• WSSU and Bowman Gray Stadium: A Bad Deal

    Last November, Chancellor Donald Reaves of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) joined Nathan Hatch, the President of Wake Forest University, and Susan Pauly, president of Salem Academy and College, at a forum in Winston-Salem to talk about something Reaves has frequently talked about the last few years: the rising cost of higher education. Reaves said, “Affordability […]

  • DPI Defense of Common Core Is Mystifying – Part I

    On June 13 the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released Common Core Demystified. The document was intended to quell what DPI regarded as confusion and stem the growing public opposition to Common Core Standards (CCS). Long story short: It hasn’t. Common Core Demystified contains numerous inaccuracies and repeats false statements. The document only adds […]

  • The True Conservative Response on Common Core

    In a misnamed article, “Common Core is a conservative victory,” Republican education reformers Chester Finn and Michael Petrilli used a recent News &Observer op-ed to try and persuade North Carolina conservatives to support the new national Common Core education standards. I respect Finn and Petrilli and frequently agree with them. However, on Common Core Standards, […]

  • Why North Carolina Needs a Voucher Bill

    North Carolina lawmakers have an opportunity. After spirited debate by participants on both sides of the aisle, last week members of the House Education Committee approved a bill (HB 944) to provide low income children with a voucher of up to $4,200 to attend nonpublic schools. The action was an historic first step in North […]

  • Expert Highlights Dangers in Common Core Standards

    Last fall public schools in North Carolina along with 44 other states began implementing Common Core Standards. The standards — developed by academic experts and private trade associations with the financial backing of several large foundations — have unleashed a brushfire of criticism, fueled in part by the controversial ideas behind Common Core, parental anger […]

  • 3 Big Errors in N&O Voucher Op-Ed

    Not true – that’s my response to the oped by Yevonne Brannon and Nick Rhodes in last week’s News & Observer about school vouchers and their supposed harmful impacts on students and schools. Let’s look at three of the biggest errors. Brannon and Rhodes claim the current voucher (up to $4,200 for eligible students and […]

  • Bill Gives Students Real Choice in Education

    Earlier this week Representatives Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg), Brian Brown (R-Pitt) and Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford) introduced HB 944,  the Opportunity Scholarship Act. The legislation allows children from families with limited financial resources to apply for a scholarship grant of up to $4,200 per year.  The grants could be used to help pay for tuition and fees, books, […]

  • Common Core: Worse than you Think

    The second of two parts. In a previous article, I highlighted questionable assumptions underlying national Common Core Standards (CCS) in English and mathematics, which in 2010 were adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Education.  Let’s look at CCS’s three other major flaws. Diminished Parental and State Influence Imposing CCS on the nation’s schools […]

  • Common Core Standards Will Impose an Unproven ‘One Size Fits All’ Curriculum on North Carolina

    In 2010 the North Carolina State Board of Education unanimously adopted national Common Core Standards (CCS) in English and mathematics. The standards — spearheaded by two independent organizations, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers — were developed to better prepare students for college or careers and make American students […]

  • Pre-K Programs Deserve Skeptical Look

    It’s time for North Carolina and federal leaders to develop healthy skepticism about large-scale government-run pre-kindergarten education in schools – because there’s mounting evidence that the programs do little or no good. Dianna Lightfoot had been set to become director of childhood development and early education in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human […]

  • Education Savings Accounts Can Give NC Families More School Choices

    Public opinion polls clearly show that North Carolina parents want expanded educational opportunities for their children. Combine that with the growing influence of school choice advocates in the General Assembly and the election of a new Governor supportive of school reform efforts, and you boost the chances that North Carolina will pass significant school choice […]

  • School Choice Criticism Wilts Under Close Review

    A recent poll of North Carolinians by the Civitas Institute and the Friedman Foundation reported that if given a choice of where to educate their child, only 34 percent of respondents said they would choose a traditional public school. Almost two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) said they would enroll their child in other educational options […]

  • NC Superintendent Debate

    Among the statewide races to be decided this fall is State Superintendent of Public Instruction. June Atkinson has held the position since August 2005, and is the Democratic nominee for the office. Challenging Atkinson is Republican John Tedesco, a member of the Wake County Board of Education since 2009. The Superintendent is a powerful spokesperson […]

  • Luncheon Spotlights Drive for School Choice

    The Sept. 18 “Lunch and Learn: School Choice – the Road Ahead” highlighted wide public support for giving parents and students more choices in where they go to school. The event, sponsored by Civitas and the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, brought education experts and lawmakers together to survey the school choice debate today. And […]

  • School Choice: Options for expanding educational freedom and bringing real reform

    Excitement about school choice is helping to remake North Carolina public and private schools. Enrollment in charter schools is exploding. More students than ever are being educated in virtual and home schools. While private school enrollment has dipped slightly (four-tenths of one percent) since 2008-09, due in large part to the recession,  private education  is […]

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