Voters in two N.C. congressional districts headed to the polls for special elections this week. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes results from the special 3rd District and 9th District races. Henderson looks ahead to possible implications for Republicans and Democrats running in 2020. Political polarization has had major effects on American political life. Thomas Cushman, professor of sociology at Wellesley College and a 2018-19 visiting research fellow at Wake Forest, examines the impact of polarization on support for free speech. Cushman says surveys show that young people divide on ideological grounds over whether to give precedence to inclusion and diversity over freedom of expression. Some state lawmakers want to make it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to take their alleged perpetrators to court. The N.C. House recently debated legislation designed to accomplish that task. You’ll hear highlights. Lawmakers also devoted some debate time recently to a bill that would streamline the process for students seeking college credit for their high school Advanced Placement courses. Some lawmakers objected to lauding the University of North Carolina System’s work on the issue. The specific objection involved near-automatic credit for students scoring a three or higher on AP tests. You’ll hear what lawmakers had to say for and against that idea. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction has released its latest report on public school students’ standardized test performance. In general, school and student performance is up slightly. Meanwhile, the state graduation rate remains fairly constant, and some education officials have raised concerns about areas of stagnation. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and director of education studies, dissects the numbers. Stoops focuses on the most significant trends.