Private school vouchers lead to lower math scores, even four years later

Not the kind of "choice" parents were hoping for:

In math, the results, which focus on grades five through eight, are consistently negative. Even four years into the program, students who use a voucher had lower test scores than public school students. In English, there were no clear effects. Here, there was some evidence that voucher students improved over time, though there were no statistically significant positive effects after four years.

The results, published this week in the peer-reviewed Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, are largely in line with an earlier version of the same study — with a key exception. The first paper suggested that declines in math disappeared for students who used a voucher for multiple years. The latest version finds that the negative effects seem to persist for at least four years.

No doubt Civitas and/or John Hood will quickly dredge up some study they can cherry-pick to refute these findings, but it's becoming more clear every day that both parents and lawmakers have been hoodwinked. We've gone from better than to just as good as to considerably worse than public schools, but the private school cheerleaders in Raleigh still want to shift more public education dollars into the gaping maw of this black hole. And the only possible explanations left for that continued support are 1) Racial segregation revival and 2) Misappropriation of taxpayer dollars. And as for "why" parents would continue to pursue this apparently substandard education for their kids, don't discount the power of bigotry:

Monday News: Another inconvenient truth

AL AND KARENNA GORE JOIN BISHOP BARBER ON TOUR OF POLLUTED POOR COMMUNITIES: Former Vice President Al Gore, his daughter Karenna Gore and former NAACP state leader the Rev. William Barber will be in North Carolina on Sunday and Monday for an environmental justice tour. The trio will start with a 9:45 a.m. worship service Sunday at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, where Barber is pastor. At noon Monday, they will hold a news conference at Belews Creek in Stokes County, which has been contaminated by coal ash. At 6 p.m. Monday, they will attend a Moral Monday meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church in Greensboro, where testimonials from people who live near polluted areas will be included in the program. The two-day tour is organized by the Poor People’s Campaign, which is the national movement that Barber has helped kick off.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article216521370.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LET'S LOWER THE CURTAIN ON THE NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S BAD SHOW: This is political and judicial theater that is both comedy and tragedy but, more importantly, a show that should not have taken the stage in the first place. These six potential amendments to the state’s constitution — two taking appointments from the governor, one requiring voters to produce IDs, one to lower the state’s income tax ceiling, one about rights for crime victims and one to be sure you know hunting and fishing are a right — are not worthy of constitutional status. You will hear and read that dozens of times between now and Nov. 6. They shouldn’t be on the ballot. Legislators rushed back into session to change the law so that they, not that commission, would write those descriptions. When Cooper vetoed that bill, lawmakers returned Saturday to override that veto. That generated the various lawsuits, which argue that those efforts mislead voters with imprecise wording.
https://www.greensboro.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/our-opinion-let-s-lower-the-curtain-on-the-n/a...

Looking a gift McCrory in the mouth

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"Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see McCrory adding his voice to the opposition of these amendments. But never forget (because I won't), after he lost his election, McCrory dutifully signed bills stripping power from the Governor-Elect, bills he would never have signed had he himself won. McCrory threw both our election process and our education system into turmoil on his way out the door, and they are *still* a big, stinking mess, going on two years later. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't get all dreamy-eyed over his new-found integrity."

Saturday News: Culture of disrespect

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TWO HIGH-LEVEL DPI STAFFERS SQUEEZED OUT BY MARK JOHNSON: Adam Levinson was made CFO by the State Board of Education in March 2017 following former CFO Philip Price’s departure back in February of 2017. State Superintendent Mark Johnson was opposed to his hiring, according to an affidavit filed as part of a now-resolved lawsuit between the State Board and Johnson. Stacey Wilson-Norman, who previously worked as deputy superintendent of academics at Durham Public Schools, was made chief academic officer of DPI in September of 2017. At the time of her hiring, Johnson opposed the Board making any new high-level hires until the lawsuit between he and the Board was resolved. Both Wilson-Norman and Levinson were effectively demoted as part of Johnson’s recent reorganization, with Levinson retaining his role but with less authority and Wilson-Norman being reassigned to the lower-level role of division director of curriculum and instruction.
https://www.wral.com/two-high-level-dpi-staffers-out-third-state-board-of-education-member-resigns/1...

Victims rights amendment: A wolf in sheep's clothing

Of all the "blank check" amendments that will be on the ballot, the one that causes the most consternation among liberals is the so-called victims rights amendment. It sounds good, right? Why not extend special rights to crime victims? Who could be against that? In fact, a number of victims rights advocates have been criticizing the VOTE AGAINST campaign because, they argue, victims are special. I don't dispute that.

Trump blames California wildfires on government regulations, not Climate Change

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The sheer ignorance of this man is mind-boggling:

Sunday night, Trump, in his first comments on the wildfires that have raged for weeks, said the fires had been “made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount[s] of readily available water to be properly utilized.” A second tweet, on Monday, complained that water needed for fighting the fires was being “diverted into the Pacific Ocean.” In neither tweet was there mention of lives lost, the nearly 600,000 acres of woodland so far consumed and the 1,100 and counting homes destroyed.

Dumbfounded state officials dismissed the president’s remarks as nonsense. Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director of Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, said “we have plenty of water to fight these wildfires.”

Rivers eventually flow into the ocean. That's what they do, and that's what they have done for probably a couple billion years. Even elementary schoolchildren know this, but apparently Trump missed that somewhere between kindergarten naps and academy bone spurs. And in fact, California already has some 1,400 dams forming lakes, and would be hard-pressed to construct many more. But again, well over our President's head. It's no wonder he simply can't grasp the concept of Climate Change:

Friday News: Adding injury to insult

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MATH TEST KNOCKING OUT HUNDREDS OF NEW NC TEACHERS, EXACERBATING SHORTAGES: Pearson provides teacher license exams for 24 states, including others that have had controversy over low pass rates on math. But only one, Massachusetts, uses exactly the same math exam, company officials told the Observer Tuesday. And that state reported results similar to North Carolina’s, with 52.2 percent of first-time test takers passing in 2016-17. When repeat test-takers were factored in, the Massachusetts rate rose to 64.2 percent. North Carolina’s pass rate on the math exam was 54.5 percent in 2016-17, including 987 who didn’t try again after failing. Changes in the way North Carolina licenses its teachers came about after the state approved Common Core academic standards for students. Officials wanted to make sure teachers’ skills were adequate for the rigorous demands being placed on students, and that includes preparing children to master high-level math in middle and high school, Oxendine said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article216246840.html

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