Friday News: Widening the school-to-prison pipeline


NC GOP PUSHES FOR HARSHER SCHOOL SUSPENSION GUIDELINES: North Carolina Republican lawmakers want to toughen how school discipline is handled, but Democrats warn that a change could lead to more minority students being suspended and dropping out. The N.C. House approved legislation on Thursday that removes language from state law listing violations not serious enough for a long-term school suspension. That includes inappropriate language, noncompliance, dress code violations and minor physical alterations. Those four examples were added to the law in 2011 in a bipartisan effort to reduce long-term suspensions of more than 10 days. The belief was that if students were in school more, they’d be less likely to have poor grades and drop out when they fell behind.

Justin Parmenter on the GOP's "indoctrination" conspiracy theory


Grabbing a quote and running with it:

The Iredell County legislator ignored the overall point I was making about the challenges the pandemic has wrought for teachers and students, directing his tunnel vision at my opening words: “Not long ago I was leading a discussion about environmental pollution with my 7th grade English class…”

For McNeely, this line, which I “prominently displayed” in the state’s three largest newspapers, exposes a sinister plot to deviate from state standards in support of the leftist agenda.

I'm actually seeing this more and more with Conservatives these days. If they seem to be "listening intently" to what you are saying, don't make the mistake of assuming they're interested in the point you're driving at. They are simply waiting for some kind of "gotcha" element to pounce on, however trivial or out of context it is. It is intellectually weak to do this, and riddled with logical fallacies. But they don't care about stuff like that. Back to Justin's message about the proper approach to teaching:

Thursday News: Teacher witch-hunt continues


BILL WOULD FORCE NC SCHOOLS TO POST TEACHING MATERIALS ONLINE: The state House passed the “Academic Transparency” bill on Wednesday. It would require school districts and charter schools with 400 or more students to list online what instructional materials they used in the past school year. The bill now goes to the Senate. The North Carolina Association of Educators called the legislation “teacher abuse” and urged people to sign a letter asking the Senate not to pass the bill. “How does the NC General Assembly celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week?” NCAE said in its action alert Wednesday. “They pass a bill that undermines academic freedom and punishes creative teaching, of course. Sounds about right to us.” The legislation comes at a time when conservatives have grown increasingly suspicious about what is being taught in public schools. Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson created a task force to collect complaints from parents, students and teachers in public schools across the state about “indoctrination” in the classroom.

Apple in the Triangle and Social Justice - The same as it ever was

I’m a big Apple fan. I’ve bought into the company’s “walled garden” of devices, computers, and online services for several years. Sure, they’re a little more expensive, but they just work and are reliable. I’d rather spend my time work and using my computers and devices, rather than troubleshooting some weird little problem.

And, as a gay man, I applaud Apple for its long-standing workplace policies prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination.

You might think I’m excited about the big announcement that Apple is setting up shop and bringing 3,000 jobs to the Triangle.

I’m underwhelmed.

HB 749: Recruiting and retaining school psychologists

The need is greater now than ever:

North Carolina has 780 school psychologists serving one million five hundred thousand public school students.

North Carolina's ratio of school psychologists to students is currently 1 school psychologist for every 1,943 students, and the nationally recommended ratio of school psychologists to students is 1 school psychologist for every 500 students.

If you read my comment Sunday you would know that 1 in 5 (20%) Americans have a diagnosable mental health condition. That's 388 at-risk students per school psychologist, under our current horrifically understaffed system. Not fixing this would be criminally negligent, as it endangers the safety of all students (and faculty). It's also costly as hell, because many of those kids won't become a "productive" member of society and will clash with the justice system on a regular basis. In other words, for those of you who are empathy-deficient, not spending the money to fix this is a false economy. And this is why it's so important to tackle this on the state level:

Wednesday News: Rampant ignorance


NC VACCINATIONS HAVE DROPPED BY HALF IN THE LAST MONTH: In the week of April 5, over 680,000 people in North Carolina received a dose of the vaccine, with over 336,000 of those being first doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, both of which require two doses to be effective against the virus. This past week, administered doses were under 337,500, with just 92,000 of those being first doses, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. To get to two-thirds of the adult population with at least one dose, 1.3 million more adults in the state would have to get the first dose, a figure the state could reach in a month if vaccine numbers return to the early April level and stay there. “It’s really up to North Carolina about when we reach that,” Cohen said. “I’m hoping we can reach it as soon into the summer as possible, but it may take longer than that.”


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