Potential third-grade retention crisis looms

By Matt Ellinwood More than half of North Carolina’s third-graders could be held back this year as districts work to implement the state’s new Read to Achieve law. The program’s goal of ensuring that all third-graders can read on grade level before being promoted to fourth grade...
Posted On 13 Feb 2014

Job seekers are not loafing

by Mike Walden Like most people, my grandparents struggled during the Great Depression of the 1930s. My maternal grandfather lost his life’s savings in a failed bank. Because he was a widower, his extended family wanted to take his children — including my mother — and raise them....
Posted On 06 Feb 2014

In a bottom-line world, let’s examine the bottom line

by Scott Mooneyham A top executive from a for-profit online education company has been making the rounds lately trying to sell the idea of a virtual charter school to state policymakers. Mary Gifford, who is senior vice president for education policy at K12 Inc., spoke to a study...
Posted On 06 Feb 2014

Rejecting Medicaid expansion a smart move

by Lee Brett When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, they mandated the expansion of Medicaid in all fifty states. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the mandate was unconstitutional, and made provisions for each state to decide for itself. North Carolina rejected...
Posted On 06 Feb 2014

N.C. got broad tax cut

by John Hood Did Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina legislature raise taxes on poor and middle-income families to give tax breaks to the wealthy? That’s the claim that a motley crew of liberal politicians, journalists, and activists has been trying desperately to peddle...
Posted On 06 Feb 2014

The Big Mo: Raleigh area’s success story

by Jim Tynen A new survey suggesting the future looks bright for the greater Raleigh area has important lessons for the whole state. Newgeography.org recently published a study of which metro areas have the most economic momentum as 2014 gets under way. The Praxis Strategy Group...
Posted On 30 Jan 2014

Trying to peer behind the legislative curtain

by Scott Mooneyham Throughout the debate of a sweeping voter ID and elections law bill, Republican supporters said it was an attempt to restore public confidence in the election process. Democrats, at the state and national level, called it a thinly-veiled attempt to suppress...
Posted On 30 Jan 2014

Lasting impression on DHHS

by Chris Fitzsimon One of the most interesting comments about last week’s announcement that Ricky Diaz was leaving his post as communications director of the scandal-plagued N.C. Department of Health and Human Services came from the department’s embattled leader, Secretary Aldona...
Posted On 16 Jan 2014

The mentally ill need care, not cops

by Lee Brett Recently another preventable tragedy occurred Jan. 5 in North Carolina. From WWAYNC News: “A Boiling Springs Lake father says his son was murdered by police this afternoon. Mark Wilsey called police when his 18-year-old, 90-pound son had a screwdriver that he would...
Posted On 16 Jan 2014

Let’s not kill all the auditors

by Scott Mooneyham Some community college presidents and trustees should probably answer a simple question: Do you pay attention to the larger world outside your own door? Last year, as the legislative session was winding down, the community college presidents and trustees in...
Posted On 16 Jan 2014

Smaller can be better

by John Hood Ideas that look desirable or at least workable on paper can prove to be unworkable or even disastrous when applied to the real world. Just ask the millions of Americans who, under Obamacare, have lost health plans they liked, been forced to buy more expensive plans...
Posted On 16 Jan 2014

News items, bad and good

by Russell Capps As one follows the news events from day to day, it appears the bad news means more to the media than any good news. As we address some current happenings, let’s begin with coverage of a bad focus. Highly-touted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has written books. His...
Posted On 09 Jan 2014