In a couple of years, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will no longer offer education. The university, repositioning itself for budget realities and changing demands, will not be turning out undergraduates who will spread out to staff the state’s elementary and middle schools.
As the Fourth of July, that most patriotic of American holidays, approached last week, Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer on Fox News ginned up the specter of a patriotism crisis in the country.
Passion is more than an underrated word. It's an underrated way of life.
Nearly 40 years ago I met a community leader who would have a lasting impact on my life. He didn't know it then and neither did I. His name was Chuck.
The horse-race watchers in the national media couldn’t be more excited about the results of the North Carolina Republican senate primary Tuesday where state House Speaker Thom Tillis won the nomination by capturing 45 percent of the vote, handily defeating Tea Partier Greg Brannon and Charlotte minister Mark Harris -- both making their first run for public office.
When Republicans won their legislative majorities in 2010 and expanded them in 2012, they ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism and reform. They’ve largely delivered on it. Tax and regulatory burdens are lower. State spending growth has been restrained. Lawmakers have implemented major changes in transportation funding and education policy.
What is the best way to find out what the rest of North Carolina is like?
Of course, it would be best to leave Chapel Hill for a while and move to one of our state's small-town county seats, live in a house on Main Street; go to church on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings; sit down in the courthouse and listen to stories of petty crimes, marital breakups, and angry disputes between neighbors over property lines or arguments between former business partners; get a part-time job in the local convenience store; volunteer at the food bank; go to the high school football games, concerts and other events; watch the holiday parades or better yet march in them; take in a couple of county board of commissioners’ meetings; and so on.
Two letters long, it is arguably the most fruitless word in the English language, an evocation of paths not taken, possibilities foreclosed, regrets stacked high -- and it lies like a pall of smoke over President Barack Obama's Wednesday-night announcement that this country is returning to war, albeit with air strikes only, in a place we just left behind in 2011 after spending almost nine years, over a trillion dollars and 4,425 lives.
Two key concerns in our economy are unemployment and inflation. We want both to be low. When unemployment is low, more people have jobs and earn income. When inflation is low, the dollars we earn don’t lose purchasing power as fast. That is, our dollars buy more with low inflation than with high inflation.
Tucking into a dish of Scottish haggis is not a task for the fainthearted. There are various haggis recipes, but basically it is sheep's pluck -- the heart, lungs and liver -- cooked together, then mixed with suet and oatmeal and boiled in a sheep's stomach, then served, sometimes drenched with Scotch. People who pour whisky on oatmeal are not shrinking violets. Remember this on Thursday when Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom.
The headlines sounded great. 56 percent of our students passed their end-of-grade tests, compared to just 44 percent last year. A more thorough reading reveals the 11-point gain was a result of educators relaxing the scoring scale, making the tests easier to pass. It left us questioning whether we will ever know how well our students are performing.
My daughters had an exchange about tween boys two years ago. My younger daughter was complaining about her fifth-grade class. My older daughter asked: “Are the boys still making [flatulence] noises with their armpits?” Apparently they were. “Well,” she reassured her sister, “they will stop that soon, and then school isn’t so bad.”
There are a lot of competitors when it comes to listing and ranking the most hard-hearted and destructive acts of the last couple of General Assemblies and the first year and a half of the Pat McCrory administration.
Stacy Parker-Fisher of the Oak Foundation in Chapel Hill says it all started with this premise, “What if you took a public university system and you made it welcoming for students with learning differences?”