It might be 2013 but folks are still trying to ban books  in Brunswick County. Doug Clark at the Greensboro News & Record has an interesting take  on the reaction by legislative leaders to the latest lawsuit by the NCAE , this one challenging the end to due process rights for teachers.
Also in the education world, national news sites are starting to notice all the problems with the school voucher scheme passed by the General Assembly this year, the latest of which Lindsay Wagner documented last week here  at N.C. Policy Watch.
Mother Jones picked up the story  Tuesday and today the Huffington Post is reporting  on the lawsuit against the voucher scheme. The New York Times has an editorial today  about why teachers seem to do better overseas. Here is a paragraph about Finland which is especially interesting.
These schools stand out in several ways, providing daily hot meals; health and dental services; psychological counseling; and an array of services for families and children in need. None of the services are means tested. Moreover, all high school students must take one of the most rigorous required curriculums in the world, including physics, chemistry, biology, philosophy, music and at least two foreign languages.
The Times editorial makes some leaps in logic though, as education guru Diane Ravitch eloquently points out on her blog. 
And finally, an interesting interactive look at a campaign to cut poverty in half  in the US in the next ten years, which would do wonders for the academic achievement for millions of kids in low-income families. The site allows you to break down poverty indicators by state. Here’s North Carolina’s page and not much of the news is good.
And now without further ado, here is your musical selection, which as you know is normally from either someone who is coming to North Carolina in the near future or is celebrating a birthday.
And it just so happens that Keith Richards is 70 today. So here is Keith, not with his Rolling Stone mates, but with Willie Nelson, Hank Williams III and Raleigh’s own Ryan Adams a few years ago with “Dead Flowers,” which might be best known in some circles for the version recorded by the late great Townes Van Zandt  that was featured in The Big Lebowski .
Say what you want about Keith Richards, he might be 70, but the dude abides. Happy humpday before Christmas.