Opinion

North Carolina school grades: Don’t get lost in the noise

On February 5, North Carolina released A-F grades for all traditional public and charter schools. News outlets have been all over the story and pundits are angling to put a spin on what is expected to be a tough day for many schools. For the past several days, public school officials have been bracing themselves for what they expect to be a torrent of bad publicity and questions. Officials at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction have been coaching local officials about how to explain results. If they didn’t see a need they wouldn’t do so.

Can a redistricting panel avoid politics?

Kudos to Senate leader Phil Berger for his incisive answer as to whether he would support an independent redistricting commission. According to Gary Robertson of the Associated Press, Berger said: “I have yet to see a so-called independent redistricting commission that is truly independent. … I’m still out there looking for that nonpartisan soul that really has no opinion about politics one way or the other that has an informational background in politics.” Common sense and the experience of other states show how difficult – or even quixotic – the quest for a nonpartisan commission is.

North Carolina still outpaces region

Ever since conservatives won majorities in the North Carolina General Assembly and began reducing taxes, spending, and state regulation, liberals have predicted doom. Without sufficient government spending, they said, the North Carolina economy would suffer. Businesses don’t place as high a value on cost as they used to, liberals assured us, so efforts to promote growth with lower taxes and regulatory burdens will accomplish nothing. Instead, they counseled more spending on schools, infrastructure, and even public assistance as a stimulus.

Civitas Waste of the Week: Taxpayer funds to benefit Reverend William Barber

A Goldsboro-based organization headed by the Rev. William Barber this year received nearly $350,000 of your tax dollars. Yes, that William Barber – the ringleader of highly partisan political protests against the General Assembly the past few years. The protests were dubbed “Money Mondays” by the Civitas Institute after research exposed the fact that organizing groups received more than $100 million in direct state grants in recent years.

Party line prejudices

Well, I am glad to know someone caught me in the act. I am now prejudiced, uncompassionate, Hispanophobic, and, by inference, close-minded. Pardon me if I recount social history of Chatham County. I moved here fifty years ago and have seen too many cha…

Feeling disenfranchised

This Labor Day, as my husband and I were driving by the McDonald’s on Lowe’s Drive in Pittsboro, we noticed that the American flag flying in front of the store was wrapped around the flagpole, as it had been for several days. I decided to call them to ask them to fix it. The store manager (whom I asked for) answered the telephone. I asked him if someone could fix the flag that was wrapped around the pole. He did not understand what I was saying, as apparently, he did not comprehend and speak English well enough to understand, “would you please have someone go out and untangle the American flag that is wrapped around your flagpole.”