NCGA

Confederate monument watch: Guard posted in Alamance

It would be nice if they protected African-American citizens with such dedication:

The monument has been a hot spot several times in the past few years between those calling for the removal of Confederate monuments and statues of Confederate leaders from public property — especially after the 2015 mass murder of nine people at a church in Charleston, S.C. — and those rallying around what they call Southern heritage who want to preserve those statues and display the Confederate battle flag.

The Sheriff’s Office is working with Graham police to “provide manpower,” according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kirk Puckett. While he won’t give specifics, Puckett said someone will be there 24 hours a day “until further notice.” There have been no direct threats against the monument or the courthouse, according to Puckett.

While this Graham statue hasn't garnered nearly as much attention as Silent Sam, we've had a few clashes over it. We're also working to get some sort of monument erected in a corner of the square (not pictured) to a former slave who became a magistrate after the war, only to be lynched by the local version of the Klan. That project began shortly after I wrote this Op-Ed a year ago. Read it when you get a chance, it's a fascinating (and horrifying) story. But this current police presence is likely more about preventing pro-Confederate vigilantes from gathering than actually protecting the monument itself:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

"Face in the dirt" is very symbolic, I must say:

You know what? If they had moved that statue last year (or the year before that), it would not have come to this. The responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of those who can't stop fighting a war they lost 150 years ago, and those who were afraid to ruffle their feathers.

Piqued by the lack of attention, Dan Forest makes some noise

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Revealing the obvious, that he's running for Governor in 2020:

A big piece of North Carolina’s 2020 race for governor fell into place Thursday when Dan Forest gave his clearest signal yet that he’s running. This raises a number of questions, including: Who is Dan Forest? What has he accomplished that makes him qualified to serve as governor? And what’s next for Pat McCrory? Forest is North Carolina’s lieutenant governor and a Republican. On Thursday, he issued a statement reacting to the latest news on the I-77 tolls project.

“The I-77 toll road contract was a colossal mistake started by the Perdue administration, signed by the McCrory administration, punted by the Cooper administration and would be fixed by a Forest administration,” he said.

Bolding mine, because there aren't enough LOLs to cover how funny those questions are. The answers: Dan Forest is a marketable product with no actual utilitarian function. He's an artifact, created by political craftsmen to be the ideal (1950's) candidate. What has he accomplished? Less than nothing, but since it's hard to explain how his very presence has eroded the integrity of both his office and the voting public's discretionary skills, we'll just stick with "nothing." And I have to give a hat-tip to Taylor Batten, who is one of the few reporters acknowledging that lack of accomplishment:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Standing up for environmental justice:

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

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:

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."

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