Submitted by scharrison on Tue, 04/02/2013 - 12:16pm
We'll start with a fresh debate about grading schools:
LindsayWagnerNC 10:25am via Web Langdon: I hear what you're saying, but I don't think it works that way. Teachers don't go to a school because of their score. #ncga #nced
Of course they do. Some of them, anyway. Nobody is going to walk into an occupation without at least trying to assess the difficulty of the job beforehand, and teachers are no different from the rest of us in that respect. A low grade for a school denotes a lot of challenges, and not all of them are in the classroom:
Often, when people talk about Big Government, we think of George Orwell’s Big Brother: controlling, manipulative and sinister. In North Carolina, though, Big Brother is more like Biff Tannen, the bully from Back to Future: dumb and mean with a chip on his shoulder.
There are so many troubling things about Senate Bill 337, an N.C. charter school bill unveiled last week, that it’s hard to know where to start. But this item stands out like a sore thumb: The bill would remove the requirement that at least half of a charter school’s teaching staff be certified, or be college educated.
Well, most of them teach right out of the book anyway, so...wait a minute. We don't have enough money for new books, either. Well, as long as they check these new degreeless people out first before they put them in the class...wait a minute. We're not going to do that anymore, either:
Agencies like DENR, whose responsibilities include developing and enforcing environmental protections relating to water pollution, are falling short. And as long as lawmakers in Raleigh continue to reduce funding for these agencies, remove experienced regulatory oversight board members, and weaken regulations aimed at protecting the public health, federal standards may be the only buffer to prevent devastating and often irreversible impacts reaching every corner of our state.
The driver of this irresponsible behavior is not ideology or confusion over scientific findings, it's nothing more than simple, garden-variety greed. Instituting best practices in the handling of fossil fuels to limit toxic contamination costs money, and any elected official who actually believes industry can be trusted to ethically self-regulate with their profit margin hanging in the balance is naive at best, and criminally negligent at worst. And when it gets to the point where elementary schoolchildren are taking up your slack:
Submitted by scharrison on Sat, 03/30/2013 - 10:36am
Winner of the "worst person for the job", that is:
A. L. "Buddy" Collins is an attorney and a longtime member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board of Education. He has clashed with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) over the years surrounding the group's efforts to stop bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
And just as the top-down bigotry at the school board snowballed and had a terrible impact on LGBT students who were supposed to be "under their care", moving this bigot up to the state level could have a similar effect from the coast to the mountains:
Whereas, there is an unemployment crisis in this State, with many citizens in need of work; and Whereas, it is in the best interest of the State to maintain clean and safe roads and highways as well as to help provide employment opportunities; and Whereas, the creation of "Hero Crews" employed to combat roadside litter will be a step toward both cleaner roads and more employment. The Department of Transportation shall establish the "Hero Crew" jobs program from available funds. Hero Crew members shall be temporary State employees compensated at rates to be determined by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.
It appears the braintrust of the NC Senate is either hemmorrhaging or has a massive tumor. Senator Allran seems to think throwing in action words like "hero" and "combat" will somehow add some shine to giving people the "opportunity" to pursue a career in a field normally dominated by prisoners, but I doubt this pig will stand still long enough to allow a ribbon to be tied on it.
A proposal to muzzle the Public Staff of the state Utilities Commission grew out of an email exchange between a staff attorney and noted climate change denier John Droz. The sponsor, Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, a friend of Droz, didn’t mention that detail Wednesday in a hearing on the legislation.
Of course he didn't, because he knows Droz is several sandwiches shy of a picnic. It's not for certain when Droz wandered from the trail of reason into the land of make-believe where fossil fuels are renewable and Madison Avenue (for some reason) decided to trick us into believing that clean energy makes sense. But I'm pretty sure I know why Droz started tilting at windmills:
The centers still would receive $7.2 million annually, while Golden Leaf would receive nothing going forward. Art Pope, the state’s budget director, said Golden Leaf and the two centers have “cash already on hand” to fund their programs and don’t necessarily need at this point an annual replenishing.
It's not "annual replenishing", it's a court-ordered disbursement. The Foundation was created in the first place to make sure those monies were specifically targeted to create/enhance non-tobacco-related commerce, and to keep that money from being utilized for projects that don't create new economic engines. Here's the breakdown of those targeted funds:
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