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Will Huntsberry has a great article in this week’s issue of INDY Week that takes a close look at all of the education reform bills being rammed through by mostly Republican lawmakers.

In particular, Huntsberry’s piece focuses in on how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has served as a playbook for ed reform in North Carolina, highlighting which bills are “ALEC approved.”

Take a minute, it’s worth a read…

The GOP’s free-market reforms are aimed at public education

Senate Bill 516, “Public School Regulatory Reform,” throws out requirements for maximum class size and minimizes other school district reporting requirements. If you read the bill all the way to the end, however, you’ll notice Part VII, titled “Eliminate Personal Education Plans.”

Personal education plans, or PEPs as they are widely known, have been around for more than a decade and are intended to help at-risk students in North Carolina achieve academic success. North Carolina law requires that any child who does not meet grade-level proficiency (he or she who scores a Level I or Level II on EOG or EOC tests) be eligible for a PEP.

PEPs aid parents, teachers and administrators in planning out the special interventions a student needs. These interventions can include, but are not limited to, smaller classes, tutorial sessions, extended school day, and alternative learning models.

Last year, Senators Tillman and Stein strengthened support for PEPs in their education reform bill. A call to Tillman’s office seeking an answer as to why he has changed course went unreturned. Read More

The N.C. House Select Committee on Education Reform will meet at 1 p.m. this afternoon, moving their meeting away from the N.C. General Assembly building to the campus of Wake Technical Community College.

But just what they’ll be talking about is still a bit of a mystery this morning, just a few hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin.

No agendas have been released to the public, according to the office of N.C. Rep. Hugh Blackwell, the co-chair of the House committee.

Update: Since we put up this post at 10:30 a.m. this morning, the agenda to the meeting has been posted. Click here to see for yourself.  A hat tip to Terry Stoops at the conservative John Locke Foundation for pointing out that the agenda items were released a couple of hours before the public meeting. 

On the agenda are discussion about a deaf student’s Bill of Rights, a Florida Advanced Placement initiative, articulation issues in higher education, school air quality improvements and higher education tuition comparisons.

And that means no clues to the public about what this group of legislators will be discussing, and who they’ll be hearing from.

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