NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 52 min ago

Conservative group exposes the Kochs’ war on sustainable energy

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 07:15
There’s a fabulous op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by a fellow named David Jenkins of the Virginia-based group, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship. In it, Jenkins exposes the outrageous and dishonest war on renewable/sustainable energy being waged by fossil fuel front groups like the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and their allies ...

For-profit political fundraising firm runs video endorsement from Governor McCrory

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 16:04
[This post has been updated.] This is really strange and a little disconcerting: A Charlotte-based, for-profit political fundraising firm called Harrington Forward Thinking is featuring a video ad in which the Governor of North Carolina (as you can watch below) endorses the firm. Though the video was just posted to YouTube today and identifies McCrory ...

UNC-Chapel Hill student gets national attention for calling course sympathetic to terrorists, despite not taking course

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 13:25
An essay penned by a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill claiming a course at one of North Carolina’s flagship schools cast a favorable light on the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack has gone viral in the last week. The freshman journalism student, Alec Dent, claimed in his ...

James Hogan: The beautiful story of a D-rated school

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 12:41
Following yesterday’s release of North Carolina’s latest A-F school grades—which, for the second year in a row, were largely a reflection of how poor or wealthy a school’s students are—education blogger James Hogan wrote about his own wife’s 15 year career at a D-rated elementary school in Iredell County. Writing about the students Hogan’s wife teaches, he ...

State leaders have failed to learn from the McCollum and Brown exonerations

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 10:26
The exonerations of Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were in the news again yesterday as the state, finally and belatedly, got around to agreeing to compensate the men for having ruined their lives. In case you missed it, however, Kristin Collins of the N.C. Center for Alternatives to the Death Penalty posted this insightful take ...

Journey for Justice comes to Raleigh, rally this afternoon at 5:00 (video)

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 09:17
The voting rights rally will take place at the Old State Capitol Building this afternoon at 5:00 pm. Click here to RSVP.

Embarrassing wimp out on confederate plate continues

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 07:24
As notes this morning, it’s been two months and ten days since Governor McCrory announced that the “time is right” for the state to stop distributing license plates bearing the confederate flag. Since that time, here is what the Guv has done to make that change a reality: zip, zero, bupkis. The reason for ...

NC wages not keeping up with real cost of living

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 16:38
In case you missed it, the latest edition of the Justice Center’s “Prosperity Watch” has some less-than-encourgaing news about the “Carolina Comeback”: With wages stagnating, the price of many necessities soars Getting by is getting harder in North Carolina. The cost of some basic necessities are growing faster than wages in North Carolina, catching households ...

Latest school performance grades released, high-poverty schools receive lowest grades

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 12:34
The State Board of Education released the second annual school performance report cards Wednesday showing that over 72 percent  of the state’s traditional public schools earned a letter grade of “C” or better. The A-F grading scale is based 80 percent on the school’s achievement score and 20 percent on students’ academic growth. Almost 28 ...

Senate advances yet another proposal to undermine the long-term health of the NC coast

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 12:18
As has been explained on multiple occasions by a wide variety of experts, there are a couple of basic rules in play when in it comes to understanding the present and future of the North Carolina coastline. Rule #1 is that the sandy beaches that run for hundreds of miles along our coast are in ...

Updated: McCollum and Brown, wrongfully convicted decades ago, each awarded maximum compensation

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 10:30
  (Update: According to the AP, the commission has awarded Henry McCollum and Leon Brown $750,000 each, the maximum available under state law.) At a hearing today, the North Carolina Industrial Commission will consider compensation claims filed by Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, two men wrongfully convicted in 1991 for the 1983 rape and murder of 11-year-old ...

ACLU seeks public records on Gov. McCrory’s involvement in prayer rally

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 10:01
As reported in this space yesterday, Governor Pat McCrory will speak in Charlotte later this month at an event organized by a far right activist group that wants the United States to be a “Christian nation.” And though he is now distancing himself from it, a full-page ad in Monday’s Charlotte Observer indicated that the ...

For-profit virtual charter schools won’t have to take attendance

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 08:57
It’s bad enough that North Carolina will be turning over the future of thousands of its children and tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to a predatory Wall Street company in the name of “school choice,” but this morning’s report from NC Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner that state officials have waived attendance taking requirements ...

Another offensive and embarrassing lottery move

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 15:30
Just when you think it couldn’t get any more offensive, state policymakers and the folks at the North Carolina “Education” Lottery keep outdoing themselves. First, the Senate votes to increase lottery advertising to convince more people to throw away their money because the state refuses to raise revenue fairly and honestly. It’s no secret that ...

McCrory supports flexibility in TA funding as Senate proposes ending flexibility

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 14:44
Gov. Pat McCrory often seems a step behind the happenings in the General Assembly. That was true again Tuesday morning as McCrory met with reporters after the Council of State meeting to discuss the budget talks. McCrory said he supports funding teacher assistants and giving local school systems the flexibility to use the TA funding ...

The actual “morally repugnant” position on clean energy

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 12:12
The fossil fuel defenders at the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity are out with another “you can’t make this stuff up” claim in their never-ending battle to kill sustainable energy. Last week, the group issued a statement in which it made the following amazing claim: “It’s time for lawmakers to make responsible decisions about the future ...

Pope group employee should apologize for calling Virginia shooter “love child of Al Sharpton and President Obama”

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 11:32
In case you missed it last week, it’s hard to imagine that there was a more hateful or offensive comment on the tragic murder of two Virginia journalists than the one promoted on the John Locke Foundation’s “Locker Room” blog by George Leef, Director of Research at the Pope Center for Higher Education. Here is ...

Say what? McCrory to speak at event for far right group that wants U.S. to be a “Christian nation”

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 09:13
News reports this morning indicate that Gov. Pat McCrory is distancing himself from a full page ad that ran in yesterday’s Charlotte Observer in which the Governor was quoted as inviting people to a September 26 event in Charlotte sponsored by a far right, conservative Christian group known as the American Renewal Project. The ad shows ...

National labor board decision is an important victory for workers

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 07:45
A lot of people are engaged in nonstandard employment today.  Whether you call it contingent work, the gig economy, the “sharing” economy or outsourcing, they are all models in which the workers who perform labor do not have a recognized employer-employee relationship with the business or entity for whom they are performing labor.  These models ...

Outgoing president of community college system reflects on tenure, urges legislators to focus on faculty pay, tuition (audio)

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 18:05
Dr. Scott Ralls, who has led North Carolina’s Community College system for the past seven years, departs this week to take over the helm of Northern Virginia Community College. Ralls spoke with Chris Fitzsimon over the weekend on NC Policy Watch’s radio show about what he’s achieved during his presidency and the challenges that lie ...