NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

A North Carolina teacher weighs in on the reality of Common Core repeal

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:00
The following essay was submitted to NC Policy Watch this week by a concerned public school teacher. North Carolina teachers and the Common Core: Now what? By Rod Powell It’s already here—a new school year. Despite a turbulent summer for North Carolina schools—in which legislators repealed the Common Core, slashed teacher assistant funding, and implemented ...

Editorial: Mandatory judicial retirement policy should be retired

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 08:03
Raleigh’s News & Observer has re-posted an editorial this morning that recently ran in its McClatchy sibling in Charlotte that deserves to be spread far and wide. It’s central message: North Carolina’s law mandating that judges retire at age 72 (the one that force current Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker to retire this weekend) is ...

Back to School Series – Registration

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:06
This is part of a Back to School blog series that highlights various issues to be aware of as the 2014-15 school year kicks off. (See Parts 1, 2, and 3). Schools opened their doors this week to the state’s more than 1.5 million children for the beginning of a new school year, but there ...

State Board of Ed chair directs NC charter schools to disclose all employee salaries by September 30

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 16:24
Just weeks after passage of a bill that allows publicly-funded charter schools to hide the salaries of their for-profit education management companies’ employees, State Board of Education chair Bill Cobey requested all charter school boards to disclose the salaries of their for-profit operators by September 30, or face the possibility of being shut down. In ...

Sen. Bernie Sanders: It’s time focus on jobs that pay a living wage (video)

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:30
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) doesn’t want to spend much time focused on all the speculation about whether he’ll make a run for the White House in 2016.  As we approach Labor Day, the 72-year-old wants to talk about the jobs deficit and stagnant wages. The longest-serving Independent in Congressional history was in Raleigh this ...

It’s amazing that this is still going on in modern America

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:02
If you missed it this morning, be sure to take a few minutes to read this morning’s lead story over on the main Policy Watch site: “Twenty-first Century children, Nineteenth Century laws.” The article features a powerful interview with a young woman who describes the pain and hardship she endured for years as a child ...

Today’s LOL, right-wing fracking propaganda

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
The folks in the right-wing think tanks seem to be getting less and less circumspect when it comes to blatantly repackaging the  propaganda and poll-tested talking points of polluters and other corporate scofflaws as “research.” Take for instance the report distributed by the Locke Foundation this morning in a press release headlined:  “Fracking fluid consists ...

Vermont senator delivers progressive economic message on trip to Raleigh

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 08:00
There’s been a lot of talk that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will run for President in 2015-’16, but last night’s speech at Pullen Church in Raleigh before a friendly crowd of a few hundred people was all about policy. Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist who will turn 72 in a couple of weeks, devoted ...

ICYMI: The state of the U.S. Supreme Court (Full Video)

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:07
For those who missed last week’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation with Ian Millhiser, the full program is now available online. Please watch and then share – The state of the U.S. Supreme Court with Ian Millhiser of the Center for American Progress:

NC Commerce: More money needed to bring jobs to state

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 15:36
The McCrory administration is looking to bolster North Carolina’s economy as it undergoes major changes in how it will recruit new employers to the state. In a final meeting for the state’s economic development board, N.C. Commerce Sec. Sharon Decker told members Wednesday that she’s hoping to figure out a way to continue to attract ...

Today’s amazing inequality statistics

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 15:34
These come from a recent University of California Alumni Association profile of economist Emmanuel Saez and his work that was linked to by the excellent online newsletter Too Much: The top 1 percenters in the United States, for example, have seen their share of national income rise from under 8 percent in 1970 to just under ...

Nip and tuck: Leadership’s financing strategy for public education

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 14:13
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 and Part 2) This week, more than 1.5 million North Carolina’s students headed back to school to underfunded classrooms this week. For yet another school year, teachers ...

Still think we should be executing people? NC to free another wrongfully convicted person after 20 years

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:50
In case you missed it, North Carolina is about to release yet another person who spent two decades in state prison for crimes he did not commit — thus further highlighting the absurdity of the death penalty in the 21st Century. This is from a post on the N.C. Innocence Project blog: On Monday, a ...

Thousands petition Governor to stop defending North Carolina’s gay marriage ban

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 09:51
Equality NC, same-sex couples and families delivered over 10,600 petitions to the Raleigh and regional offices of Governor Pat McCrory this morning, urging him to stop defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban. “We are proud to deliver this important message alongside families from all across the state who are demanding Gov. McCrory not waste one ...

Editorial highlights the miracle of public education

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 08:33
There’s a great editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer this morning that ought to be mandatory reading for every critic of our public schools — especially the ones who want to de-fund them and turn their mission over to the the “genius of the free market.” The piece is entitled “Don’t take public education for ...

McCrory donor who worked on Medicaid reform announces DHHS resignation

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 15:51
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced this afternoon that an architect of a stalled Medicaid reform plan is leaving the state agency. Margaret “Mardy” Peal, 43, was hired in August 2013 by Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos despite having been out of the work force for more than a decade, ...

Plaintiffs respond to Tillis, Berger’s plea to Supreme Court to put school voucher program back on course

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 14:49
The battle over school vouchers in North Carolina is now before the state Supreme Court, thanks to an emergency motion filed late Monday by attorneys on behalf of Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate leader Phil Berger and parents to allow the taxpayer-funded vouchers, ruled unconstitutional by a Superior Court judge last week, to be disbursed to ...

More than three dozen NC teachers opt to start the new school year in Texas

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:51
This week the ABC-TV affiliate in Houston, Texas has profiled some of the North Carolina teachers who took the school district up on their offer of higher pay, if they agreed to relocate more than 1,000 miles away and teach in the the Lone Star state. Here’s an excerpt from the Eyewitness News story: ‘[Brittany] ...

What was missing from the weekend News & Observer story on casinos

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:04
If you subscribe to or frequently check out Raleigh’s News & Observer, you probably saw the featured Sunday story that looked at casino gambling in Cherokee as well as the coming expansions and the efforts to introduce more of the same in South Carolina under the banner of the Catawba tribe. It was a good ...

Back to school series – Returning to an economic growth model that works

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:07
Cross-posted on the Prosperity Watch platform. As North Carolina’s young people head back to school this week, it is their increased educational attainment that has the greatest potential to not only generate improved earnings and provide some protection against the worst employment outcomes their lifetime but also strengthen the state’s overall economic recovery and economy. ...