Teachers reeling over Mark Johnson's abrupt switch to web-based reading assessment

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He sure does love to spend some money:

Earlier this month, State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson announced that he signed a three-year, multi-million dollar contact to switch all elementary schools to the Istation program to assess students under North Carolina’s Read To Achieve program. Istation will put children in kindergarten through third grade on a computer three times a year to test their reading skills, then print out reports for teachers.

In an email to teachers about the change, Johnson said, “Istation is a tool designed by teachers for teachers and has proven results of helping students grow.” But teachers across the state have taken to social media to urge people to contact state lawmakers and the State Board of Education to block the change.

This is par for the course for Johnson, spend money on crap teachers neither want nor need, like $6 million worth of iPads. I'm beginning to think he's one of those people who are easily impressed by a well-dressed salesperson who knows how to stroke his little-boy ego. I'll let Justin Parmenter take the reins on Istation:

Saturday News: Oh, Cabarrus...

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LARRY PITTMAN COMPARES LINCOLN TO HITLER FOR INVADING "SOVEREIGN" SOUTH: It started when N.C. legislator Larry Pittman compared Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis to a Democrat.It escalated after Tillis’ wife responded. And it boiled over Thursday when Pittman compared President Abraham Lincoln to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler — for the second time since 2017. “It was only a matter of numbers,” Pittman wrote on Facebook, responding to another Facebook user. “Lincoln was responsible for the unnecessary deaths of 800,000 Americans. Hitler was responsible for millions more. Both unjustly invaded and subjugated sovereign nations.” N.C. House leaders took a rare public stance against one of their own Thursday as they condemned Pittman, a Republican firebrand from Cabarrus County who has become known for making controversial remarks.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231792543.html

Friday with Ferrel: Education isn't enough

We need to widen the discussion if we want better results:

“Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and Wilmington are also expected to be the only three regions with more than half of the new jobs earning $30,000 or more in annual median wages,” say the Commerce analysts. “For remaining regions, most of the new jobs are expected to be at the lower end of the pay scale (less than $30,000).”

I'm jumping around a little bit here, but a good (long) look at economics in the overall child development picture is long overdue. That new jobs prediction above is pretty bleak, but it looks even worse when you consider a substantial number of those jobs will place families directly into the Medicaid coverage gap. In other words, despite all the cheerleading coming from Republicans and their consultants, things are getting much worse for those in the lower-middle. And that has a direct and profound impact on student performance:

Friday News: Just say "no" to coal

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GOVERNOR COOPER OPPOSES TRUMP EFFORT TO GUT CLEAN POWER PLAN: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he's against the decision by President Donald Trump's administration to replace rules that sought to limit coal-fired plants in the nation's electrical grid and their emissions. Cooper's office says the Democratic governor has "deep concern" over the Environmental Protection Agency's action to eliminate the Clean Power Plan championed by then-President Barack Obama. The rule signed Wednesday gives states more leeway deciding whether to require plants to make limited efficiency upgrades. Cooper said in a news release the rollback could allow coal-fired plants to pollute more. The governor has been pressing for lower greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy industry expansion in the state. He signed an executive order last year that aims to reduce emissions statewide and make state government more energy-smart.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-has-deep-concern-over-clean-power-plan-replacement/18465129/

Culture of Racism: Beaufort County Sheriff's Department

Welcome back to the 1950's:

According to the lawsuit, Franks, who served in the U.S. Army for four years, began working for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in July 2015. Beaufort County is on the North Carolina coast, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east of Raleigh. In November 2016, Franks said he was in a "deputy room" when Ragland pointed his loaded service weapon at his head for approximately 15 seconds and said "What's up (N-word)?"

Every time Ragland pointed his weapon at Franks, the lawsuit said, Ragland used the racial slur. Also, Ragland often referred to Franks as "monkey boy" and described his hair as "rhino lining" because of its color and texture.

And in case you're wondering if this is a he said/he said incident, another deputy got in trouble for reporting the harassment:

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