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Back to School Series – Labor Day

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 15:28
It’s that time of year when school starts and the very next week Labor Day is here. It seems to make sense that Back to School week and Labor Day are so close together. It provides the opportunity to discuss those that labor in our public schools. Although, the truth is, there has been a ...

Marriage equality cases here on hold pending petitions for review before the U.S. Supreme Court

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 15:18
Federal courts in North Carolina have stayed proceedings in the same-sex marriage cases here while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Bostic v. Schaefer, finding Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional. Five petitions for review of lower court rulings on the issue are now pending before the high court in various stages ...

New York City sets an example that North Carolina should emulate

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 14:54
In 2014, there are lots of basic public structures and social services that Americans, like the inhabitants in other advanced countries, ought to have a right to take for granted. Paid sick days, paid maternity leave, and free higher education, for example, need to be on any such list. And here’s another one: free, universal, ...

State of the courts: Not good

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 12:21
Two reports out today reveal a public disenchanted with their court systems and suspicious of the influence that campaign cash is having on judicial conduct. One, a survey commissioned by the Coalition for Court Transparency to assess perceptions about transparency at the U.S. Supreme Court, reveals that the public strongly wants to see more of the high court in action.  ...

Academic who claims CO2 has been demonized like holocaust victims to speak in Raleigh

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 12:01
If you needed proof that the deniers/defenders of climate change are having to dig further and further down into the barrel to find semi-credible “experts” to bolster their position, check out next Monday’s featured Locke Foundation Shaftsbury Society speaker, William Happer. Happer’s talk is entitled “The Myth of Carbon Pollution.” As the Huffington Post reported ...

Closing the achievement gap: Study finds black UNC students benefited from hands-on classes

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:00
The achievement gap between black and white students was narrowed in college classes that stressed “active learning” over lectures, according to a study published this week by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor. The New York Times had this article yesterday about the study conducted by UNC biology professor Kelly Hogan and ...

News report highlights self-destructiveness of NC’s refusal to accept Medicaid dollars

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 08:36
In case you missed it, be sure to check out this story in the Charlotte Observer by Ann Doss Helms and Tony Pugh about North Carolina’s ongoing and self-destructive refusal to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians in need. As the Helms and Pugh report: North Carolina taxpayers ...

NC Supreme Court denies emergency appeal to disburse school voucher funds

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 16:38
The N.C. Supreme Court denied an emergency motion filed last week by attorneys on behalf of Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate leader Phil Berger and parents to allow taxpayer-funded school vouchers, ruled unconstitutional by a Superior Court judge last month, to be disbursed to private schools immediately while the fate of the program is decided.  The defendant-intervenors pushing to ...

State of Working NC: African-American labor force resiliency

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 16:09
Each year on Labor Day our State of Working North Carolina report details the economic conditions and trends that face North Carolina’s workers.  This year, in addition to focusing on these conditions and trends today, we also delved deeper how the current lack of jobs and the growth of low-wage jobs will impact the state’s ...

Now there are six

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 15:07
After more than 20 years on the state Supreme Court, Chief Justice Sarah Parker stepped down on Saturday, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 72 in August. Her picture has already been removed from the court’s website, with one of the newly-appointed temporary chief, Justice Mark Martin, taking its place. Her legacy drew praise ...

Charlotte Moral Monday Labor Day rally leads to controversial arrest of leafleter

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:56
North Carolina news media haven’t reported much about an arrest by Charlotte police that took place late yesterday during the Moral Monday/#TalkUnion Labor Day rally that took place in the city’s Marshall Park. Think Progress, however, has quite a few details plus video in this story: “Police Arrest Young Black Politician for Distributing Voting Rights ...

Durham Public Schools dumps Teach for America

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:00
As reported in the Durham Herald Sun and The Washington Post, the Durham school board voted last week not to keep its relationship with Teach for America (TFA) beyond the 2015-16 school year, allowing the school system’s current TFA teachers to finish out their contracts. According to the Durham Herald Sun: Among concerns voiced by ...

No break in tension between McCrory and Senate leaders

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:37
In case you are wondering if the animosity between Governor Pat McCrory and Senate leaders has lessened since the legislative session adjourned, the answer seems to be no, judging by comments at this weekend’s apple festival in Hendersonville. McCrory rode in the King Apple Parade Monday and told the Times-News that he was still upset about ...

Editorial reminds us of an obvious but underfunded tactic for keeping kids in school

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 08:29
With all of the incessant battles over testing and standards and privatization, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees when it comes to public education. Fortunately, a recent New York Times op-ed that was republished in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer serves to remind us of what’s really ...

Five things to have on your radar this week

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 06:25
Senator Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis square off – On Wednesday, the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation hosts the first debate in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race featuring incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D) and Speaker of the NC House Thom Tillis (R). The 7:00 p.m. debate will be aired live, statewide and ...

Labor Day marked by Moral Monday tour, new “State of Working North Carolina” report

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 10:16
About a hundred people gathered next to the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in downtown Raleigh this morning for a rally/press conference to help kick off a three-stop “#TalkUnion” tour that is being by state union and civil rights leaders. The tour will also feature a noon event in Greensboro at the Beloved Community Center at 417 ...

Observing the Labor Sabbath This Weekend

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 08:16
Many North Carolina congregations are observing a Labor Sabbath prior to Labor Day. MaryBe McMillan of the NC State AFL-CIO, joins us this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon,  to explain the importance of having people of faith talk about unions and workers’ rights. Click below to hear part of that interview, or ...

Berger makes long-awaited appointments to Common Core review commission

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:57
Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) is the first to publicly announce his appointments to a legislative commission that will review and make recommendations for modifying the Common Core State Standards. Berger’s appointments include a retired math professor recommended by the John Locke Foundation and a Winston-Salem/Forsyth school board member who has a “self-guided education in ...

Inevitability: Medicaid expansion and marriage equality both making slow but sure progress

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:01
Doesn’t it seem that the nation’s progress and momentum in implementing the Affordable Care Act (and, in particular, Medicaid expansion) is starting to resemble the slow but steady (and inevitable) progress on marriage equality? Talking Points Memo has the story today of the latest conservative state to be talking openly of a plan to expand ...

Little things can make big differences in children’s lives

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:16
This is part of a Back to School blog series that highlight various issues to be aware of as the 2014-15 school year kicks off. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4) Little things can make big differences in children’s lives. Something as simple as arriving to class with food in your ...

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