Gov. Roy Cooper promoted his first State of the State speech as an effort to find “common ground” with the legislature. Meanwhile, Senate leader Phil Berger’s response to Cooper blamed the governor for sabotaging efforts to reach common ground on the high-profile issue of House Bill 2. Rick Henderson, Carolina journal editor-in-chief, assesses the significance of Cooper’s first primetime address as the state’s top chief executive. Those who want to shift nonviolent 16- and 17-year-old criminal offenders from North Carolina’s adult court system to the juvenile system are making another push toward that goal this year. The “Raise the Age” campaign moves forward as North Carolina has seen notable improvement in its juvenile crime rate in recent years. William Lassiter, the deputy commissioner who oversees juvenile justice in the N.C. Department of Public Safety, offers details about juvenile crime in North Carolina and touts potential benefits of the Raise the Age campaign. North Carolina public schools have seen a decline in their dropout rates over the past year. The N.C. State Board of Education recently reviewed the data. You’ll hear highlights along with the board’s reaction. Thanks in part to a widely lauded Broadway musical, American Founder Alexander Hamilton has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. But many of those singing Hamilton’s praises misread his political philosophy. Richard Salsman, visiting assistant professor of political science at Duke University, explains why Hamilton, a “classical liberal,” set the stage for today’s right-of-center political thinkers rather than the progressives who have championed him in recent years. Gov. Roy Cooper’s State of the State address singled out several public school teachers for special recognition. Among them was a Raleigh high school teacher who spends money from her own paycheck to buy school supplies. Cooper didn’t mention that the teacher earns $65,000 a year, thanks in no small measure to recent pay increases supported by the Republican-led General Assembly. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s director of research and education studies, sheds light on the state of teacher pay in North Carolina. He also highlights the difficulty of compiling accurate data about the amount of money teachers earn for their work across the state.