NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 50 min 54 sec ago

UNC leaders launch plan to revive NC’s teaching profession

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 15:06
The UNC Board of Governors convened a summit Tuesday to discuss the future of teaching in the state, as the world of education changes rapidly and the state faces a significant drop in those who want to teach. The education summit, a public meeting of the UNC Board of Governors held on the SAS campus ...

“Religious freedom” bill for magistrates: A bad idea that would lead to many others

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 14:55
According to news reports, Representative Paul Stam will hold some kind of legislative “briefing” tomorrow on a “religious freedom” bill that would permit magistrates and other state employees to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses if it violates their own religious beliefs. This is an enormously troubling idea. From a legal standpoint, permitting state employees to ...

Outer Banks oil and gas drilling: A disaster waiting happen

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 13:12
Looks like those leftist tree huggers at the EPA are at it again. This is from AP: “The Obama administration floated a plan Tuesday that for the first time would open up a broad swath of the Atlantic Coast to drilling, even as it moved to restrict drilling in environmentally-sensitive areas off Alaska. The proposal ...

Attorney General confirmation hearings open tomorrow for North Carolina-born Loretta Lynch

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 11:59
Loretta Lynch, the North Carolina native who made her way from Durham to Brooklyn and became the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, will face a trial by fire of her own tomorrow as confirmation hearings open for her nomination to be the nation’s next Attorney General. If confirmed, Lynch — the daughter of a ...

Exonerations reach a record high nationwide

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 10:42
  The exoneration of Joseph Sledge last week by a three-judge panel in Bladen County led many of us to wonder just how many others had been wrongfully convicted and remain imprisoned in North Carolina. Sledge, convicted in 1978 of the murders of two eastern North Carolina women, became the first person freed here this ...

Last year’s teacher pay raise was anything but “brilliant”

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 08:49
Raleigh’s News & Observer features a rather strange op-ed this morning by a Duke University Master’s student who once gave teaching a try and who is also the husband of a current, relatively young public school teacher. In it, the author praises last year’s convoluted state teacher pay plan as “brilliant” because it targets young ...

State Board of Education may require virtual charters to pony up computers for needy students

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 16:29
Members of a State Board of Education committee met Monday to consider a draft agreement with winners of a virtual charter school pilot program that would require them to provide computers or other technology to needy students. Explaining that equal opportunities must be provided to every child in accordance with the state constitution, N.C. Office of Charter Schools Director Joel Medley ...

Unequal Income Growth Holds NC Economy Back

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:51
The Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) released a report today published by the Economic Policy Institute on the latest data on income inequality in the states. The data is unique in providing assessments of how the top 1 percent are faring compared to the bottom 99 percent. The findings are consistent though with what ...

Former state Rep. LaRoque pleads guilty to federal charge

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:11
Stephen LaRoque, the former state representative accused of stealing $300,000 from federally-funded non-profits he ran, entered into a plea deal Monday. LaRoque, a Kinston Republican, plead guilty to one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. The remaining 11 counts he faced will be dismissed, according to the court docket. The plea was offered ...

Wednesday lunch to examine subject on which 2015 legislature might actually do some good

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:25
Looking to learn about an issue — any issue — on which the North Carolina General Assembly might actually pursue a moderately progressive course in 2015? If so, you should definitely plan on attending this Wednesday’s Crucial Conversation luncheon with Raleigh News & Observer reporter Mandy Locke: “Fraud in the workplace: How numerous North Carolina ...

Video: Why North Carolina needs strong public schools, not misleading voucher programs

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 10:44
Rev. T. Anthony Spearman of Greensboro, North Carolina explains why public schools are so important and why voucher programs shortchange students and communities. Spearman explains the arguments advanced by voucher advocates are wrong and harmful, especially to low-income families. Click below to watch the first in a new series of videos produced by the NC ...

Op-ed: UNC should explain Tom Ross firing or reconsider it

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 08:01
If you haven’t done so already, check out Charlotte Observer contributor Alice Carmichael Richey’s essay decrying the UNC Board of Governor’s inexplicable firing of system president, Tom Ross (pictured at left). As Richey argues persuasively, the Board’s actions simply ought not to be allowed to stand in their present form — i.e. unexplained. “The board ...

Fired CEO of shuttered Charlotte charter school says he’s suing to reopen

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 16:38
The former principal of embattled Charlotte public charter school Entrepreneur High says he plans to file a complaint Friday afternoon to seek reinstatement as head of the school and the ability to reopen its doors early next week. “Yes, I plan to reopen the school,” Dr. Hans Plotseneder told N.C. Policy Watch Friday. “My termination ...

Sledge exoneration drives another nail in NC death penalty

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 14:58
Today’s exoneration of Joseph Sledge after 36 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit gives rise to one overriding question today: How many more men wrongfully convicted and imprisoned (or even sent to Death Row) is it going to take before the stubborn defenders of the death penalty in North Carolina finally ...

National group recognizes NC’s “Anti-Science Climate Deniers Caucus”

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:25
The good people at the Center for American Progress have released a new and sobering set of fact sheets documenting the abysmal state of climate change denial in Washington. Sadly, several members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are “recognized” for being on record in support of the denial efforts. The list includes: Senators Richard Burr ...

Preparing for next week’s “religious freedom” hate fest at the General Assembly

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 08:40
If you had any hopes that this year’s version of the North Carolina General Assembly would be less reactionary than the last two, these should have been quickly dashed in recent days by the announcement that the 2015 session will commence its substantive work next Wednesday with a “briefing” on a bill to sanction and ...

Getting what they played for

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 05:28
  A college education for free. That’s the response heard most often from those asked what elite Division 1 athletes are getting in exchange for working full-time for their schools. That includes the schools and the NCAA, who make millions in some cases off the backs of these players. The players get no part of ...

Tillis, Burr team-up on offshore drilling legislation (w/video)

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 20:50
North Carolina’s two U.S. Senators have introduced an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill intended to fast-track the exploration and drilling for natural gas and oil along the Atlantic coast. Senator Thom Tillis took to the Senate floor Thursday to explain the provision that he says will create thousands of jobs over the next ...

McCrory appears at economic development ribbon cutting

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 16:41
Gov. Pat McCrory was on hand Thursday for a ribbon cutting for the state’s newly privatized economic development group, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. The group, funded primarily with more than $16 million in public dollars and $500,000 in private dollars serves as the state’s “marketing and sales” with the task of luring ...

Latest Pope-Civitas attempt to smear Rev. Barber hits a new low

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 15:49
There’s a simple reason that the Pope-Civitas Institute (an organization that was founded by one of the state’s richest and most powerful men and named after his father) still struggles to be taken seriously in the North Carolina policy debate after years of effort, even in the current hard right political environment — namely, the ...

Pages