Why democracy needs higher education


The defunding of public higher education currently underway across the country is troubling for many reasons. It is more than just bad policy: gutting public higher education weakens the democratic principles upon which our society is founded—specifically, liberty, equality, and civic participation. Democracy thrives on liberty, and liberty requires free minds. This is [Continue Reading…]

North Carolina should not abandon its commitment to individualized education


Earlier this month, Governor McCrory signed legislation that ends the practice of providing Personal Education Plans (PEPs) to students who are at risk of academic failure. Though probably an unavoidable step given the flawed and sporadic use and implementation of PEPs, the decision raises real questions about the future of individualized learning plans [Continue Reading…]

Veto overriders flex their muscles


North Carolina’s General Assembly has muddled through many undistinguished moments since conservative Republicans took charge four years ago. Now, with an ongoing cascade of wrongheaded decisions, it’s adding to that disappointing and even destructive list. Gov. Pat McCrory, also a Republican but one who wants to be seen as more of a moderate, [Continue Reading…]

State leaders lack urgency, outrage over well water contamination near coal ash ponds


There’s something in the water down here in Goldsboro. For some of my neighbors, that something is cobalt, manganese and even hexavalent chromium – a known carcinogen made famous by the Erin Brockovich scandal in California and the subsequent Hollywood movie. Seven households in the Rosewood neighborhood have been informed by state environmental [Continue Reading…]

The conservative budget wars


Let’s admit it – we were fooled. We never realized that the N.C. House of Representatives, with Republicans firmly in charge, was a nest of liberals. At least that must be how Bob Luddy sees it. Luddy, a highly successful Wake County businessman (his company makes commercial kitchen ventilation equipment), is an outspoken [Continue Reading…]