years.

Local governments could do more, but they don’t. And they escape accountability in the media by blaming Raleigh.

Anyway, last year the General Assembly did give teachers a small bump in their base pay — 1.2% and the first one in four years. But there’s a good reason there wasn’t a pay raise this year: it wouldn’t have been financially responsible. It didn’t get widely reported in the media, but this year the General Assembly had to plug a $500 million budget hole created by unexpected Medicaid cost overruns, and wasn’t able to do as much as most legislators wanted to. With nearly 100,000 active teachers and nearly 1,800 central office administrators in North Carolina’s public schools, every 1% raise equates to an extra $180 million in spending — and after paying for the Medicaid cost overruns, there just weren’t any taxpayer dollars left to spend.

What has gone unreported is that the state budget does include a reserve fund for future pay raises for both teachers and state employees. If there isn’t another surprise, House leaders have said that teacher pay raises will be their top priority next year.


How have the teachers pay raises compared to other state employees?

North Carolina’s teachers have done markedly better than other state employees in terms of pay raises. Over the past 20 years, base salary increases for North Carolina’s public school teachers have far outpaced other state employees:While there is no raise for teachers this year, everyone (including teachers) will see larger paychecks. Thanks to this year’s tax reform efforts, everyone’s take-home pay will increase because we’ll all be paying less in state taxes.


But the bottom line is that teachers just don’t make enough.

According to the teachers union, the average annual salary for a North Carolina teacher is $45,947. But like with any job, you can’t just look at base salary — you really have to look at the entire compensation package. In addition to their base salary of $45,947, a teacher receives an average of $4,931 in health insurance benefits, $5,383 in state pension benefits, and $3,139 in Social Security contributions. That’s a total annual compensation package of $59,400 — for working ten months out of the year.


How does this compare to what other people make?

When you divide a teacher’s base salary (not including benefits) of $45,947 by the total number of weeks actually spent working (44), you get an average weekly wage of $1,044. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly wage across North Carolina is just $673.

This $673 weekly state average wage includes the relatively higher wages in Durham County ($1,225) and Mecklenburg County ($1,103). But the $1,044 average weekly wage of teachers in North Carolina is significantly higher (in most cases $400 higher) than 98 of the 100 counties in the entire state.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. For a high resolution PDF of this chart, click here.


I read on Twitter that the General Assembly increased class size. Is that true?

Not exactly. The General Assembly removed the one-size-fits-all class size mandate and gave the authority to make these decisions back to the local school district, where it belongs. Local teachers, principals, and superintendents have a much better sense of where available resources should be focused. By selectively increasing class size, for instance, a superintendent might be able to hire an additional teacher if she decides that’s the best fit for her students. This efficient targeting of resources and enhanced flexibility will help protect programs that individual districts consider more essential.


What is the average class size in North Carolina?

According to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics, North Carolina’s average class size was 19 for elementary students and 21 for secondary students. Both are lower than the national average of 20 and 23, respectively.


I heard that you guys ended teacher tenure. That’s why most people enter the teaching profession in the first place!

Ending guaranteed lifetime tenure is a way to ensure that only the best teachers are hired and retained. Tenure for public school teachers doesn’t work the same way it does in higher education, where a professor must wait ten years and then be approved by a majority of his or her academic peers. Under the tenure system in North Carolina, a teacher automatically received guaranteed lifetime tenure after just four years.

In order to keep their tenured status, teachers in north Carolina only needed to receive satisfactory evaluations in just one year out of three. For example, a teacher could receive failing back-to-back evaluations in years one and two — but if they could show adequate improvement in year three, the clock would be reset and their tenure would continue.

Not surprisingly, the system has been abused in many ways, stifling excellence in our classrooms. It also typically took nearly ten years to remove poor teachers from North Carolina’s public schools because of the exhaustive paperwork required, the bureaucratic entanglements, and lengthy court appeals. The teacher tenure system was so broken that only 17 of North Carolina’s 97,184 teachers were fired for cause last year.

The budget replaces this outdated tenure system with a contract system based on job performance and the best teachers will be rewarded through a merit pay system. There is $10.2 million in the budget to reward high-performing teachers with $500 bonuses. These measures will better ensure quality instruction by identifying ineffective teachers who need to be retrained or replaced.


Why did you end the extra pay for teachers with master’s degrees?

The budget does phase-out new pay supplements for teachers who earn a master’s degree, unless that advanced degree is required for their position. If a teacher is already collecting this extra pay, or their master’s degree will be completed by April 1, 2014, they will be grandfathered in and will still collect that supplement. It’s important to note that other state employees don’t get raises just for earning a master’s degree.

Interestingly, research has shown that teacher performance and student outcomes have no bearing on attaining an advanced degree. According to theCenter for American Progress, a liberal research and advocacy organization, “teachers with master’s degrees … are no more effective, on average, than their counterparts without master’s degrees.”


But I heard from my neighbor, who’s a teacher, that Republicans are cutting 9,000 positions this year.

The General Assembly authorizes a certain number of positions for each school district, and it’s up to the school district to hire people to fill those positions. Sometimes they do, but in many cases they don’t — so the positions remain vacant. Think of it this way: as a business owner, you’d like to hire 100 new employees, but your revenues don’t meet expectations so you only choose to hire 25. Can someone legitimately claim that you fired 75 people?

And under the former Perdue administration, these vacant positions continued to be funded — despite the fact that in many cases there were no actual employees working in the jobs. School boards got to keep the extra cash — nearly $300 million statewide — and spent it however they wanted, often hiding expenditures for items like cars for coaches and administrative assistants. The new budget eliminates this so-called “K-12 flex cut” for local districts to bring more transparency and accountability to the budgeting process.

The point here is that “positions” are different than people. Especially vacant ones.


What about these vouchers I’m hearing about? My tax money will go to send kids to private school?

Yes. The budget expands school choice in North Carolina by creating a new pilot program that awards “opportunity scholarships” to 2,000 low-income students in the 2014-15 school year. Only those children who already qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program would be eligible for the grants.

Locally-based private scholarships have worked very well in North Carolina, and the Opportunity Scholarship Act aims at replicating these successes at the state level. For example, the Charlotte Children’s Scholarship Fund, which benefits low-income and predominantly African-American children, saw student performance in reading and math increase by six percentage points after just one year in the program.

As we’ve seen, it costs $8,757 a year to educate a child in North Carolina. Opportunity Scholarship grants for 2014-2015 will be in the amount of $4,200 — leaving $4,557 additional money back in the public school and relieving them of the burden of educating the child. For more information on North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Grant program, click here.


OK. What else does the education budget do?

A number of significant new reforms have been enacted. Among some of the highlights:

The budget provides funding to implement critical school safety measures, such as resource officers, and expands the use of technology and innovation in schools. The budget also adds $23.6 million to continue funding the Excellent Public Schools Act, which will strengthen student literacy, improve graduation rates and increase accountability. Tuition for out-of-state students at our public universities has been increased in order to keep tuition more affordable for North Carolina families. And the State Board of Education is now required to work with community colleges to create specific programs in high schools (e.g. engineering, technology and other high-employment vocational fields) to better prepare young adults for employment.

Although we might disagree on how to get there, we all want only the best for North Carolina’s students. To be sure, change can be uncomfortable, especially for institutional bureaucracies and certain entrenched liberal special interest groups. But by moving forward together, we can give our students even more opportunities to grow and prosper so they are prepared to lead our state to a brighter future.””

http://www.ncgop.org/nc-house-republicans-state-education-spending-the-facts/

For telling Orwellian lies and misleading the public, I award the Greensboro News Record 4 Orwells.

Orwells4

 

 

 

 

Most US hospitals not prepared for Ebola, National Nurses United survey, 80 percent no admissions policy communicated, 87 percent no Ebola education

Most US hospitals not prepared for Ebola, National Nurses United survey, 80 percent no admissions policy communicated, 87 percent no Ebola education

“Barack Obama is endangering the children of the US and now our troops. Where is the outrage?”…Citizen Wells

“You can see that these doctors, who are highly trained people, got themselves infected,”
“So sending troops into an area, if they’re dealing one-on-one with a patient, they’re not going to be able to protect themselves very well. It’s not easy to [prevent transmission], because you get tired and you get careless and you make some simple mistakes. All it takes is one virus particle.”…Dr. Lee Hieb, former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

Despite what Obama and the CDC are telling you, we are not prepared to deal with Ebola.

Of course you already knew that.

From National Nurses United October 3, 2014.

“National Nurse Survey Shows Hospitals Still Not Prepared for U.S. Ebola Patients

RNRN Press Release, 10/3/14

Contact Information | Media Center

80% SAY THEIR HOSPITAL HAS NOT PROVIDED POLICY FOR ADMISSION OF POTENTIAL INFECTED PATIENTS

Following reports that a Dallas hospital failed to hospitalize a patient infected with the Ebola virus and failed to properly communicate essential information to caregivers about his health status, National Nurses United is stepping up the call on U.S. hospitals to immediately upgrade emergency preparations for Ebola in the U.S.

Several weeks ago, National Nurses United began surveying registered nurses across the U.S. about emergency preparedness.  Most of the nurses are telling NNU that their hospital is not prepared for the Ebola virus.

In updated preliminary results from nearly 700 RNs at over 250 hospitals in 31 states released Friday:

  • 80 percent say their hospital has not communicated to them any policy regarding potential admission of patients infected by Ebola
  • 87 percent say their hospital has not provided education on Ebola with the ability for the nurses to interact and ask questions
  • One-third say their hospital has insufficient supplies of eye protection (face shields or side shields with goggles) and fluid resistant/impermeable gowns
  • Nearly 40 percent say their hospital does not have plans to equip isolation rooms with plastic covered mattresses and pillows and discard all linens after use, less than 10 percent said they were aware their hospital does have such a plan in place
  • More than 60 percent say their hospital fails to reduce the number of patients they must care for to accommodate caring for an “isolation” patient

NNU is calling for all U.S. hospitals to immediately implement a full emergency preparedness plan for Ebola, or other disease outbreaks. That includes:

  • Full training of hospital personnel along with proper protocols and training materials for responding to outbreaks,
  • Adequate supplies of Hazmat suits and other personal protective equipment
  • Properly equipped isolation rooms to assure patient, visitor and staff safety,
  • Sufficient staffing to supplement nurses and other health workers who need to care for patients in isolation.

At a rally of 1,000 nurses last week in Las Vegas, “we warned that it was just a matter of time in an interconnected world that we would see Ebola in the U.S. Now, everyone should recognize that Texas is not an island either, and as we’ve heard from nurses across the U.S., hospitals here are not ready to confront this deadly disease,” said NNU executive director RoseAnn DeMoro.”

Read more:

http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/entry/national-nurse-survey-shows-hospitals-still-not-prepared-for-us-ebola/

 

NC legislature proposes dumping Common Core, Conservatives most vocal opposition, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest opposes common core, Gov McCrory favors, Input from parents teachers administrators citizens

NC legislature proposes dumping Common Core, Conservatives most vocal opposition, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest opposes common core, Gov McCrory favors, Input from parents teachers administrators citizens

“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

“When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”…Adolf Hitler 

“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

From WRAL April 24, 2014.

“Lawmakers propose dumping Common Core standards in NC”

“North Carolina would begin walking away from the Common Core standards for math and English in public schools under proposed legislation that a student committee approved Thursday.

The full General Assembly will take up the measure when it returns to session in mid-May.

“Common Core is gone July 1 if this passes,” said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, one of the measure’s leading proponents. “This bill puts education back where the constitution says it belongs – in the hands of North Carolina.””
“The standards have come under fire nationally. While some political liberals have questioned how the standards were developed, political conservatives have been the most vocal in their opposition. They criticize the measures as a federal takeover of education.

“We’ve allowed the Common Core standard to be hijacked by the federal government for the sake of money,” said Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union.

While he initially favored the standards, Horn said that they made the state too dependent on the federal government.

“I just feel that it is time for the state of North Carolina to take responsibility for our own education system and not be dependent upon or subservient to the federal Department of Education or anybody else outside North Carolina for what we do in education,” said Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus.

Some members of the committee, mainly Democrats, blasted the bill.

“I think we are going down this road to appease a section of the political spectrum that is more conservative and is distrustful of Obama and the federal government,” Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg, said after the meeting.”

Read more:

http://www.wral.com/lawmakers-propose-dumping-common-core-standards-in-nc/13591055/

From the Greensboro News and Record April 13, 2014.

“Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core

By Dan Forest

North Carolina should have the highest education standards in the world, but we can do better than Common Core.

Four years after Common Core was adopted by the State Board of Education, many students, parents and educators are getting their first glimpse of the implications of the new standards in the classroom. Yet after months of questions about the challenges of the standards from parents and educators, few answers have been revealed. Here is why we can to better than Common Core:

1. Local control of education is a bedrock of our nation. Parents, teachers and school boards should have ultimate control and authority over the education of their children. Common Core is a copyrighted set of standards, designed by two unaccountable national trade associations and pushed by the federal government through Race To The Top grants ($400 million in North Carolina) for states that adopted the standards. These standards cannot be changed or modified by state or local authorities. The argument is that we can add to them; however, the reality is that we cannot change anything written in them. Common Core is inflexible in meeting the demands of rapid change that is occurring around the world.

2. A One-Size-Fits-All set of standards for all of education in America is un-American. America is a nation of diversity and innovation. Each student is unique, and for the first time in the history of the world, through high-speed broadband technology and one-to-one devices in the hands of every student, we have the opportunity to customize curriculum and the education experience to each and every child. Our 50 states should be recognized for the innovation laboratories that they are, and they should be allowed to innovate in education, constantly improving standards and teaching methodologies in order to share their ideas with other states. A one-size-fits-all set of standards restricts that level of innovation.

3. Why would we settle for anything less than the best standards for North Carolina? Massachusetts had the best math standards in America, so why did we not start by adopting its standards for our students? Massachusetts educators improved their standards over decades, and they had been tried, tested, rewritten and aligned with working assessments. The Common Core standards still have not been tried, tested or rewritten for success four years after adoption in North Carolina. Why would we roll out Common Core to every school and every student in our state, all at once, without proper vetting and testing?

4. Common Core does not prepare our students for STEM education or careers.The promise of Common Core was that it was to be rigorous, internationally benchmarked, and it would prepare our students for college and career. Unfortunately, experts admit that rigor is difficult to define; the standards were never internationally benchmarked, and there is much debate as to Common Core college alignment. Experts have noted that the Common Core math sequence does not prepare our students for a rigorous STEM education in the university, nor does it prepare our students for STEM careers.
Why would the Chamber of Commerce, the conservative Fordham Institute, the Gates Foundation and others support Common Core despite its inability to prepare our students for STEM careers? Because there are significant financial interests for each. Experts have also noted that replacing classic literature with informational text, such as Consumer Reports, does not help our students develop better critical-thinking skills or reading skills.

5. Teachers need to be free to teach. Common Core is just another set of bureaucratic mandates that will force teachers to teach to the test. There has been much frustration from the teaching community regarding this aspect of No Child Left Behind, so the federal government created waivers from NCLB only to replace it with more burdensome guidelines that will take creativity and innovation out of the classroom. If we want innovation in education, we should focus less on standards and more on allowing our teachers to do what they do best — teach.

These are just a few reasons why Common Core should be replaced in North Carolina, not mentioning the high cost of implementation at a time when we need to increase teacher pay. Nor did I mention technology readiness for the standards, or even data collection of student information. It is time to replace Common Core with the best standards in the world — North Carolina standards.”

Read more:

http://www.news-record.com/opinion/columns/article_ef0badac-c0f0-11e3-b83a-001a4bcf6878.html

 

NC common core, Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Local control important, One size doesn’t fit all, Common core not vetted and tested and costly

NC common core, Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Local control important, One size doesn’t fit all, Common core not vetted and tested and costly

“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

 
“When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”…Adolf Hitler 

“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

From the Greensboro News and Record April 13, 2014.

“Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core

By Dan Forest

North Carolina should have the highest education standards in the world, but we can do better than Common Core.

Four years after Common Core was adopted by the State Board of Education, many students, parents and educators are getting their first glimpse of the implications of the new standards in the classroom. Yet after months of questions about the challenges of the standards from parents and educators, few answers have been revealed. Here is why we can to better than Common Core:

1. Local control of education is a bedrock of our nation. Parents, teachers and school boards should have ultimate control and authority over the education of their children. Common Core is a copyrighted set of standards, designed by two unaccountable national trade associations and pushed by the federal government through Race To The Top grants ($400 million in North Carolina) for states that adopted the standards. These standards cannot be changed or modified by state or local authorities. The argument is that we can add to them; however, the reality is that we cannot change anything written in them. Common Core is inflexible in meeting the demands of rapid change that is occurring around the world.

2. A One-Size-Fits-All set of standards for all of education in America is un-American. America is a nation of diversity and innovation. Each student is unique, and for the first time in the history of the world, through high-speed broadband technology and one-to-one devices in the hands of every student, we have the opportunity to customize curriculum and the education experience to each and every child. Our 50 states should be recognized for the innovation laboratories that they are, and they should be allowed to innovate in education, constantly improving standards and teaching methodologies in order to share their ideas with other states. A one-size-fits-all set of standards restricts that level of innovation.

3. Why would we settle for anything less than the best standards for North Carolina? Massachusetts had the best math standards in America, so why did we not start by adopting its standards for our students? Massachusetts educators improved their standards over decades, and they had been tried, tested, rewritten and aligned with working assessments. The Common Core standards still have not been tried, tested or rewritten for success four years after adoption in North Carolina. Why would we roll out Common Core to every school and every student in our state, all at once, without proper vetting and testing?

4. Common Core does not prepare our students for STEM education or careers.The promise of Common Core was that it was to be rigorous, internationally benchmarked, and it would prepare our students for college and career. Unfortunately, experts admit that rigor is difficult to define; the standards were never internationally benchmarked, and there is much debate as to Common Core college alignment. Experts have noted that the Common Core math sequence does not prepare our students for a rigorous STEM education in the university, nor does it prepare our students for STEM careers.
Why would the Chamber of Commerce, the conservative Fordham Institute, the Gates Foundation and others support Common Core despite its inability to prepare our students for STEM careers? Because there are significant financial interests for each. Experts have also noted that replacing classic literature with informational text, such as Consumer Reports, does not help our students develop better critical-thinking skills or reading skills.

5. Teachers need to be free to teach. Common Core is just another set of bureaucratic mandates that will force teachers to teach to the test. There has been much frustration from the teaching community regarding this aspect of No Child Left Behind, so the federal government created waivers from NCLB only to replace it with more burdensome guidelines that will take creativity and innovation out of the classroom. If we want innovation in education, we should focus less on standards and more on allowing our teachers to do what they do best — teach.

These are just a few reasons why Common Core should be replaced in North Carolina, not mentioning the high cost of implementation at a time when we need to increase teacher pay. Nor did I mention technology readiness for the standards, or even data collection of student information. It is time to replace Common Core with the best standards in the world — North Carolina standards.”

Read more:

http://www.news-record.com/opinion/columns/article_ef0badac-c0f0-11e3-b83a-001a4bcf6878.html