Opinion: Guest Columnists

Feb. 07, 2015 @ 06:26 PM

End to gerrymandering for legislature could happen

Many readers probably received a recent email greeting from Congressman David Price. It opened by saying, "I am honored to return to Washington to represent North Carolina's Fourth District in the 114th Congress."

Feb. 05, 2015 @ 02:43 PM

“Letter Grades” ignore good things happening in schools

Let’s imagine a football game between, say, the Bulls and the Bears with some tweaked rules. When the Bulls have the ball they get to start their drives at midfield, but whenever the Bears take the offense they have to start back on their own 20 yard line. If the Bulls win the game 21 to 14, which is the better team?

Feb. 04, 2015 @ 05:11 PM

School grades: Let’s fix brakes, not make horn louder

As we were discussing today’s release of the North Carolina School Performance Grades, one of my colleagues told me a quote from comedian Steven Wright: “My mechanic told me, ‘I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.’”

Feb. 01, 2015 @ 12:53 PM

First steps key in long journey to eliminate poverty

I would offer the following seven  comments on the Jan. 31  storyby reporter Ray Gronberg in The Herald-Sun headlined, “Coalition lawyer criticizes call for drug crackdown” and statements attributed to Ian Mance, a lawyer for the Southern Coalition for Justice.

Jan. 29, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

Making the guarantee of Roe v. Wade a reality for all

This January marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in which the Court established that the constitutional right to privacy encompasses the right to choose whether to end a pregnancy. Each year around this time, we reflect on how the decision dramatically bolstered women’s health and dignity. But too often we overlook the reality that the legal “right” to abortion care is meaningless if it’s been restricted to the point that it’s out of reach. 

Jan. 24, 2015 @ 11:53 AM

Closing achievement gap requires collaboration

Wes Moore is a best-selling author, Rhodes Scholar, White House Fellow, decorated Army veteran, host of “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and social entrepreneur. Moore is committed to helping the parents, teachers, mentors and advocates who serve our nation’s youth, and he believes deeply that the solution lies in “interconnectedness.”

Jan. 23, 2015 @ 02:49 PM

School board vote invitation to ‘think big’

I am happy that the Durham community has taken on the challenge of career readiness and career pipelines for all of our young people--especially ones who have not traditionally been given a fighting chance for a quality career path because of obstacles and challenges in their lives.

Jan. 22, 2015 @ 04:45 PM

Watch coal ash removal closely

As the state and Duke Energy begin to implement plans for cleaning up the coal ash ponds that have caused so much distress in North Carolina, constant monitoring and thorough review is required. This is a complex problem with many factors yet undetermined. Officials need be ready to respond to events on the ground - and put more safeguards in place when required.

Jan. 22, 2015 @ 10:42 AM

Ballots versus the billions poisoning elections

The nation’s first Republican president explained what democracy ought to be: a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. But Abraham Lincoln’s vision will remain a distant mirage if a money-drenched elections system devalues individual American’s votes by auctioning off legislative seats, governors and judges to the highest bidder.

Jan. 17, 2015 @ 01:35 PM

New Year’s resolutions for people, places, things

I am ajumble with reflections, two a direct result of a six-hour return trip from Washington, D.C., and one an indirect result of that trip.

Jan. 17, 2015 @ 08:54 AM

Three leaders, but how many agendas?

One of the most interesting moments of the 2014 legislative session came in front of the Executive Mansion late last June, when Gov.Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis appeared together with education advocates at a rally to tout a new teacher pay raise proposal that differed sharply from the plan the Senate was pushing.

Jan. 15, 2015 @ 02:29 PM

Army gets wake-up call on urgency of cyber-security

With a clandestine assault, the intruders breached defenses at the Army's secure perimeter and infiltrated a secure area. We know this only because they used the military's own computer system to taunt us and broadcast classified information on the whereabouts of retired generals living near Fort Bragg.

Jan. 15, 2015 @ 12:17 PM

Cities play key role in state’s economic development

As the North Carolina General Assembly convenes for another legislative session, cities and towns across the state face an uncertain future. In recent years, many of our larger cities and the towns in close proximity to them have seen some of the largest increases in population growth in the country. Dozens of other North Carolina towns have experienced population losses as traditional manufacturing jobs have moved away.

Jan. 10, 2015 @ 11:20 PM

Building infrastructure – pay me now or pay me later?

My wife recently bought a new car. Well, not exactly “new new,” but “newly used.”  Some experts say this is the best way to purchase vehicles because you get an almost-new car without paying for the excessive depreciation that occurs when a brand-new car is driven off the lot.

Jan. 10, 2015 @ 10:55 PM

School woes aren’t werewolves

Because of the tremendous benefits conferred by better education, it would be great if policymakers knew precisely what silver bullets to fire to eliminate obstacles to higher achievement.