Dear Daughters – It may be time to leave North Carolina

 North Carolina Education System Failures

 

Hello girls. It’s Dad.

I apologize for what I’ve got your family into.

When we move to North Carolina in late 1996, we were excited about the possibilities.

The cost of living was reasonable, the lifestyle was calm and relaxed, the school systems appeared to be in a mode of improvement. All of this while businesses were growing and changing as Tobacco, Furniture and Textiles were on the way out. Everything seemed positive to us.

However, I failed to notice that one of the most important aspects of living here is quickly going to pot.

I am afraid of the North Carolina Education System Failures

The North Carolina Public Schools are failing your children, my grandchildren.

I am embarrassed to tell people that I live in Davie County NC. The bickering, drama, personal attacks and narrow-minded opinions regarding building a new Davie County High School is pathetic. I quietly weep when I hear parents in this county say, “we can’t have two football teams” or “It’s not fair to build a new high school in the northern part of the county where all the ‘rich’ people moved” or “I don’t have any kids in school, I’m not agreeing to a new school.”

I am embarrassed at how Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools administration treats their Pre-K programs. I am appalled at the way WSFCS treats these teachers, assistants and the development programs of these students. Forcing these Pre-K and Kindergarten students to learn in ways that they are not developmentally ready to learn, (i.e. not being allowed to play, explore, experiment naturally) is unacceptable to me. Trying to bring in math & reading programs into Pre-K classes is setting up our youngsters for educational failure.

There are many North Carolina Education System Failures I see setup to negatively affect your children, my grandkids, including:

  • rapidly increasing and even unaffordable insurance benefits for our educators
  • requiring our educators to pay the school system when you use an earned personal day.
  • no raises in six years and the expectation that there will be no raises in 2014. As I understand it NC is now the 48 lowest teacher pay state in the nation.
  • increasing class size with no limits while reducing the number of assistants
  • the elimination of the teaching fellows, a great program for attracting new highly trained teachers.
  • the continuation of the three years probation period with no licensure renewal benefits and other limits that career educators do not have.
  • Merit pay programs tied to unproven and disparate measurements

Is anyone else worried about the North Carolina Education System Failure?

Regularly I hear our government civil servants tell us they are working hard to build our economy by encouraging businesses to move their operations to North Carolina. I can’t help but believe this economic development work is like a house of cards. How do they entice any great businesses to join us in North Carolina while at the same time ignoring the pressing needs of the school systems?

The most recent failure is when our Governor Pat McCrory gave his staff pay raises in a time when every other civil servant is asked to do more for less. I applaud Aldona Wos, of Health and Human Services of declining the pay raise and pledging to work for $1.

Girls all of these issues and the lack of belief that anyone has a good plan to correct what I refer to as a failing education system worries me. I am afraid of what will happen to your children, my grandchildren.

I have started doing research to find a state that has a better vision than North Carolina. Yes, other states are facing the same budget constraints, however, I’m sure there are smarter people in our Nation who have found a way to keep education as one of the top priorities in their state.

I’d rather not move or have you move out of North Carolina, there are lots of great reasons for living here. However, the future of your children and my grandchildren is my priority.

Dad

Cowboy Bob

A cowboy named Bob was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses, and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”

Bob looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peaceful herd gazing nearby and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bob says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”

“You’re a Congressman for the U.S. Government”, says Bob.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing required.” answered the cowboy. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep.”

“Now give me back my dog.”

AND THAT FOLKS IS WHAT THE PROBLEM IS ALL ABOUT.