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Carolina Journal Radio No. 923: Cooper, Robinson to offer contrasting N.C. visions

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2021 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 923: Cooper, Robinson to offer contrasting N.C. visions

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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January 25, 2021 8:00 am

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson could present very different messages to N.C. voters and taxpayers in the years ahead. The two men previewed a divergent path during their public swearing-in ceremonies in Raleigh. While Cooper complained about the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, unaffordable health care, and unequal opportunity, Robinson emphasized the state’s successes. He pointed to his own story as North Carolina’s first black lieutenant governor. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, assesses the contrast between Cooper and Robinson. Prospective Asian-American students sued the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over its admissions policies. The suit came as no surprise to Kenny Xu, a political commentator and author of An Inconvenient Minority. The book documents similar race discrimination lawsuits challenging admissions policies at Ivy League schools. Xu shares highlights from his work. He compares the Ivy League story with the situation at Chapel Hill. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby has taken his oath as the top officer in North Carolina’s judicial branch of government. During his first speech as chief justice, Newby shared details of his judicial philosophy. He also explained why court personnel need to work hard to reopen courtrooms in the wake of COVID-19. Major N.C. universities have problems with pervasive sex discrimination. But it’s not the type of discrimination you might expect when you hear those words. Adam Kissel, former deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs at U.S. Department of Education, documented the problem in a recent report. Kissel shares highlights of the report prepared for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges since last spring for parents of school-age children in North Carolina. Some of them turned to “learning pods” to help address students’ struggles with online learning. Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation, assesses families’ experience with learning pods and other innovations sparked by COVID-19.

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From Cherokee to current attack from the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public-policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio I Muskoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our stick perspective.

Asian-American students sued, you would see Chapel Hill over its admissions policy will chat with the author of a new book titled inconvenient minority explains why this suit is similar to others targeting Ivy League schools that suit focuses on racial discrimination. Major colleges in North Carolina also display clear cases of sex discrimination. That's according to a recent report to learn details North Carolina has a new state Supreme Court Chief Justice, you learned about his judicial philosophy along with his desire to get courtrooms open again. Plus will discuss how North Carolina families are coping with learning pods sparked by the covert, 19 pandemic.

Those topics are just ahead.

First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline North Carolina's two top statewide elected officials are now getting to work. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, and Lieut. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican, were sworn in earlier this month, but these two leaders old a very different views on and of course are of opposing political parties, it could make for some very interesting debate ahead.

All of it to be followed by Carolina Journal Rick Anderson, editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal Rick welcome back to the show so is Andrew. Dan reported for Carolina Journal. These two have very different views of the state in a kind came out in their remarks at their their swearing-in ceremonies as well. Right. Gov. Cooper is going to be very much the calm, stay the course.

We have to get to the pandemic.

North Carolina's best days are ahead of us but we have to go through everything is going to look over 19. First, it was verse. It was all somber and Mark Robinson's was much more enthusiastic, upbeat, we can conquer anything that that sort of that which is very much is the character that he is demonstrated throughout his campaign, and now I as he becomes Lieut. Gov. as well as of this stroke is a stark contrast they have Artie had a first official meeting a council of state meeting and apparently the two personalities came out. That's right, the he was not Mark Robinson was was very much himself at the meeting, but he was not at all bombastic. He was just extremely upbeat admitting well you know what I'm still trying learn away around here. I'm still hiring staff is still getting with you getting my feet wet here but really ready to roll and essentially saying that that he had a lot of hopes for what was going to happen in the term to come and plan to work as actively as possible to generate some enthusiasm in the general assembly for his agenda and to see what he can do within the limitations of the office of Lt. Gov., which pretty strict right job is one where you typically just make of it what you wanted me it's it's a really big bully pulpit which based on his personality and Hallie's campaign and how he came to the public for being a person who made a name for himself in the triad area before city Council. It sounds like a position that actually he might really relish to be able to speak out on lots of things.

Yes, I think you have that opportunity to do that. I think you think you advantage of those opportunities to the difference of contrast is very stark between the role and the relationship that Gov. Cooper had with Dan Forrest. The relationship that McCrory had with them for snow. Both Corey and Gov. Forrest Republicans but also McCrory basically gave Dan Forrest a fairly large portfolio of issues that he could work on. He didn't have any direct control over them, but certainly was allowed to investigate them to look into them to Corrine do some fact-finding to use the bully pulpit to argue for expanded school choice for deregulation for lower taxes of boosting the economy through the private sector's marketplace, not so much by using government incentives and things like that so that was different than what's happened with the with Cooper and Forrest who were very much at odds now with Cooper and Robinson. It will be interesting to see who tries to contain this case because I would imagine Gov. Cooper from trying to ignore Mark Robinson's much is possible. Mark Robinson is someone who probably will not be easily ignored. Gov. Roy Cooper. He is starting his second term.

He has a much much different personality than the new Lieut. Gov. does. And of course he has been much more public for the past nine months or so because of the press briefings during the covert, 19 pandemic but prior to that he was just incredibly low-key.

So these two really couldn't be much different. What you expect from Gov. Cooper, in his relationships Allen with Lieut. Gov. but with the general assembly. This is a fascinating Tron for the generals in this particular session because it will almost certainly consume most of the year they are supposed to. The budget out by June 30 for the next fiscal year next biennium, but because of redistricting reform because of the covert, 19 pandemic and the fact that the that the stakes are going to be dealing with with rolling out the vaccine deciding how to handle schools and colleges and things like that, more than likely the early months, the Gen. assembly's terms going to be consumed with data that will certainly affect how Gov. Cooper handles his agenda as well so there will be opportunities for them to work together on some issues and I would imagine they will also the covert issues they're going to butt heads on the limits of the emergency management act. I'm sure though but had some some spending matters, which is a concern because we don't yet have at least as of this taping we don't yet have our budget projections from either the state budget office or from fiscal research with division of the legislature and that's really important because they don't have much money you have to spend precisely so that's going to slow down any kind of formulation of the budget. So Cooper is going to probably have 30 probably keep his head down as much as possible how much you will directly negotiate with the legislature remains to be seen. He did a lot of his negotiation for the cameras previously. Not a lot of actual work of him going over and talking to them or inviting them over to the mansion at his office, so we'll see if that changes.

Now, because publicans actually have more strength in general simply overall for the election. Let's talk more about the emergency management act that you mentioned.

Now I'm even said earlier that when it comes to the Lieut. Gov.'s role itself kind of nebulous, and in the person who holds the office make separate what what he wants it to be the governor's office. Of course, and there's a quite a description and in the North Carolina Constitution and we have seen Gov. Cooper really interpret the emergency management act in the role of the governor in a very muscular way.

Essentially that he has sole power to do certain things in a very long duration will you see the Lieut. Gov. speak out about reining in the powers of of the governor, not just Roy Cooper but of any Gov. of North Carolina that's going to be a big part of what Lieut. Gov. does in the next session and the challenge that that anyone has been trying to rein in the emergency management act is a first of all, Gov. Cooper is going to veto it. And so it will require an override of his veto very difficult to do. There may will need to be some sort of constitutional amendment which would then give each side something if there were some sort of way of amending the Constitution to limit the governor's emergency powers so that it would apply equally whether a Democrat or Republican was in control of the Gen. assembly and/or the executive mansion but yeah, that the, the, that's a good to be a big issue because the governor has you simply gone to the Council of State for concurrence is most provisions. The emergency management act require what it was to his advantage and when it was to his disadvantage. It's just cited provisions of the emergency management act is seem to give him a little more flexibility to act unilaterally pretty interesting because there has been a lot of pushback. As you know, during the pandemic to the robust use of that act without the approval of the Council of state. One wonders if there's an appetite during the pandemic to address that, or to wait until things have subsided. The public health crisis is over before the Gen. assembly would want to even get into it possibly be what we may also seize we may see more court cases and we may see more action by the courts to federal level, the state level because in the federal courts. Now the US courts are starting to get a little bit impatient with governors were just unilaterally shutting down their states without going for some sort of additional oversight. All of it covered by Carolina journal at Carolina. Journal.com Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief. Thank you, thank you say with this much North Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind.

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We shine a light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot on the Carolina journal.com once, twice, even three times a day won't be disappointed. It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for daily email do that Carolina journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you folks back Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy a lawsuit against UNC Chapel Hill challenges the way the University uses affirmative action in undergraduate admissions.

A group called students for fair admissions argues that UNC uses race illegally.

The process gives preference to black and Hispanic students over white and Asian American students watching this case with a great degree of interest is Kenny Hsu.

He is a commentary writer and author of a forthcoming book about similar discrimination cases involving Ivy League schools welcome to the program you so much for having me Mitch, your expertise on this topic is not in the UNC case, but before we get into the cases you've looked into what's happening now on the Chapel Hill campus has some similarities to what took place at Ivy League schools.

What you need to know about the UNC Chapel Hill admissions case is that it's being sponsored. The plaintiffs are the same organization that are sponsoring the Harvard case. So the nationally known Harvard case where students are fair, admissions sued Harvard University for discriminating against Asian Americans there bringing the same lawsuit to UNC Chapel Hill, which has adopted the same or similar race conscious admissions policy that they're accusing UNC of discriminating against Asian Americans. Okay, so there are some similarities. Now let's get into the. The area that you have spent a lot of time researching and are putting together. In book form. Tell us how you first got involved with this case of the Ivy League discrimination. Sure, absolutely. You know I was raised in a highly educated community when I was young I was raised in Princeton New Jersey everybody around me wanted to go to Ivy League colleges.

Obviously, people viewed college admissions with a certain level of interest and it was always very obvious to the Asian American community that I release discriminating required them to achieve higher levels on standardized test scores and grades in order to get any traction with them whatsoever was always obvious, but when the case captured the national attention. I think in 2018, when the US District Court took up the case students for fair admissions versus Harvard that's when I started to think about the larger consequences of the diversity ideology that is being used by the schools to advance a system where they can legally discriminate against certain minority group and basically the arguments that you correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic argument is if we had a colorblind system. These admissions offices would allow, admit more Asian American students in the system that they use keeps Asian Americans out to the extent that they're trying to bring in more other types of minority students. Yes, that that's that's a good that's a good point there is this there is a framework of theory now, especially among you would you would call it the educational crowd that is starting to suggest that Asian Americans are not people of color. For the purposes of policy.

In that sense, Blacks and Hispanics are the people that are better victimized that need to be given preferences and whites and Asians are the ones who should have to make those trade-offs now. Harvard's policy, saying that there is no which actually it's funny. The District Court agreed with which said that there is no race neutral workarounds to increase its diversity and its populace. I would challenge that because I would give the example of the University of California system under proposition 209, which bans race preferences, which actually was. Just recently a 2020 election reaffirms despite a popular challenge.

Actually the UC system is one of the most diverse in the nation has won the largest concentration of Latinos largest concentration. Blacks largest concentration of Asians as well and they band race preferences were speaking with Kenny Hsu, who is a commentary writer and author of a forthcoming book about discrimination cases involving Ivy League schools, before this Harvard case reached national prominence you think many people outside of the Asian American community who were the victims of this novel or who were targets of this policy. Did they realize this may not. Most times you you hear about affirmative action.

You think okay whites discriminate against Blacks for years and years as a way to help help deal with that Asian Americans. I think for most people probably weren't even part of their calculation right right ends. I think it's part I think in terms of Asian Americans in politics. Asian Americans have always have never have never achieved the level of political, you could call it charisma or success that other minority groups have. I think that is only starting to change, but the groundwork for that is being laid laid out and with this case but I would say that an example to use of another minority being targeted historically through affirmative action policies are Jewish Americans because Harvard has a history of exclusion, not just against Asians but also against Jewish Americans. They in the 1920s when Jewish-American stereo started to really calm and apply to these top schools in the Harvard enacted a policy where they would judge people on their so-called character in the so-called personality and determine the Jewish Americans do not have the so-called leadership traits that would enable them to become a Harvard man, and so they limited Jewish applicants. Even back then and there doing the same thing with Asian applicants today, so a lot of people who are listening to us will have read about this case in the paper yet what sorts of things are they going to find in your book that will help flesh out the story.

That's a good question. I think you're going to find a couple of things you going to find psychologically what happens when race preferences is widely known and ingrained within a certain community.

So when Asian Americans know and as we have for over 20 years. It's it's an open secret that Harvard and elite colleges and even places like UNC which is an elite IV you know, public IV would do these kinds of policies against them. It affects us psychologically, it affects the way we look at ourselves and makes us say okay well maybe this isn't the society of the American dream that our parents came and immigrated to this country to to live at the idea that you should be treated on the basis of the content of your character, not the color of your skin. That ideal is in danger. So I investigate a lot of a lot of the lasting long-lasting consequences of the left's diversity ideology in our culture and what you hope comes out. Of all of the six there's the Harvard suit.

The UNC suit. Perhaps others in the future if other schools are are engaging the same sure thing what you hope is the ultimate outcome. I think it's I think it I think it should at the very least give us pause about the racial narratives that we are enacting upon ourselves today as a culture, I think there is this there is this idea that if you are white your privileged. If you are black you are oppressed in this country and there's a systematic narrative, but what what are you going to do with Asian Americans. Asian Americans are not white people have vastly different experiences.

A lot of them came to this country with no money and yet they have been able to achieve a modicum of academic and socioeconomic success that people would traditionally attribute to white people. What are you going to do with this inconvenient minority, so to speak. While certainly a very important topic and one that you will hear much more from out of Kenny Hsu. He is writing a book on the discrimination cases involving Ivy League schools were also seeing a similar case right now involving UNC Chapel Hill Kenny thanks much for joining so much Mitch talking a lot more on Carolina journal radio just a moment. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina conservative.com it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement@northcarolinaconservative.com. You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education James G. Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com. Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else.

Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal.

Don't wait for the morning newspaper. Don't wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal. Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke NC and at Carolina journal. Who knew you could shop and invest in freedom at the same time it is true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shop using the Amazon smile program and designate the John Mott foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop Amazon donates money to pass the John Locke foundation hears how long time to smile.amazon.com Amazon smile is the same Amazon you know same products and same prices. But here's what's better is on donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon smile purchases to the John Mott foundation. Be sure to designate as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy.

You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to smile.amazon.com today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation will go back Carolina journal radio why Michiko got the North Carolina Ct. system has a new leader.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby. He won the job after unseating appointed Chief Justice Sherry Beasley by roughly 400 votes in the November election, Newby shared his philosophy and top priorities. After taking the oath of office served with for chief justices 13 associate justices not counting the two colleagues.

Join us today through all these experiences, the lessons I've learned and through ongoing contributions of my colleagues on this court and throughout our legal and judicial system humbly undertake to leave this branch polar star is our Constitution begins with we the people's social contract is our Declaration of Independence reminds me we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal and endowed by our Creator endowed by God was certain I will rights, life, liberty and happiness, and that government is instituted among people to protect our fundamental rights and freedoms as Lincoln famously said were government of the people and by the people or the so much of our constitutional principles date back to 1215 in the Magna Carta.

Article 1, section 18 Open Ct. provision in article 1, section 19, which is our law of the land provision of both draw heavily from the Magna Carta. Article 1, section 18 which is again emphasized by article 4, section 9 says the court shall be open and that justice shall be administered without favor denial or delay. Section 19 talks about our due process guarantees as well as our equal protection that is constitutional requirement. The court shall be open and open courts available for all the citizens is not a luxury. It's a mandate.

Nonetheless, how do we operate in the midst of our global and US local pandemic with regard to code. That is the great stress of our times, as we seek to protect our public health of our courthouse personnel and fulfill our constitutional mandate. Because of this, I believe that all people in our local court houses should have a priority with regard to the vaccines to fulfill our constitutional mandate that the court shall be open for the goal of each one of these justices as well is every official of our justice system is equal justice for all. That's Chief Justice Paul Newby of the North Carolina Supreme Court in his first speech after taking office Newby serves as the top elected official in North Carolina's judicial branch of government will return with more Carolina journal radio and where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes and@johnlocke.org/podcast headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right, like Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time that's listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to headlock@johnlocke.org/podcast or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation. Welcome back Carolina journal radio why Michiko got North Carolina universities have problems with pervasive sex discrimination.

It's not the type of sex discrimination, you might expect when you hear those words.

A new report from the James G. Martin Center for academic renewal documents. The problem its author joins us now. Adam Kissel is a former deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs at the US Department of Education.

He's also held senior posts with the foundation for individual rights in education, the Charles Coke foundation philanthropy Roundtable and cardinal Institute for West Virginia policy so people might read your reports title and think oh there's some problem with discrimination against women. That's not what you're talking about termination of in some cases, some universities is even a nation in favor of girls and boys, or programs of bring those kids to so generations ago. Some of the schools that were talking about were all male and one coed and then something happened between 50 years ago and today were the patient turned in the opposite direction. And now there programs in the business schools in the stem fields and elsewhere that limit or exclude them entirely from the program and are only for women or advertise in such a way that they are really clearly shown to be just for the court looks at some major schools in the state. The three largest universities in North Carolina are UNC Chapel Hill and Charlotte, NC state to largest private universities in the state are Wake Forest University and when I looked at the programs that are available. I thought all five of them quite a large number of programs that are limiting man or excluding the other open or advertise really, that's tens of thousands of students as well as faculty and staff. In some cases, who are affected by these limitations. So were talking about just the first 5.biggest five.

I think we went down the list of the rest of the UNC system. Other institutions and other private institutions, and Carolina find a lot of the same thing is really disappointing that when I used to work pervasive values that intentionally because disappointing finding that the state is right with discrimination is clear.something hiding beneath the surface. The name of the program. In many cases is has the word women wearables and women of color will save girls when it will be an acronym where one of the letters and the acronym is about.

So there's really no question.

If you're a boy or a man.

We are the parent of a boy thinking this program for me and the program is called women in leadership to the registration page and it says this is for women who want to learn more about leadership that you're really not supposed to register your house most of you there back in some cases, if you try to register. They probably say you were chatting with Adam Kissel, author of the Martinson report, titled pervasive sex discrimination at North Carolina universities.

Some people are going to say these programs are good. Women have been historically underrepresented. You say these programs are against the law against girl walleye sense that if you're getting any federal aid from education department in your violating title IX of the education of 1972 say no one may discriminate on the basis of sex.

After getting federal money then you can't be doing that and so you have a choice. You can sound rather discriminate and not take federal money. But that means you're not participating in the student loan program.

That means you're not participating in graph programs. So it's a very high cost to you.

If you say I would rather describe nobody is in fact the only institutions that help title IX exemptions are doing it on Linda's grounds and you can argue whether or not they they were there living out the religious ideals but your secular institution and want to have a program that is the only can do it and also take federal now get discriminate on the basis of sex in state laws as far as I know, probably also at the county level probably also the city level and all those let you do it every single one of these universities is a very strong statement against discrimination on the basis of sex as its own policy and violating his own policy by having beyond your report you filed complaints involving for the five universities when I worked at the US education Department under learn how government works a little bit and I learned how that officer civil rights works a little bit and I understood that OCR the officer civil rights complaints about discrimination very seriously. So if you send in this patient complaint they are going to take it seriously and work with the institution to resolve it. So I filed a complaint about sex discrimination against, or out of those five universities only reason I didn't file against University was that Markarian AEI scholar Esther himself had already filed and there is the national coalition for men Carolina so that already filed against UNC for some of the programs I found a dozen more needed to be adjudicated by OCR the attention of the public to this report, as well as the so it's important for listeners and viewers to know if you are seeing sex discrimination on any campus documented that he should send in the complainant to go to the Martin Center's report and you can see the link where you away to start the process is actually very simple. You just you know your complaint and the documentation for saying what your name available or not available in the new.it's worth doing for the sake of equity and equality for men and women also if you see something that's discriminatory on the basis of race, color or ethnicity, and so on. Not religion to get us out of that OCR's review at the federal level should file complaints thereto way for universities to address this goal of helping women without running afoul of the law, you can tell the difference very quickly and easily. If you know what to look for between the University who has had a General Counsel through the programs are designed mainly for 11 and gotten the language right in the participation rules right one that has I don't think any of those five universities that we been talking about how happen but just an example, a college, I looked at today in New York.

Look at the programs that are just that are designed to be about helping women. It says open to everyone. The name of the program might say, while the name of the program says women in business or leadership you really want to invite everyone who has an interest in the way of your mammon you want to go you can know it might be 99% or hundred percent women who go to some lease they know that they have met have not been limited or excluded so universities can very easily programs that focus on women that are not exclusive report and one that has spawned complaints against a number of North Carolina's largest public and private universities. It's title is pervasive sex discrimination at North Carolina universities its publisher. The James G. Martin Center for academic renewal. The author is Adam Kissel he's a former deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs at the US Department of Education. Thanks for joining us more charm with more Carolina journal radio really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Locke foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms in the past decade here in North Carolina.

So while others talk or complain or name call.

We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the envy of every other state research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you are. Expand your choice of schools for your kids.

Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina. We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio Donna Martinez there called learning pods and their use is expanding his parents seek out ways to make sure that their kids are actually learning during covert, 19 time. Of course, when many kids have been forced into online learning environment that may well work for some, but not for all secretary stoops is the director of the Center for effective education at the John Locke foundation.

He's been following this issue during covert, 19, and joins us now to talk about it Terry, welcome back to the show. Thank you is a learning pod has a work with her some disagreement about exactly what constitutes a learning pods but generally it is when one or more parents get together with with other families and provide some sort of educational opportunity for the children in the respective families. Now it could be that the parents of the ones that are actually conducting the instruction they could be that those parents pool their resources and hire teacher to provide the instruction and sometimes it could be in person or another times it could use online resources and virtual education to provide instruction, so there is really no definite definition of what a learning pod is except for the fact that it is an informal arrangement that is parent driven and parent created for the benefit of one or more families as we have dealt with the covert, 19 pandemic for 910 months now you've been following closely. What's been going on with parents trying to educate their kids in school systems trying to determine are they sending kids to online learning are they coming back to school or what what have you found us to the prevalence of these learning pods being developed. Well, that's the that's the million-dollar question because we really don't know how many pods there are out there. How many students are engaged in this sort of instruction and mostly that's because if they have registered themselves as home schools than that's those are numbers that are only released in July of every year so will maybe see a large increase in home schools that are reflected in the learning pods increase in learning pods. The use of learning pods if they register themselves as private schools were in the same situation that we won't know those numbers until July and in my maybe hard for us to differentiate between a conventional private school in a private school that is functioning as a pod. So we really don't have good numbers about this. We can assume that there are probably a few thousand students, maybe even more in North Carolina that are engaging in this type of instruction. The main place you find out about it is on social media. If you go on Facebook. In particular, you can see that there are people that are recruiting students for learning pods that are talking about their learning pods and talking about how beneficial beneficial they have have been for their children.

It sounds almost like you are describing homeschooling but it's just got a different name to it and people now have been sort of knowledge to force step pushed into trying to find an option like this because of covert, 19, is it really just more of an outgrowth of homeschooling. Well I think it's inspired by homeschooling the home.

North Carolina's homeschooling statutes only allows a homeschool to have no more than two families.

So if there is a pod that has more than two families and technically it would be a private school thoughts. We also have co-ops that many homeschool students engage in these are basically cooperative enterprises where homeschool families get together and they provide services for each other's children. It could be that some of these pods are functioning as co-ops in the larger homeschool community and that's why get so difficult in defining what these are. Because there are so many of these different arrangements that parents have especially homeschool parents have, to be able to provide a rich education for their children. And this is a great thing by the way they this is really what we want parents so engaged in their child's education and so willing to provide alternative arrangements for that education that their coming up with creative solutions for their child and for the children of other families.

I think this is a really great development and I believe truly that's an outgrowth of North Carolina's rich expansive homeschool environment. You're right it's tough to define To quantify, but it really is exciting because what it says to me at least, is that parents because he been forced to have this one-on-one relationship with their kids in terms of education because of covert 19th suddenly discovering things about their kids and their discovering resources and Terry.

Could this be sort of the tipping point, so to speak. That will push the school choice movement in North Carolina even further down the road of opening up opportunities for more parent yeah I believe the key here is that many of those that are having pandemic pods that have their children enrolled in in some sort of pod like arrangements are well-to-do parents, their families, that can afford to have a parent stay home or can afford to hire in a teacher or virtual instruction for their children and these are parents that usually are able to afford houses in neighborhoods where their children are assigned to great schools, so these are usually parents that don't have much of a need for school choice don't even have to think about school choice because they live in good neighborhoods, their kids are going to good schools and then suddenly they're forced to find avenues for school choice and now these parents are really recognizing the importance of school choice because you know in the school choice debate.

We always talk about how necessary it is for low income for special needs students, and North Carolina has done a great job of providing educational options for those children usually those that are in the upper income brackets. Don't think about choice because they don't have to. This is forcing them to recognize and appreciate school choice and hopefully in the future become staunch advocates of school choice at such an interesting point. I had thought of it that way but but that's important. So going forward. Terry, as we come out of the pandemic. Hopefully soon as things get back to quote normal for for our lives.

Do you think that these parents will go back to their regular routine. Since they won't be forced to deal with that their child's education day in and day out or are they gonna say you know what, maybe I should get behind some of these changes that would allow my family or the neighbor down the street or the neighbor who lives in an and neighborhood where they're not well-to-do to be able to have those choices to do what's best for their kid.

I think you will see some that will end up sending their kids back to school just because of of the burden that the pod can place on the family even financial burden, especially, but I think that the end and anecdotal evidence tells me that parents that have had their children and pods are seeing a transformation in their child a transformation for the better. Not only are they learning but their emotional state is much better there much more engaged. Simply put there happier.

And I think a parent that sees their child that's happy in a situation in a pandemic.

Pods can be more likely to find an alternative arrangements where they can continue to be that successful not only academically but emotionally because as parents. That's really what we care about is making sure that our entire child's experience is positive, not just that they have a great education and and and and learn what they're supposed to.

So I think that's the real key and I think children are happy.

I think parents are happy and it's the source of that happiness that is going to lead them. I believe to pursue educational options in the coming school year you that's all the time we have for the program this week on behalf of Mitch Kovach. I'm Donna Martinez Mobile join us again next week for another edition of the Carolina internal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the job. To learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina send email to development John Locke done call 166 JL left 1-866-553-4636 Carolina journal radio is the John line foundation airline is maintaining Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are selling not merely reflect the station. For more information about the show. Other programs and services of the John line foundation John Locke toll-free at 868 JL would like to thank our wonderful radio affiliates across airline and our sponsors. Carolina journal radio. Thank you for listening. Please join us again next week


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