Archive: Carolina Journal Opinions

  • Ensuring school and college work for career 

    The aspirational endgame of K-12 educators is producing “college and career-ready” students. Yet connections between school, college, and career remain tenuous. Many students are unprepared for college coursework because they don’t pursue a sufficiently rigorous high school curriculum. Once in college, they lack confidence that what they learn will benefit…

  • Tax reform that boosts K-12 choices 

    Funding private school just got a little bit easier. A provision in the new federal tax law expands the use of tax-advantaged 529 accounts to include K-12 tuition. Established 20-plus years ago, 529 plans were created to help families save for college and accrue tax-free earnings on contributions. Will expansion…

  • We’ll be seeing lots of 2020 Democratic hopefuls in N.C. 

    As we move into 2018, speculation over who will emerge as the 2020 Democratic nominee for president will begin in earnest.  In my view, the early front-runner is U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Independent socialist from Vermont. Coming seemingly out of nowhere in 2016, Sanders gave Hillary Clinton a…

  • Grades, not tests, are the bellwether for college success 

    It’s a new year, launching another new and notoriously nerve-wracking season of college admissions testing. High school juniors are hoping they’ll dazzle admissions officers with their smarts, savvy, and content mastery, but what will their test scores really demonstrate? Does a high ACT or SAT score reveal readiness for college…

  • Screen media and the evidence on early learning 

    Toddlers with tablets are trendy. So long, stacking and playing; tapping and swiping are the shiny skills of early childhood. As apps, platforms, and streamed content proliferate, parents and educators are left to ponder how screen media impact early learning. Does media immersion inspire bursts of techno-genius? Or does it…

  • Are congressional Republicans the gang that can’t shoot straight?

    Watching from outside of the Washington Beltway, it seems the Republican leadership in Congress is incapable of organizing a two-car funeral, let alone enacting major reform or passing significant legislation. Exhibit No. 1 is the pathetic attempt by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…

  • Schools need (social) capital

    One thing I’ve learned from my North Carolina public school education and my private college experience is to support arguments with data. And in hyperpartisan political times, it’s important to separate facts from fiction. Let’s be clear: For the most part, our schools are adequately funded. In the News &…

  • MS-13 a threat to North Carolina 

    When most North Carolinians think of terrorism, ISIS and al-Qaida come to mind. But there is another form of terrorism closer to home — right here in North Carolina — and that’s the violent, vicious street gang known as Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. If you’re not familiar with MS-13, according to Wikipedia, the gang originated in Los Angeles. It was founded in the 1980s by Salvadoran immigrants who came to…

  • Sen. Burr working quietly to keep North Carolina safe

    I recently had the opportunity to interview U.S. Sen. Richard Burr for my public affairs program “Front Row” on UNC-TV. In full disclosure, I have known Richard since 1992 when a mutual friend introduced us and asked me to help with paid media in the waning days of his campaign.