Opinion: Guest Columnists

Jun. 26, 2014 @ 07:06 PM

Commitment to one school offers benefits

Recently my family watched our youngest daughter as she was promoted from elementary school.  Promotion ceremonies were going on all over Durham and are not the kind of thing that warrants front-page coverage.  What was significant for my family was that it was our ninth year learning, playing and growing at that particular school.  It’s a big change for all of us to leave our school community behind and to know that we are moving on.

Jun. 27, 2014 @ 07:10 AM

Changes needed to keep great teachers in classrooms

While this is not likely to come as news to any of us who have ever sat in a classroom, the quality of teachers matters a lot -- and not just because they can make a dull subject more interesting. 

Jun. 26, 2014 @ 03:02 PM

EPA court ruling is win for public

The Supreme Court's decision Monday wisely keeps intact the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate carbon emissions. The importance of that power for North Carolina was highlighted in an academic study published also on Monday.

Jun. 25, 2014 @ 01:10 PM

Senate jumping the judge

The state Senate recently approved what could be called the Judge Robert H. Hobgood provision.

Hobgood has been a thorn in the side to legislative Republicans this year.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Return to Iraq has a familiar look about it

As deployments go, this is a trickle, a tiny blip on a graph that has tracked the movements of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the past dozen years.

But it is significant nonetheless, because it's a return to a country where we'd already shut the door and turned out the lights.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 12:29 PM

A big idea -- the GI Bill -- turns 70

My family benefited from a “big idea.” After dropping out of high school to enlist in the Navy, my grandfather, Leonard “Mac” McLean, returned from the Pacific and enrolled in college.

Jun. 19, 2014 @ 02:23 PM

'Slow violence' against North Carolina schools harms us all

It has been another long year for North Carolina public educators and students. No teacher pay raises. Inadequate buildings and classroom supplies. State legislators attacking teacher job security and school budgets.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 11:52 AM

America's woeful health care ranking

Today, given everything the United States has going for it, there's no reason why American health care shouldn't be among the world's best.

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 11:29 AM

Diaper bank needs help to transition to ‘Operation Cover’

I can hardly believe only two weeks has passed since I walked into the Diaper Bank of North Carolina (DBNC) to discover the aftermath of a theft of 13,000 diapers, a loss that emptied our shelves.

Jun. 15, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

Local governments feel impact of tax, budget decisions in Raleigh

Local communities across North Carolina are already feeling the impact of recent tax policies and budget decisions made by state policymakers. A recent news article in the Greenville Daily Reflector quotes a Pitt County commissioner as lamenting with disapproval that “the state is pushing off on local governments what they should be funding.”

Jun. 14, 2014 @ 05:49 PM

A blueprint for school discipline reform

On June 3, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released a new report, titled, “The School Discipline Consensus Report: Strategies from the Field to Keep Students Engaged in School and Out of the Juvenile Justice System.”

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 02:16 PM

Climate change, the Outer Banks and cherished traditions

Since before I can remember, my family has been spending Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks. The tradition started when my mom and her siblings were young, and it has grown to include generations of relatives who live all up and down the Atlantic coast. Every year of my life, my family has stayed in the same house on Cape Hatteras. Every year, that is, except for the last one.

Jun. 08, 2014 @ 04:25 PM

Spanish people owe King Carlos a debt of gratitude

Spanish King Juan Carlos made the right decision to abdicate his throne. 

The 76-year-old long-time king suffers both from visibly ailing health and a plummeting approval rating. Of late, family members of his have been linked to economic and political corruption. And a 2012 elephant-hunting expedition to Botswana -- during which the king broke his leg -- didn’t help either, given its appearance as an offensive luxury during some lean years in Spain.

Jun. 07, 2014 @ 07:47 AM

Making sure we have enough doctors

This spring, 99 new doctors graduated from Duke University’s School of Medicine, where we serve as dean and vice dean of education. Another 190 master’s and doctoral students earned degrees from the school in health-professions-related fields.

Jun. 07, 2014 @ 06:32 AM

Durham Tech continues to build education-to-career pathways

While it remains a necessary first step, a high school diploma no longer serves as the credential that assures Durham’s youth of a self-sustaining job that pays a living wage. Entry into today’s workforce requires a skill set that includes job-specific aptitudes along with the ability to communicate effectively, work both independently and in teams, and a general understanding of critical workplace behaviors—the so-called “soft skills.” At Durham Technical Community College, we recognize the best way to provide our graduates with this combination of skills is through work-based learning opportunities.