After this ad, only Phil Berger knows for sure.
WRAL posted an article today quoting Roy Cooper talking about the 2012 Crime Statistics. The initial reaction to the 2012 Annual Summary statistics is one of joy. It looks like overall crime is on its way down in North Carolina, including juvenile crimes. If North Carolina is doing so well deterring juvenile crime why would we need to change the system?
Figures show that North Carolina juvenile crime fell by 12 percent last year, continuing a five-year trend that has seen the number of arrests among juveniles under age 18 drop by 30 percent since 2008. The overall crime rate decreased 4.4 percent last year, though the rate of violent crime ticked up slightly.
While there may be a little relief from the numbers in North Carolina we still need to be on edge with what is happening around the country. National figures on juvenile crimes by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveal that from 2002 to 2012, there has been a 143 percent increase in the number of rapes by juveniles. In the same period, figures of murders committed by minors went up by 87 percent while there has been a whopping 500 percent increase in the number of kidnappings of women and girls by minors.
Violent crimes are defined as murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault according to the report. Property crimes include burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Just because the crime rate has decreased in North Carolina of late doesn't mean that we should go softer on offenders or change legislation. State lawmakers should ensure the spikes in juvenile crime sweeping the nation don’t come to our state.
Gov. McCrory's statement to lawmakers as they adjourned the special legislative veto session gives conservatives a few things to think about.
The just completed budget was a banner year for those committed to true education reform. However, the governor sounds like someone who is less than thrilled with the outcome.
Too much education policy was slipped into the budget bill causing serious concerns especially from our teachers and educators. Executive branch concerns over long-term operational costs were ignored by passing bills with good intentions but unintended consequences, and overriding vetoes on drug testing and immigration.
The statement begs the question: If McCrory had significant reservations with provisions in the budget, why did he sign the legislation?
In an attempt to address one of his education problem areas McCrory also announced in the statement that he "found" $10 million in funds and he is urging the State Board of Education to use it ensure 3,000 individuals currently pursuing masters degrees will receive the pay differential when they graduate. The state budget included provisions to end payment of the masters differential for teachers. (For more on the problems with providing pay differentials for masters students, see here). The Governor's action circumvents the will the legislature and I suspect some may question the legality of the actions. I'm no attorney, but how is it possible for the Governor to re-appropriate public funds for a purpose contrary to legislative intent? You have to wonder what Republican legislators are thinking.
Finally, the governor's statement also included language restating his commitment to providing "testing relief for teachers by reducing the number of standardized tests, creating a local control option for our local education systems to innovate." Those are two goals I fully support. However the Governor's support for Common Core standards works against these goals and will make reductions in standardized testing and enhanced local control merely nice things to talk about.
Governor McCrory surprised officials at the State Board of Education today when he announced that the state will continue to award extra pay to teachers who hold advanced degrees. The extra pay was eliminated in the most recent budget, but the governor “found” enough money – over $10 million – in the state budget to fund it anyway.
But here’s the problem: there is absolutely no conclusive evidence to show that master’s degrees and other advanced degrees have any demonstrable effect on teacher effectiveness. That is exactly the reason why the extra pay was cut in the first place: at this point, it is an accepted fact that there is no link between advanced degrees and teacher performance. Even the left-of-center Brookings Institute has concluded: “In the area of teacher preparation, substantial evidence suggests that general graduate preparation does little to improve student performance.”
In other words, there is no clear link between advanced degrees and student performance. There is one exception: “Subject matter pedagogy may improve student achievement, but no evidence exists on most other aspects of pedagogy.” So, if a history teacher goes and gets a master’s degree in history, he or she might become a more effective educator. That makes sense – teachers who are subject matter experts are probably more passionate and knowledgeable about their subject than teachers who are not. More often than not, however, teachers obtain advanced degrees in education – not their specific subject area. As a result, state funds are effectively wasted.
Teachers work hard, and they should be compensated accordingly. But paying extra for teachers with advanced degrees is foolish: It will not translate to better results in the classroom. Instead of clinging to old, ineffective incentive programs, teachers should push for performance-based bonuses. Only by introducing competition is it possible to improve student outcomes and provide fairer teacher compensation at the same time.
WRAL has a blog post misspelling the name of Rep. Jim Fulghum:
Among Republicans, Rep. Jim Fulgham, R-Wake, voted against the measure both times.
Click on the image at right to see the original.
A quick survey of the "news" site's archives shows the same misspelling on a number of other posts, going back months.
Well, it's understandable. He's a conservative, so WRAL hasn't paid much attention to him.
When I studied journalism, getting a name wrong meant an automatic F. But the profession has gone downhill since then.