Category Archives: Child care/children/early childhood development

How to address the “troubling future” of NC’s children

In response to a new Annie E. Casey Foundation report, The KIDS COUNT Data Book, News & Observer editors write, These findings, released this week and reported by WRAL, should disturb all North Carolinians. The report should bother the state’s leaders, Gov. Pat McCrory and those who run the General Assembly. And it must prompt some fact-findingContinue Reading

NC legislature two steps ahead of the cursive “comeback”

According to Education Week, cursive is ready for a comeback.  The article offers an instructive anecdote. When an undergraduate in her university’s [University of Illinois] Rare Book and Manuscript Library asked for help with a manuscript she was reading, library director Valerie Hotchkiss assumed it was something difficult. An obscure Latin text, perhaps, or a letterContinue Reading

Obama’s school lunch crusade: A disaster for NC

Championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and passed in 2010, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was designed to provide more nutritious school meals for public school children.   In North Carolina, this well-intentioned piece of legislation has been a catastrophe, sort of like New Coke. This week, the N.C. State Board of Education will hear anContinue Reading

New Carolina Journal Online features

Evelyn Howell reports for Carolina Journal Online on the Republican primary in N.C. House District 95. John Hood’s Daily Journal argues that North Carolina kids deserve both a Smart Start and “Smart Finish.”

A top pre-K supporter offers interesting caveats

The latest Bloomberg Businessweek features an article on Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman’s advocacy for increased taxpayer funding of prekindergarten programs. Read just the headline (especially the online version’s declaration that “Early Childhood Education Benefits All”), and you’re likely to miss an interesting caveat included near the end of the piece. “If there are peopleContinue Reading

NEA Legislative Report Card released

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, released a report card that assigns letter grades to each member of Congress.  As one would expect, the grades are based on the member’s obedience to the NEA, which makes them pretty predictable. Liberals get good grades, conservatives get bad grades, and moderates get middling grades.Continue Reading

More schooling is not necessarily better

“Compulsory Education and the Benefits of Schooling” by Melvin Stephens, Jr. and Dou-Yan Yang examines the relationship between state compulsory attendance laws and outcomes such as wages, unemployment, and divorce. They conclude, “Our fi ndings show no evidence of benefits to additional schooling using variation generated by compulsory schooling laws.” (p. 16) The “compulsory schooling laws”Continue Reading

NC graduation rate increase – par for the course

John Hood pointed out two weeks ago, North Carolina is one among many states that are enjoying increases in their high school graduation rates.  The piece is wicked good. Harvard University duo Richard Murnane and Stephen Hoffman add an important analysis to the debate. In a study published in the June 2013 issue of theContinue Reading