What am I missing in this story?

Will somebody read this bizarre article in the N&O and tell me what the hell the reporter is writing about?

State education leaders want to loosen the 100-school cap on charter schools to allow local school boards to free struggling schools of regulations.

Allowing more than 100 charters would require a change in state law. It's aimed at beefing up the state's application for Race to the Top, a federal education competition for billions of dollars in grants.

These would be new kinds of charters, converted from established schools and started by school districts rather than independent groups. The local boards would still need permission from the State Board of Education to run the schools free of many state and local rules that govern traditional schools.

I've been promoting a new kind of charter ... small schools run by school districts rather than independent programs ... so I'm interested in the idea. But who the heck are the "state education leaders" mentioned in the article.

Either I'm dense, or this is a very screwed up story.

Comments

Please help me.

I don't want to think the N&O is so far gone that a story can run with no substance behind it whatsoever.

DPI?

I don't know since the concept of who actually leads has always been kind of murky, SPI, State Board, DPI, Governor?

I'm a moderate Democrat.

I think ...

It is related to a statewide push on the right. Bearing fruit in Wake County, main coordinator seems to be the John Locke Foundation.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/04/12/433559/for-schools-a-bigger-agenda.html
and
http://www.raleighgawker.com/how-our-town-was-astroturfed
For players.

But it is bigger than Luddy/Wake/Pope, more than one member of the John Locke Foundation seem to be in on the "gold rush" to run charters with local school money:
http://www.carolinajournal.com/articles/display_story.html?id=5268
https://www.mastermindprep.com/content/our+unique+teaching+methods/1738
Are also charters with ties to JLF, but outside Wake.

The common tie is using Direct Instruction in charters linked to this push, since the scripted plans lower teacher costs.
http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2007/07/direct-instruction-learning-for-rats.html (hates it)
http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/teacherperceptdi.html (study liked it)
I'm not a teacher, it seems asking about DI becomes like a religious discussion, regardless of how you feel, it is very polarizing.

The other angle on the Wake BoE is the push for community school partnerships. One of the new majority members when asked what does he mean, can he give examples, responded with this district:
http://www.lincolnclc.org/who/lead_agencies.html
He worked as the fundraiser for the local chapter of one of those organizations when he was elected to the Board of Education.

The fact this push aligns with Arne Duncan's Race to the Top is simply fortuitous, but people here have been working on this push before he entered the picture.

That is my guess on the cryptic "State education leaders". I'd be very wary of raising the cap without strong rules on charter responsibilities and money oversight on the partnerships. I think there might be possibilities for great charter solutions, but there is a line of people on the right wanting to privatize and use public money for their planned businesses. That new kind, converted right by the school district just smacks of the new Wake BoE plans. Danger Will Robinson. Danger.

I can't get my head around it

but would this puzzle piece fit in?

from Democracy Now yesterday

“Wealthy investors and major banks have been making windfall profits by using a little-known federal tax break to finance new charter-school construction,” Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez write in the New York Daily News. “The program, the New Markets Tax Credit, is so lucrative that a lender who uses it can almost double his money in seven years.”

Um. School vouchers is the end game of course.

Then anyone who wants can use "GOVERNMENT" money to send their kids to the American evangelical version of madrassa's instead of having to pay taxes for public schools and then sending their kids to these religiously unscientifically focused mind control camps.

Oh, I know. That's just over the top funluvn! How could you write such a thing?

Because it's true?

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!