As the State Board of Community Colleges prepares to meet this Thursday and Friday, August 14-15, the Civitas Institute urged board members to maintain the community college system’s ban on illegal alien admissions. Civitas’ letter to board members notes that, not only do voters support continuing the ban, but that doing so will benefit North Carolina’s working families and bolster the long-term value of a community college education.
Is Mike Easley America’s greatest education governor? The National Education Association (NEA) recently said so and honored the North Carolina Governor for “his achievements in transforming North Carolina’s public school system.” Before we send our congratulatory letters, let’s look at the record.
One week after the end of session, Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office has announced that the state community college system is permitted to enroll illegal aliens. The announcement reverses a previous opinion, released one week before the 2008 session convened, which had advised against admitting illegal aliens.
We’ve heard the assertion a thousand times: higher education IS the engine of economic growth. An educated population IS the foundation on which to build the knowledge economy of the 21st century. Such thinking has been behind North Carolina’s historically high levels of spending for colleges and universities. During most of the last thirty years, the state’s financial investment has consistently exceeded neighboring states as well as the national average.
Last week the state Board of Education voted to strip some funding from charter schools that fail to meet state teacher licensing requirements. Current rules specify that 75 percent of elementary school and 50 percent of middle and high school teachers in charter schools must be licensed or certified by the state, but many schools fall short of those percentages. Now, such schools risk having state dollars withheld, and even the possibly of a state-imposed shutdown.
Raleigh, N.C. – With the controversial land transfer tax on the Orange County ballot less than three weeks from today, North Carolina voters overwhelmingly oppose the idea that county commissioners spend money to promote the referendum that will increase taxes.
North Carolina’s public school system is in need of fundamental reform. While education spending continues to grow, key measures of student progress demonstrate that the system is not adequately serving our state’s children and families. State funding for education has increased by $3.5 billion since 1998 and 32 percent over the last six years. […]
Since passage of legislation to legalize the education lottery in North Carolina in 2005, gambling has been treated like other public vices. Simply put: the public tolerates smoking, drinking and gambling, but it wants the activities regulated and kept away from children. Some recent developments make me think officials at the North Carolina Education Lottery are ignoring public sentiment and are intent on creating their own rules.
“Cool wisdom.” That’s the phrase the News & Observer used in an editorial (“Defending Open Doors”) to summarize outgoing community college President Martin Lancaster’s statement justifying the admission of illegal immigrants to the state’s community colleges. I strongly disagree with the News & Observer’s assessment, mostly because I find Lancaster’s statement riddled with inaccuracies and doubtful claims. Let me explain.
The U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, estimates population demographics annually. After applying parameters for citizenship and school enrollment to the 2006 ACS data, the data revealed 12,650 non-U.S. citizens in North Carolina enrolled in public undergraduate institutions. "Non-U.S. Citizens" are either in the country legally (in this case, as holders of a student visa) or illegally. The chart below illustrates the breakdown of these students based on data reported by the UNC and N.C. community college systems. See below for methodology.
The State Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently released the first “cohort graduation rate,” showing that little more than two-thirds of high school students graduate in four years. The first questions asked by many people have been: How does this happen? How can we fix it? And, as with many questions that concern children and young adults: When do we fix it?
Shame on the Raleigh News & Observer. A headline story on October 30th declared, “South’s schools swell with poor kids” and later stated, “49 percent of the state’s school children live below the poverty line” was irresponsible journalism.
If we want to help middle class kids get healthcare, we'd better start puffing.
The debate over raising the cap on charter schools has prompted legislation (HB 30) for a study of charter schools. A recent report by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research questioned the achievements of charter schools and recommended keeping the 100-school cap. While the report addresses some important issues, the proposed legislative study ideally would build on this report by recognizing the diverse range of measures of success that are appropriate for charter schools.