Teacher's Desk  

Delma Blinson tells it the way he sees it.

Every person in Beaufort County (or North Carolina for that matter) who is interested in public education should have been at the Conservative Republicans Club Thursday (7-10-14) night.
Tom Campbell, of NC Spin recently suggest that "Let's take teacher pay off the table." No he was not suggesting that the issue of teacher pay be ignored, but quite the opposite...that it be "settled" once and for all.
From the standards grows an entire industry that seeks to make money "training" educators how to get students to do at least well enough on those tests.
The Guilford County Board of Education has voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina contesting the new law that replaces teacher tenure with term contracts plus a salary bonus.
There are a lot of upset teachers in North Carolina these days, or so it seems, from media reports. The target of their ire is the Republican-led Legislature.
It should be noted before going any further that the law on teacher tenure was changed by the Legislature to eliminate "career status" or tenure.
This commentary will make more sense if you review this article and particularly if you watch the video of Dr. Phipps' report to the Beaufort County Board of Education at its November meeting.
Partly as a result of these experiences I read with interest a recent article the The Chronicle Of Higher Education (arguably the most read publication related to higher education news).
Jesse Saffron, a staffer at the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy think tank has a well reasoned and lucid piece in the Carolina Journal on the issue of extra pay for teachers with graduate degrees.
I have a challenge for you. Recall the best teacher you ever had. Now think about what characteristics that teacher had and compare it to the other teachers you can remember whom you would never have selected as "best." Chances are you can't even remember those who did not make your cut.
Politicians who run for office always look for issues they thin will get them votes. I suspect if you could accurately assess it, the high school "dropout" rate might well be one of the top issues non-incumbents have chosen to run "against" over the last half century or so.
The reasons we have consented to limited government are to preserve the freedom to pursue happiness, the freedom to be different and the freedom to be left alone.
Gov. McCrory is right on target in calling for this review. But it is not a matter of a certain number of tests that are given but rather what the nature of and use of the tests are.
Those interested in public education in North Carolina who missed the May 16, 2013 Beaufort TEA Party meeting you missed an excellent chance to learn about "Common Core," perhaps the hottest topic in education circles today.
Today, Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announce industrial expansion in North Carolina.
I am encouraged by the discussions the Beaufort County Board of Education is having about how it can function more effectively, and hopefully more efficiently.
One would think we Americans would learn. Government does not do very much very well.
This is a story about a big fish tale. The fish itself was big and the consequences of the dispute was big. About a million dollars worth.
ormer Governor and emeritus Davidson College chemistry professor Jim Martin has issued his report on the investigation of crip courses at UNC-CH. It was essentially an exoneration of the Big Shots in the UNC system and the system itself.
A million years ago I did my doctoral dissertation on court cases that dealt with school spending's impact on student achievement.
When I was a principal at a large high school in Wake County back in the 80's the first year we used computers to schedule students' classes we used the old punch card system.
Beaufort County Schools has recently announced the creation of a new "hotline" to report bullying.
A long awaited major study of the effects of school choice has now been published. You can read about it by clicking here. The study was essentially a review of the literature on hundreds of research projects looking at various issues related to school choice.
But as much as we are biased in their favor, I'm not convinced that it is sound public policy for the government to provide pre-school education for all children.
Readers will recall that when the Republican-controlled Legislature was working on the budget for this year there went up a huge hue and cry from the education community, the union reps and Governor Perdue that the public schools were being devastated by the cuts the Legislature was making.
We used to think conspiracy theorists were kooks. But in recent years we've seen too many examples of crazy stuff being done by our government. Here's just another one of them.
A new report published this week by the National School Boards Association says that American students spend as much or more time in school as their counterparts in other developed nations.
I would take this occasion as a former professor of School Law to suggest that this is the kind of school story we need to learn to read with a careful eye. I don't believe Mr. Bostic was forced to resign because he suspended a 9-year old student for calling his teacher "cute."
There is a scam being run on the people of North Carolina, and the college students specifically. It is the debate about raising tuition in the UNC system next year.
In that piece I shared a new report that detailed the changes in modern college and university curricula away from required foundational courses more toward a smorgasbord that ignores the classics of the liberal arts curriculum.
How shall they learn unless they are taught? The corollary to that is: How shall they learn what they need to know unless they are taught what it is they need to know.
Newly elected School Board chairman Mac Hodges failed his first major test in that new position. He did so by sitting by allowing the board to flounder in the redistricting process.
Good academic researchers have known for a long time that the best research is that which shows what you thought you already knew was correct.
The News & Observer is reporting that House Speaker Thom Tillis has said that cutting the N. C. Teaching Fellows program was a mistake. Moreover, it is reported that he has said he has asked his staff to find a way to keep the program going.
While we strongly support the idea of parents being able to choose where to send their child to school we would like to propose for debate another idea.
The UNC system in North Carolina is adapting itself to a roughly 16% budget reduction from the last session of the General Assembly.
Even though almost everyone's experience and common sense tell us differently, we have build the idea of equality, specifically equality of results, into virtually everything about our public schools. It remains one of the major reasons that there is so much opposition to giving parents choice.
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