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Diane Ravitch sums up the current state of the education debate perfectly in her latest piece in the New York Review of Books, a blistering critique of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

We will someday view this era as one in which the nation turned its back on its public schools, its children, and its educators. We will wonder why so many journalists and policymakers rejected the nation’s obligation to support public education as a social responsibility and accepted the unrealistic, unsustainable promises of entrepreneurs and billionaires. And we will, with sorrow and regret, think of this as an era when an obsession with testing and data obliterated any concept or definition of good education. Some perhaps may recall this as a time when the nation forgot that education has a greater purpose than preparing our children to compete in the global economy.

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The following excellent editorial on mandatory photo ID laws for voting is cross-posted from this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal:

“Voter suppression, typically aimed at racial and ethnic minorities, the poor and women, has a long and sad history in the U.S. Even today, attempts to erect procedural barriers to frustrate voting continue in North Carolina.

House Bill 351, which requires photo identification at the polls, passed the General Assembly but was vetoed by Gov. Bev Perdue in June. It stands only five votes short of a House veto override and then almost certain Senate approval. Read More

The circus that is the Republican presidential primary campaigns rolls on, with every day bringing more bizarre and extreme claims from candidates desperate to motivate the far-right activists.

That’s not just a liberal claim. Mainstream publications are pointing it out too. Check out this column by Rick Ungar on Forbes.com over the weekend.  Here’s how it begins.

You have to want to be President awfully badly to purposely scare the hell out of parents whose children face illness and disability in their lives. You also have to be a perfectly despicable human being.

In case you missed it this weekend, the Charlotte Observer’s Sunday editorial took House Speaker Thom Tillis to task for kicking peaceful protestors off the second floor of the Legislative Building last Thursday. The first paragraph says it all.

The special N.C. legislative session that convened Thursday didn’t feature another sneaky, post-midnight vote on controversial legislation, making a mockery of transparency in government and the public’s right to know. But House Speaker Thom Tillis still managed to shunt the public aside last week with another ill-advised move.