A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the intersection of race and opportunity and finds that in North Carolina, children who are white or Asian are in a better positioned for success than black, Latino and American Indian children.

The report examines 12 indicators — such as high school graduation rates, teenage birthrates, employment prospects, and family income — to determine a child’s success from birth to adulthood.

In North Carolina, using a single composite score placed on a scale of one (lowest) to 1,000 (highest), Asian and Pacific Islander children have the highest index score at 746 followed by white children at 687. Scores for Latino (347), American-Indian (364) and African-American (346) children are distressingly lower.

“North Carolina’s future prosperity depends on our ability to ensure that all children can achieve their full potential,” said Rob Thompson, director of communications for NC Child. “By 2018, children of color will represent the majority of children in the United States, and as our state’s demographics follow suit, it’s more important than ever to create equitable opportunities for children of color.”

Thompson notes that public policies that promote access to high-quality early learning opportunities and alleviate financial hardship for working families can improve opportunities for children of color.

He also points to the expiration of the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and cuts early childhood programs like Smart Start and child care subsidies as policy decisions that will increase the barriers for many children of color in North Carolina.

To see how North Carolina fared on the 12 indicators used in this report compared to the rest of the country, click on the graphic below:

 

Annie E cASY MAP

 

WheatiesHope you ate your Wheaties this morning! This is going to be a busy Monday – so try to keep up!

First, today is the final day for open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.  Chris Fitzsimon’s Monday numbers column has a fascinating look at the ACA as we get down to the wire.

Of course, there will always be some folks who think the ACA should be repealed. Among them, Senator Richard Burr who is speaking at a Raleigh luncheon at this hour detailing his replacement ideas in the  Burr-Coburn-Hatch Health Reform Plan.

But here’s one number to keep in mind at the health care debate rages on: 9.5 million. That’s the number of Americans previously uninsured who now have gotten health coverage under Obamacare, according to a new analysis.WSJ-3

Let’s stick with one more number before we scoot on to what else is happening today. And that number is 11,300.

That’s the number of jobs North Carolina lost in February.

Yes, our unemployment has fallen in the past two months, but The Wall Street Journal notes that North Carolina led the U.S. in job losses last month.

What else should you be watching today?

The State Board of Education is holding planning and work sessions today and tomorrow at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Members of the NC Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force meet this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. to discuss alternative teacher pay models that could be linked to student performance.

Judy Kidd, President of the Classroom Teachers Association of NC, is a member of that task force. Kidd joined us over the weekend on NC Policy Watch’s radio show to discuss tenure and teacher compensation. Kidd also shared her thoughts on Governor McCrory’s pay proposal that rewards new teachers, but does not (as of yet) extend to veteran teachers.

Click below for an excerpt from that interview or here for the full 12-minute segment.

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The Statesville’s Record & Landmark reports that local education officials there are also skeptical of the governor’s ideas for teacher pay, which he outlined last week during the annual meeting of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce.

3-31-14 NCPW cartoonThis evening Charlotte’s City Council holds a special meeting to discuss how to handle the vacancy in the mayor’s office. You’ll recall last week, Patrick Cannon resigned his duties after he was arrested on charges of public corruption.

Charlotte Observer editorial page editor Taylor Batten’s has an excellent piece – 10 takeaways from the Cannon allegations- that everyone should read as the Queen City tries to regain its footing.

And  the NC NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement will join with environmental and health experts this evening for a town hall in Eden, as they focus on coal ash disposal and the clean-up of the Dan River.

Finally, we’ll close out Lunch Links with a little Herb Alpert. The gifted trumpeter/bandleader is celebrating his 74th birthday today. Enjoy!

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Earlier this week Indiana’s governor signed a law opting out of the Common Core State Standards. As NC Policy Watch’s Lindsay Wagner noted, Indiana – one of the very first state’s to adopt the standards – had just become the first to pull out.

Today ThinkProgress reports that the committee appointed to draft new standards for Indiana is close to embracing some of the very same guidelines they earlier rejected:

‘A ThinkProgress comparison of the education guidelines reveals numerous instances where the draft Indiana standards are copied word-for-word from the Common Core.

For instance, both sets of 12th grade standards seek to “Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics” and “Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.” Numerous similarities exist at other grade levels as well:
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State education officials admit that the Indiana guidelines are modeled on “several sets of previous expectations, including the Common Core,” potentially undermining opponents’ claim that the standards themselves are inappropriate. Instead, the drafting process seems to imply that concerns about the federal guidelines are more political in nature.’

For an in-depth look at how the Common Core is being received in North Carolina, be sure to read Wagner’s piece: Dissatisfaction with Common Core State Standards crosses political lines.

The committee charged with reviewing the CCSS in our state will make their final recommendations to North Carolina’s General Assembly by April 25th.

With just a handful of days left in the open enrollment period, health care advocates are urging uninsured North Carolinians to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

On Thursday the White House announced that more than six million Americans have now signed up for coverage under Obamacare. In North Carolina that number tops 200,000 who have applied for private insurance through the federal health exchange. Ninety percent of those residents will qualify for financial assistance, according to Health and Human Services.

Sorien Schmidt, North Carolina’s director for Enroll America, joins us this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss the fast-approaching March 31st deadline, and what the ACA means to people who now have health coverage for the first time.

For a preview of that radio interview, click below:
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For those who missed NC Policy Watch’s Crucial Conversation with Dean Baker on the state of the economy and getting back to full employment, the full program is now available online:
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