As Terry Stoops wrote, U. S. News could not highlight any schools from North Carolina in the “Gold” category, and none at all from Wake or Mecklenburg. This is consistent with Leandro, and the findings of Judge Manning.
While Wake seems to be doing a better job of educating “all” students, the truth simply is: Wake County does not have nearly the percentage of poorer students nor minority students found in Mecklenburg. Poorer and minority students perform somewhat similar in the two systems, when scores are disaggregated, and percentage of total system population considered. Wake has not seen as much “bright flight” as Mecklenburg, YET.
Speaking of high school football (not the weight problem, but the eligibility problem) - -
The Charlotte Observer has been investigating the eligibility of high school football players from highly visual, winning teams in Mecklenburg County. One aspect of eligibility has to do with grade point average, which is important since schools really do exist for academics and NOT athletics. However, another component of eligibility deals with student assignment and if the student resides in the correct boundary lines.
Seem students – and parents – are manipulating the system, even to the point of lying, so they can attend a school of choice. This reminds me of Prohibition – why not just allow for open enrollment and let folks attend where they want to go!
There you have it, school choice solves another problem!!
The first week of December marks the end of a major past time in North Carolina, High School Football. Next weekend the State Championship games will be played and hometown heroes will be adorned with glory. The Friday Night Lights mentality
does exist in a lot of small towns across the state. Though most
of the schools do not make it through the playoffs to get to play next
week, by the end of next July the pre-season workouts will be fading
into August practices in the heat. By that time, in towns across
the state in Diners and Coffee Shops people will be asking themselves,
"this could be the year our High School football team becomes state
That is why this article in the New York Times is so interesting. It seems that football players tend to be a little bigger than most other adolescents:
High school football rosters reveal weight issues that go beyond the
nation’s overall increase in obesity rates among children. Two studies
this year, one published in The Journal of the American Medical
Association and another in The Journal of Pediatrics, found that weight
problems among high school football players — especially linemen — far
outpaced those of other male children and adolescents.
Of course high school football players have always tried to become
better at the sport, and one way is by bulking up. A lot of
coaches have programs for athletes to hopefully reach the championship.
Here is the list of the top 100 high schools in the US, according to US News and World Report. North Carolina had no high schools in the top 100, the "gold" category. According to the list, the best high schools in North Carolina were:
A C Reynolds High - Buncombe County, Asheville, NC
Elkin High - Surry County, Elkin, NC
Murphy High - Cherokee County, Murphy, NC
Salisbury High - Rowan County, Salisbury, NC
Statesville High - Iredell County, Statesville, NC
Terry Sanford High - Cumberland County, Fayetteville, NC
In all, 34 high schools from NC made the list. These six schools were in the "silver" category. The remaining 28 schools were in the "bronze" category.
No schools from North Carolina's two largest counties, Wake and Mecklenburg, made the list. The ranking formula placed a strong emphasis on the performance of disadvantaged students. The NC high schools that made the list had a significant number of students, particularly disadvantaged students, that performed better than the state average on state tests.
Americans of means who fail to sign up for health insurance could find their wages garnisheed and their tax refunds withheld if John Edwards becomes president. ... Edwards did not give specific monetary amounts for the penalties he would impose on people of means who failed to sign up for insurance."
Yes, this is the same guy who wanted free tickets to UNC athletic events as part of his "anti-poverty center."
In his column today, Sheldon Richman contrasts two kinds of partisanship -- superficial partisanship (the kind that is exhibited by zealots for political parties) and profound partisanship (which is loyalty to a set of principles). He contends that we have a glut of the first kind and a shortage of the second.
He concludes, "The proper question is not 'Who should lead?' but rather, 'What makes us think that any political leader can makes things better than people interacting freely can?'"
Sheldon also takes a swipe at the ridiculous group calling itself Unity08.
Former Bush-administration official in the Department of Education, and current Vice President of the Fordham Foundation, Michael Petrilli wrote an interesting article published by National Review Online. Petrilli evaluated the education platforms and compared where candidates agreed. Interesting not much has changed regarding the overall Republican and Democrat education philosophy. “Democrats want more resources for the system, Republicans want to empower parents with more options. Yawn.” He compared a quote from Bush in 1999 and a quote the Obama:
Bush: “Now some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less — the soft bigotry of low expectations…. It is a scandal of the first order when the average test scores of African-American and Latino students at age 17 are roughly the same as white 13-year-olds’. Whatever the cause, the effect is discrimination. Children who never master reading will never master learning. They will face a life of frustration on the fringes of society….”
Obama: “I do not accept an America where we do nothing about six million students who are reading below their grade level — an America where sixty percent of African-American fourth graders aren’t even reading at the basic level. I do not accept an America where only twenty percent of our students are prepared to take college-level classes in English, math, and science — where barely one in ten low-income students will ever graduate from college…. This kind of America is morally unacceptable for our children. It’s economically untenable for our future. And it’s not who we are as a country.”
OK, OK - we all know the system is broken, but the education establishment and their political stronghold control the issue. Reform is much more difficult than political rhetoric.
In this IBD editorial John Edwards takes a pounding for the "mandate madness" of his authoritarian health care plan.
An interesting book I've just finished and will be reviewing, Professor John Murray's Origins of American Health Insurance, makes the point that a century ago "progressives" (now called "liberals") sought to replace voluntary worker associations called sickness funds with government programs such as existed in Bismarck's Germany. The efforts went nowhere because, Murray shows, the voluntary arrangements worked pretty well and many people -- including union leaders such as Samuel Gompers -- thought that mandatory, one-size fits all government policies would not serve workers as well.
Will Americans today fall for the socialist promises of better life through the nanny state that Americans of a century ago rejected? Let's hope not.
of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a
central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher
convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy
They were upset that she was only sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation.
It is an interesting article, particularly the discussion of the British response.
State Treasurer Richard Moore and other candidates for governor attacked one of Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue's relatively good ideas. Perdue has suggested taking the idea of BRAC - combining a number of small cuts into a big package that the legislature can only vote up or down with no amendments - and applying it to the state budget. I complimented the idea in op-eds and policy reports, but said that efficiency is too narrow a measure. Similar ideas have been proposed at the federal level.
Perdue has the better of this argument, a combined package of measures is the only way legislators can say "no" to special interest groups and lobbyists. If it were easier, the budget would not have grown 20 percent in the past two years or be at $20.7 billion today.
In today's Wall Street Journal, Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom write about historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). It's a most interesting article.
While only 10 percent of black students attend an historically black school, the Thernstroms report that "a remarkable 40% of all African-Americans with a bachelor's degree in the physical sciences and 38% of those who majored in math or the biological sciences, attended HBCUs." Their explanation is that black students who enroll at those schools "feel free to major in more difficult subjects, knowing that they will not be unprepared for the coursework." Furthermore, very few of the students at HBCUs are drawn into academically brittle fields such as the various identity studies programs.
This strongly supports Thomas Sowell's argument that getting students into a school where they are a good match academically is very important. It also undermines the "diversity" argument that vast educational benefits follow from making sure that every group in society is "represented" on campus. The black schools appear to be doing fine educational work despite a shortage of money and no hoopla about diversity.
Speaking of education, Hillsdale College professor Richard Gamble shares his thoughts about the “Great Tradition” in education, the subject of his latest book.
N.C. House Minority Leader Paul Stam and Joe Coletti respond to the recent defeat of land transfer tax proposals across the state, while Duke professor emeritus John Staddon compares traffic flow in the United States and England.
And Donna Martinez welcomes Chad Adams for the latest round of Locker Room Talk, a discussion of some of the best recent entries in this forum.
Results from the 2006 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) showed that 4th grade students in the U.S. had reading comprehension scores that were above the international average but fell well short of the top spot.
Ten jurisdictions had reading scores that were higher than the United States. Twelve jurisdictions (including Latvia and Lithuania) had scores that were not significantly different than the U.S., while 22 jurisdictions had lower scores.
Despite enormous increases in funding for literacy programs (and education generally), scores between 2001 and 2006 were not measurably different.