Uncategorized

Conservative pols: NC’s “failing schools” are doing great

It’s been fascinating this week to listen to the state’s conservative political leadership try to spin the new graduation data released by education officials. Observers had to be careful not to get a case of whiplash from the 180 degree change in tone.

Here’s State Senate leader Phil Berger just three months ago in a statement that accompanied the release of his big “education reform” package:

“In order to fix our state’s broken education system, we must stop constantly reaching for our checkbook and focus on reforming our playbook.”

Got that? North Carolina’s education system was/is “broken.”

Compare that to the following statement sent out this week in a fundraiser by North Carolina House Republicans in response to the news that North Carolina’s high school graduation rate had exceeded 80%:

“Today’s graduation rate numbers prove that far-left Democrats are wrong on education. Our approach to education is working. “

 And then there’s this statement from House Speaker Thom Tillis as reported by WRAL.com:

“For the first time, more than eighty percent of North Carolina’s high school students are graduating on time.  This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our state’s students, parents, teachers, principals, and superintendents, and they are to be commended for their results.”

Wow! Quite a turnaround, no?

Here’s are two obvious truths on the matter:

1) North Carolina’s education system was and is not “broken.” It’s certainly flawed and/or threadbare in many places, but the conservative mantra of abject failure is, in a word, baloney. That’s why we don’t need to sell it off to religious institutions and for-profit vultures.

2) Improvements to a massive statewide public schools system take years to bring about. It’s like turning an aircraft carrier. Any positive changes we’re seeing in 2012 had their roots in reforms that were enacted years ago. The notion that budget cuts of the last couple of years helped spur improved graduation rates in 2012 is both laughable and transparently and painfully dishonest.

 

One Comment


  1. watauga lake cabins

    August 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Good points, I think the same could be said about every state’s education system. Seems if you look around you’ll see that every state has their flaws, but good to see graduation rates improve!

Check Also

The best editorial of the weekend

There have been a lot of editorials lamenting ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding [...]

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more