Victims rights amendment: A wolf in sheep's clothing?

The N&O decided to weigh in on my belief that the Victims Rights Amendment would open the door to undermining abortion rights in North Carolina. Their "experts" seem to think that the amendment as proposed would be faithfully implemented by a well-meaning legislature and would have nothing to do with abortion. What the heck are those experts smoking and where can I get some?

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Standing up for environmental justice:

We need to see something like this happening every week (or day).

The GOP's national effort to stifle college voting

Using every trick in the book:

With fewer than 100 days until the highly anticipated midterm elections, and political activists and college administrators attempting to galvanize students across the country to go to the polls, the GOP-controlled government in New Hampshire did something unusual.

Governor Chris Sununu signed a law last month that required part-time residents to switch to permanent status if they want to vote, making it harder for students to participate. Democrats derided the move as a “poll tax” and a way to suppress the student vote, which is already the lowest among voters of any age in part because of barriers students face in registering.

This attack on Millennials and the earliest batch of GenZers can also be viewed as an attack on progress. Republicans know these potential voters bring to the table heightened critical thinking skills, a trait that is woefully absent in the traditional GOP base, meaning their shallow attempts to paint regressive policies as "good for the country" will fall on deaf ears. And the fact these efforts are underway in numerous states means it is orchestrated, and definitely not a coincidence:

Tuesday News: Not so fast, BergerMoore

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JUDGE RULES REPUBLICANS VIOLATED CHRIS ANGLIN'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: A judge threw out a new state law Monday, ruling that it violated the constitutional rights of at least two politicians whose 2018 campaigns the law had targeted. Chris Anglin, a Republican candidate for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court, had sued the legislature along with Rebecca Edwards, a Democrat who is running to become a district court judge in Wake County. Earlier this summer, the legislature passed a new law that would have prevented Anglin or Edwards from being able to have their party affiliations on the ballot. They argued that the law unfairly targeted them because their competitors in this November’s elections would still have their own parties listed on the ballot.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article216594950.html

Private school vouchers lead to lower math scores, even four years later

Not the kind of "choice" parents were hoping for:

In math, the results, which focus on grades five through eight, are consistently negative. Even four years into the program, students who use a voucher had lower test scores than public school students. In English, there were no clear effects. Here, there was some evidence that voucher students improved over time, though there were no statistically significant positive effects after four years.

The results, published this week in the peer-reviewed Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, are largely in line with an earlier version of the same study — with a key exception. The first paper suggested that declines in math disappeared for students who used a voucher for multiple years. The latest version finds that the negative effects seem to persist for at least four years.

No doubt Civitas and/or John Hood will quickly dredge up some study they can cherry-pick to refute these findings, but it's becoming more clear every day that both parents and lawmakers have been hoodwinked. We've gone from better than to just as good as to considerably worse than public schools, but the private school cheerleaders in Raleigh still want to shift more public education dollars into the gaping maw of this black hole. And the only possible explanations left for that continued support are 1) Racial segregation revival and 2) Misappropriation of taxpayer dollars. And as for "why" parents would continue to pursue this apparently substandard education for their kids, don't discount the power of bigotry:

Monday News: Another inconvenient truth

AL AND KARENNA GORE JOIN BISHOP BARBER ON TOUR OF POLLUTED POOR COMMUNITIES: Former Vice President Al Gore, his daughter Karenna Gore and former NAACP state leader the Rev. William Barber will be in North Carolina on Sunday and Monday for an environmental justice tour. The trio will start with a 9:45 a.m. worship service Sunday at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, where Barber is pastor. At noon Monday, they will hold a news conference at Belews Creek in Stokes County, which has been contaminated by coal ash. At 6 p.m. Monday, they will attend a Moral Monday meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church in Greensboro, where testimonials from people who live near polluted areas will be included in the program. The two-day tour is organized by the Poor People’s Campaign, which is the national movement that Barber has helped kick off.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article216521370.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LET'S LOWER THE CURTAIN ON THE NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S BAD SHOW: This is political and judicial theater that is both comedy and tragedy but, more importantly, a show that should not have taken the stage in the first place. These six potential amendments to the state’s constitution — two taking appointments from the governor, one requiring voters to produce IDs, one to lower the state’s income tax ceiling, one about rights for crime victims and one to be sure you know hunting and fishing are a right — are not worthy of constitutional status. You will hear and read that dozens of times between now and Nov. 6. They shouldn’t be on the ballot. Legislators rushed back into session to change the law so that they, not that commission, would write those descriptions. When Cooper vetoed that bill, lawmakers returned Saturday to override that veto. That generated the various lawsuits, which argue that those efforts mislead voters with imprecise wording.
https://www.greensboro.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/our-opinion-let-s-lower-the-curtain-on-the-n/a...

Looking a gift McCrory in the mouth

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"Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see McCrory adding his voice to the opposition of these amendments. But never forget (because I won't), after he lost his election, McCrory dutifully signed bills stripping power from the Governor-Elect, bills he would never have signed had he himself won. McCrory threw both our election process and our education system into turmoil on his way out the door, and they are *still* a big, stinking mess, going on two years later. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't get all dreamy-eyed over his new-found integrity."

Saturday News: Culture of disrespect

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TWO HIGH-LEVEL DPI STAFFERS SQUEEZED OUT BY MARK JOHNSON: Adam Levinson was made CFO by the State Board of Education in March 2017 following former CFO Philip Price’s departure back in February of 2017. State Superintendent Mark Johnson was opposed to his hiring, according to an affidavit filed as part of a now-resolved lawsuit between the State Board and Johnson. Stacey Wilson-Norman, who previously worked as deputy superintendent of academics at Durham Public Schools, was made chief academic officer of DPI in September of 2017. At the time of her hiring, Johnson opposed the Board making any new high-level hires until the lawsuit between he and the Board was resolved. Both Wilson-Norman and Levinson were effectively demoted as part of Johnson’s recent reorganization, with Levinson retaining his role but with less authority and Wilson-Norman being reassigned to the lower-level role of division director of curriculum and instruction.
https://www.wral.com/two-high-level-dpi-staffers-out-third-state-board-of-education-member-resigns/1...

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