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Carolina Journal Radio No. 847: Alcohol regulation reforms take major step forward in North Carolina

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2019 9:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 847: Alcohol regulation reforms take major step forward in North Carolina

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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August 12, 2019 9:00 am

Reform of North Carolina’s alcohol regulations has taken a major step forward this year. Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law measures that ease restrictions on craft brewers and distillers. New laws also make other changes that reduce government barriers for consumers. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, assesses the recent legislative interest in reforming decades-old alcohol rules. President Trump is scheduled to head to Charlotte next year for the Republican National Convention. That didn’t stop Charlotte City Council from voting recently to condemn some of the president’s remarks, including criticism of four Democratic congresswomen known collectively as “the Squad.” You’ll hear highlights from the council’s debate, including criticism from Republican members who disagreed with their colleagues’ decision to insert themselves into national politics. N.C. lawmakers continue to tweak the way the state grades its public schools. You’ll hear highlights from a recent legislative discussion of reforms. Recent advances in genetic editing raise questions about how much freedom parents should have to choose their children’s traits. Jonathan Anomaly, philosophy professor at the University of San Diego, discussed that issue during a recent lecture at Duke. Anomaly explained how interference with the natural range of genetic traits could lead to unintended negative consequences. North Carolina’s Innovative School District has seen recent leadership changes. Lawmakers also continue to tinker with the rules governing how struggling public schools should qualify for inclusion in the ISD. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and resident scholar, analyzes recent developments with the special district designed to help turn around the state’s most challenging schools.

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Carolina Journal Radio
Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
Carolina Journal Radio
Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

From Cherokee to Currituck and 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'm Ashoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state president Trump will head to Charlotte next year for the Republican national convention. But that's not stopping the Charlotte city Council for voting to condemn controversial comments from the president North Carolina lawmakers continue to tweak the rules for grading the states public schools you hear their latest ideas.

Speaking of education will discuss a special state district. It's designed to turn around North Carolina's most challenging traditional public schools and as the science of genetic editing advances how free should parents be to choose their children's traits. It's a topic that led to an interesting discussion recently at Duke University.

Those topics are just ahead. But first, Donna Martinez joins us that she has the Carolina Journal headline. It is a game changer.

That is the word from supporters about reforms to North Carolina's laws that govern distillers of liquor forms that are part of a broader effort to free entrepreneurs from burdensome rules and update North Carolina's alcohol sales and distribution system. Carolina has been covering developments every step of the way this legislative session, Rick Anderson as editor-in-chief. He joins us now with the very latest welcome back Rick, thank you alright so come September 1 at a number of new rules on distillers are going to go into effect loosing some things out but tells about the bill, Senate Bill 290, which folded to different measures. What this basically does places craft distillers closer to the same status that the craft breweries craft wineries have North Carolina spirits have always been treated differently than beer and wine, North Carolina.

There are controlled through the ABC commissions are sold through ABC stores their local ABC board hundred and 70 of them in North Carolina that have lots of product placement things like that and this bill essentially modernizes the system what it does for one thing, it eliminates the previous rule which only existed for year that if you visited a distillery you can only buy five bottles per year. Why five. Does anyone really, because it was better than one which was a limit, which would show Gov. Pat McCrory. Fortunately started loosening that limit and that it went up to five a year ago and now it's up to unlimited numbers of purchases at distilleries directly similar concerns about that. Really unfounded. It was, we will people pay taxes and things like that. Distilleries will be selling alcohol at retail and they will pay all the local taxes all estate taxes. All the federal taxes and so that that will take place. That's a big, but that's a boon for local distillers because even though North Carolina has a statewide system of alcoholic beverage control. You have all the products listed at the state level counties are not required.

Anything county boards have great autonomy to decide what they're going to sell and what they're not and you had situations quite often which restaurant might want a particular local spirit to mix in a cocktail. They sell and if their local ABC store doesn't have local ABC board doesn't carry it the rest front tour would have to actually drive to the county where they sold that particular spirit and purchase it and drive it back and so now this loss could do away with all those restrictions Rick there had been critics of the loosening of these restrictions who were concerned that if you do this, that it's essentially encouraging people to drink more and drink more freely, but the supporters and including the researchers at the John my foundation have said this is about freedom and entrepreneurship end up it's not about encouraging drinking, letting entrepreneurs to handle more of their business and then consumers get to make the choice that I want to buy it or not, that's right. As with so many other products like that doing well with alcoholic beverages craft distillers are not selling cheap product.

Usually if you're concerned about overconsumption of alcohol and availability. These sort of products that you can probably find it every ABC store will be a lot less expensive than something you would find a craft distillers and so or a craft winery on a craft brewery.

So consumption is a completely separate issue from allowing distillers to sell more of their products on premises or to have other things available.

If someone wants to buy a cheap bottle of vodka for seven dollars is one thing but without a little craft still repay 50 or 30 or 40 or 50 overconsumption so I think that was a bit of a red herring and the other thing a couple of things. This bill would do that would be used for consumers is it's going to allow tastings at ABC stores, so something that happens in almost every state with with looser spirits laws that you could actually have representatives from the different distilleries pouring their own product. Their comparison taste. If you're from a distributor that handles a lot of different labels you have different tastings you have beer and wine tastings all the time now in grocery stores and other retailers you will do the same thing now ABC stores for for alcohol and also you can have tastings at farmers markets and events and things like that of spirits you had beer and wine for years now, but how you could have spirits and limited resources to bring up a really fascinating point, said the beer and wine folks have been treated differently up to this point. So this new legislation brings the liquor distillers more into line for a level playing field for everybody right that's all they really wanted because you're probably going to see distillers operating more like craft breweries and starting to open perhaps open their own restaurants. You will have you when you have a couple of major operations like that. Right now North Carolina wanted Chapel Hill the top of the hill outfit which has its own distillery and it's a craft brewery and is a large restaurant which will see a lot more of that and a lot of a lot of places you will have a small brewery that might have food trucks around several days a week if they don't have the restaurant on premises, you'll start to see that sort of thing distilleries now to and you will still see a lot more entrepreneurship taking place, which we really important because North Carolina's craft distilleries have really prided themselves on using a lot of local agricultural products and so that's yet another thing that state Department of Agriculture is been very supportive of this notion because they really worked on branding North Carolina merchandising got to BMC carrying it's pretty ubiquitous, but they found that that is very useful to do that and it's a way to sell North Carolina's is a place to come and do an take something really different and so that's something that state government is one of worked at odds with itself. In some ways with some folks of the ABC level signal.

We gotta get rain. The stuff in. In other cases a part of agriculture and part of commerce and tourism site will let's let's see if we can't promoter and products. We talk a lot about changes that are coming. One of the changes is going to be taking place on a lot of college campuses public universities in North Carolina that the legislature has given them an option having to do with alcohol sales. That's right, for the first time you have the potential of having beer and wine sales at events at University campuses on campus which you did not have previously public universities, Wake Forest University, for instance, which is the private college of the Baptist University actually does allow alcohol sales at football games in the end you will see this more and more to have the unusual situation.

NC State which you had the the PNC arena, which for the Carolina hurricanes play hockey and also the NC statements basketball team plays they will sell beer during hockey games were not in basketball. Now that's good that's going to change because of that some folks think it might have a impact on the tailgating experience of the people who would leave the stadium at half time and not come back actually stick around and said, and as of the time that you and I are talking, Rick. I think it's just one of the UNC system campuses that is opted not to adopt the sale of alcohol on the campus during those sporting events that would be UNC Pembroke right in. That's of affiliated schools closest to the Lumbee Indian tribe and other some concerns whether or not they wanted that there I think the Pembroke's major sport is baseball and softball and so not a lot of not as much alcohol sales and and that's where the feeling that is will be was a football basketball so it may not be a major deal anyway.

Carolina has been doing a lot of reporting on this center as the different bills made their way through the state legislature and become law.

There's some very good pieces that Carolina journal.com the kind of list out what the changes are and what you can expect to see around North Carolina.

All of this, part of a broader effort. North Carolina still one of the control states Rick Henderson as editor-in-chief and Rick, thank you very much. Thank you very much.same with this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign up@carolinajournal.com you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles. The powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money.

We shine the light on it all with the stories and angles.

Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus I print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot onto Carolina journal.com once, twice, even three times a day. You won't be disappointed. It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism.

We hold government accountable for you will go back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko got Charlotte is slated to host the Republican national convention next year. That's not stopping Charlotte city Council from voting to callout controversial comments from Pres. Trump over the past two years. The most recent his criticism of four Democratic Congresswoman there, known collectively as the squad.

Justin Harlow recently launched the Council's debate of a resolution condemning Trump's words is unfortunate that we actually have had this resolution. In my opinion, we shouldn't have to openly and unequivocally speak against racism in 2019. But that is the reality and so we are and we should believe that people should know where we stand as elected officials on this while this these comments come from our highest levels of government as local elected officials. We are responsible to the people we see everyday in our neighborhoods and our grocery stores and those people often are you people often are people of color. And so, this resolution seeks to not talk so much about convention or political parties, but simply about what should be not debatable.

Simply, what should be a nonstarter all the time, places, xenophobia councilmember dimple Ash Mira placed Trump's comments in a personal context in her back, go back and brings tears to my eyes as having many times. Having said that, many times selling those words were said tears to my eyes. And unfortunately, this has become known and should not be mentioned. It's not about being a partisan, instead condemning dangerous. That drink really gonna based on race, ranging this is not TV news show we are leaning in house so from the city not be tolerated. Not everyone was on board with the Charlotte city Council voting to condemn Pres. Trump's comments councilmember Ed Riggs objected. I want to make it clear that I don't personally endorse the way presidents chose to express himself on this occasion and others. I think those of you who know me realize that I'm kind of in the mold of the Reagan Republican. I don't conduct myself. This way I would want to be measured by that behavior.

I do believe the president has pursued policies that will benefit our country, which is why I continue to support him in spite of my disagreement with some of his is utterances.

I guess I'll call it he would not be where he is today.

If he were not tapping into the anger of many Americans who feel that they have been treated badly by people on the other side of the aisle. He didn't create tension that were experiencing. It isn't of his faith. Therefore, he is actually the result of the tension house a guy like that get elected to be present in the United States in the first place it seriously. That did not happen because of the action of one man or one party that is a product of this manifest warfare that is going on a national level.

My second point though is that I don't think it's wise for city Council to get drawn into the turmoil of national political discourse. We have so many local issues to address generally managed to avoid this kind of vitriol that you are objecting to tonight here in city Council and I don't see any value in joining in now. When Congresswoman O'Connor to our terms refer to the detention centers for immigrants as concentration camps. She did so intentionally knowing the shock value would have because just about everyone associates concentration camps with genocide. Why is nobody offended by that I don't think I don't think we have really good behavior on either side and I'm not prepared to lay the blame for the situation that were in that none of us likes entirely at the feet of one man. We should all look inside ourselves. Listen to the anger here tonight.

Racist big racist bigot. We are here to express our hatred of a guy that we consider to be hateful.

Look at yourselves it takes to it really does Braxton Winston explained that he would rather be debating other items.

I wish that we were sitting here having a conversation we discussed politics was debating the use of tax policy and and spending and and tariffs and and and and and entitlement sin, and will we need to advocate for federal legislative agenda for or will we start our lobbyist to to engage the federal government to do, but that's not what is going on people that are are are are push this resolution are not here because of political philosophical differences. This is we have a man in the highest office in the land is the epitome of what a racist is councilmember Teresa Bukhari question Charlotte city Council decision to wait international political debates. I oppose phrases like send her back in the strongest possible way that I can relate.

I think it is unconstitutional.

I think it's tyrannical.

I think it's wrong and I think if you are out there and you think that's something that's okay to say don't associate yourself with my Republican Party don't associate yourself with some form of government we have here. What's okay so for those of you looking for someone to callout and say this is not okay to be the first to say this is not okay. I oppose all forms of hate speech, racism, xenophobia and bigotry. But now only take you on a little bit of a side journey here because don't be mistaken. That is not what we're here doing today one. This is not a comprehensive list right this is a list that we see today and it is not all forms. It is some forms and if we want to be in the business of going out and being the sole source of capturing all forms of racism and bigotry in xenophobia anymore.

City staff were getting a lot more people to keep a comprehensive list of all of this because I'm not sure this is what the voters of Charlotte asked us to do when we ran for city Council but were not randomly jot things down here take it very seriously create this comprehensive list that brings a second problem that complete list to it's hard to determine what's in the hearts of the people that are saying this stuff another staff psychologist and people to look at is that person really need a racist thing just saying their opinion. Another view also so bothersome to me about this is, in this day and age it feels like the word racism is around a lot like the word which was in the 1600s like that right now but in the 1600s. You never knew what motivated the accuser calling someone which any excuse had a near impossible task.

Improving that they were not. That seems very similar to how we use the word racism today and I'm not by any stretch trying to say there are people of racism in their heart saying things out there that we are condemning right now I'm saying how are we to be the judge of all that is going a little bit too far, not too far for the Charlotte city Council majority. The Council voted to condemn Pres. Trump's comments is expected to travel to Charlotte in 2020 for the Republican national convention with North Carolina journal radio in 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. North Carolina's freedom movement and North Carolina conservative.com. You'll find links to John Mott foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Mott foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James Dean 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, 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 lock in seat 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 Mott 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. Here's how long. Time to smile.amazon.com Amazon smile is the same Amazon you know same products same prices. But here's what's better design donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon smile purchases to the John lot 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 lot foundation. Welcome back Carolina journal radio why Michiko got North Carolina lawmakers are tweaking the way the state grades public schools Republican Sen. Rick Horner explained. A recent bill dealing with the issue.

This bill does three things in Mike's apartment 15 point scale for grading off does it directs mislabeled education without commercial rules preparation for apartment rulemaking over court case also directs the Board of Education to study reporting methods for school accountability without a lot of discussion about all the different measures and how their waited and well it should be separate restricting report us all by February next year. Democratic Sen. Joyce Waddell asked colleagues to make a substantive change to the bill. It deals with the way schools are graded have unintended consequences when it comes to grading schools look at some of the hospitals in Mecklenburg. We have 19 schools that goes for the scones 60 C schools and third 87 after the we think about F's close we think about the stigma that often puts on not only to students, the community and people moving to the city. I think we have to do a better job. Many of the relatives who come here as an affluent neighborhood move in this neighborhood.

So we must do a better job when it comes to putting great folks. What else is a grade of D or F Hertz public schools will create the stigma and idea. So what would Waddell change. Currently school performance. That was back in the school's achievements going its growth achievements.

Goizueta and the growth is made at 20%. This amendment would change this calculation so that that school achievements for 51% and the growth is 49% Republican recorder responded to Waddell's proposal. Waddell's bill may well be the recommendation of the site.

That's exactly what were doing.

We have a period of ideas how this should be no and one of Margaret's Wellesley.

We shouldn't be so quick to tell our state how to do this here from state board and come back to my correct limitation about the way will try to take a little of legislative mandate out there recommendation for you been listening to highlights from legislative debate. Lawmakers are tweaking the way North Carolina grades its public schools will return with more Carolina journal radio 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 listened Locke 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 will go back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko got thanks to scientific advances will become easier and easier for parents to select the traits they wanted their kids how much freedom should they have to make those selections. That was the topic of a recent lecture at Duke University. Jonathan anomaly is a philosophy professor at the University of San Diego. He pointed to a key challenge you can think of two geniuses, Steve Jobs and Steve was not there very different personality traits different cognitive styles, but equally valuable in a way right.

So one of the kind of introspective geek and another is maybe an extroverted geek to like us are both geeks in a way but you know sort of jobs as the showman is the extrovert. He's the guy with the vision you gets up on stage and sells that he commands attention at meetings, but that's not to say Wozniak isn't really important. In fact is I think in a way underrated is the brains behind Apple. So here's a problem which is we know that parents prospective parents rate, certain measures is better than others, or certain quality is better and you can look at data from like OkCupid or tender to see this women prefer.

For example, men who are extroverts over introverts. There's nothing wrong with that extroverts tend to have more friends. They tend to do really well in social settings and so on. The problem is if everyone selected or most people selected in that way. We got to lose out on a really important source of cognitive diversity anomaly offered an example involving another popular trait. Openness.

Openness predicts inability to learn from outsiders. You tend to have a low discuss reaction toward parasites and there are number of other things that are interesting. You can say about that but also can make you a sucker and it's not a very stable strategy in a population that's not also full of people who score high on openness, she might think either in a group setting or in a political society depending what were talking about.

You might want a range of people who score high and low in openness so that you get in some sense group learning anomaly says parental choice could lead to some social imbalances, including the ratio of male versus female children were sex ratios of courses that will in places like China, you have more than 50% male to female and I can create possibly elevated rates of violence.

Imagine if it wasn't 5149 but 7030 or something right. It would completely transform the society. Some of it might have some good effects rate. There may be more polygamy or polygamy. More generally, that could have eugenic or dystonic effects. It's going to affect like who gets reproduce and how much. But there could be an elevated risk of violence and a sort of no restlessness. I guess arms races with high I think I just can happen. Not even see how to avoid this. Females have just incredibly strong preferences for tall men. It just totally dominates almost everything else here rationally dominates it, but it's true. And again, just look at the OkCupid data. It's been released and you to see what happens.

Some women will even stay on their profiles will not will not date someone under a certain height.

It's a dealbreaker.

Not are you nice or intelligent or just like don't be short and if if there preferences are that strong people might take note of that and they might think well I don't have a prejudice against you know height, but if I have a male, a son, then maybe I want to be a little taller than I not because being tall is good. It's not that sexy bad for your health, on average, but if you want your son to command the attention of a room or the attention of a mate. You might think well I don't like this, but I'm one person right. It's like dropping one vote in the ballot box.

I'm not determining who is elected. We are, and I'm not we so I'm gonna do the thing that's best for my kid not what's best for our kids. That's philosophy professor Jonathan anomaly of the University of San Diego. He spoke recently at Duke. Some people think the answer involves banning selection traits among babies that work banning genetic selection is not to make it go, and we've already seen this in China where there is a huge market for this places like Singapore there already encouraging like eugenic reproduction by getting smart people and like paying them to have kids there to be absolutely the first users of this technology once it becomes liable.

I think what's going to happen then is if you tried to ban it. Rich people from Western countries are going to use it because they're gonna be able to get around these things. They can pay the cost things like medical tourism and so on, and other countries are going to use it. That means will be at a relative disadvantage. Whatever your moral views of this are. You don't want to just stop at your moral intuition and armchair. You want to say okay and then what what can happen when you propose this policy change other people predictably violated in various ways and then you've got a new kind of problem you got a new coordination problem. What are the moral consequences of that that is a lot trickier than just sort of saying this is wrong.

I'm knocking to do it or something like that anomaly prefers an alternative.

He calls it regulatory parsimony is calling for global bands. It's not to work, and it doesn't naturally have good moral consequences either preventing people from using these things in ways that will produce benefits for their children. We don't want to do that we should invoke the principle of the least restrictive alternative that's what we call it an ethics. The idea is when you need a rule or law in order to solve a coordination problem say a problem with pollution and climate change on something like that where what's good for each might not be good for all we should do is have few laws they should be simple in scope and just enough to get the job done.

Don't try to micromanage parental choices. Anomaly says overly complex laws would lead to new problems. Complex laws are often easier for powerful people to navigate. If you're worried about any quality you can make it a lot worse if you pass a bunch of laws that essentially raise the relative cost of having access to the stuff to me. The problem is going to be lowering the cost if anything we want to subsidize this for people who are poor and who can't otherwise afford it. If you make it either illegal or you have a bunch of laws that make it difficult to access your actually can advantage the rich and the richly genetically endowed even more than they already are. And they already don't deserve in some sense their genetic endowment. Now you're just going to give him an even bigger premium on it and there can be able use their resources to cognitively enhance their kids social norms might work better than laws, according to anomaly there is a premium associate with this carrying heavy objects on a farm and just building things, but that's not true worth almost nothing at all in a developed society because you can just replace those muscles with much stronger and more efficient machines and so actually there's a premium on female characteristics.

My guess is that there would be an imbalance in favor of females in developed societies anomaly also doesn't trust regulators to get things right. Often central planners don't have the relevant information to allocate scarce resources effectively, and they often don't have the motivation, even when they do have the relevant information even if, hypothetically, we can think of some socially optimal or at least socially decent distribution of traits is it likely that the regulator would find it and then implement it. If that were to be found in the answer is probably no. In both cases so I've argued somewhat controversially, the, the main problem with past eugenics programs is that there was too much trust put in regulators and too little trust put in social norms and decentralized provision of information and the people using that information against the backdrop of norms to make reproductive choices that are likely to be good for their kid and then also more generally from a social standpoint, what's the bottom line message. Not to say that regulations in this domain are never justified its rather than I want to illustrate their gonna be really interesting trade-offs, not just for individuals between you know different traits that you're interested in, but traits that might be good from a local standpoint.

But good or bad for more global or social standpoint, that's Jonathan anomaly philosophy professor at the University of San Diego he's offering a Duke University audience insights about the future of genetic selection will return with North Carolina journal radio with real influence. You either have it or you don't and at the John Mott 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. Our research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you earn.

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 I'm Donna Martinez. It's called the innovative school district a special state effort to turn around consistently low performing public schools one Robison County school is in the IST program. Now, a new director is just been announced as well.

Dr. Terry stoops is following developments that he of course is the vice president for research, director of education studies for the John Mark foundation Terry welcome back to the program. Thank you all give us some refresher on what the innovative school district is and how it was formed. What's supposed to do.

Republican lawmakers created the innovative school district in 2016 to try to deal with the issue of low performing schools.

We've seen state efforts to turn around low performing schools fail and this was a way to look at alternative ways to try to deal with the problem that we've been unable to solve, which is, there are hundreds of schools in North Carolina were kids are receiving really terrible education and their performing very low on state tests and leaders are constantly and teachers are moving in and out of the school. So to provide some stability and support for low performing schools in the Republican lawmakers of course have been met with some resistance to this idea because variations of it have been used in other states. North Carolina has somewhat of unique motto and that it just chooses individual schools rather than the whole school districts for the takeover. The takeover basically consists of the hiring of a consultants or an organization that oversees the operations of the school be the instructional supports hiring of the principal for the school and they work is sort of a go-between from the school to the innovative school district office in Raleigh. Terry distracts me as a story of real serious concerns. I mean if a school is consistently performing so poorly, you can't leave the kids, trapped in something like that but it's also story about hope because trying something different to try to help those kids. It looks like there's one school that has been put into the innovative school district tell us about that. Why the one school that sin is Southside Ash pole elementary school in Robison County and it just finished its first year under the innovative school districts. The organization that was brought into assisted achievement for all children is the organization it's overseeing the various turnaround efforts there at the elementary school we we don't know at this point how it performed in its first year because test scores are still a month or two away so that will be one way for us to gauge whether this turnaround effort is least is starting to be successful.

One thing that we know about school turnaround and and especially these schools which are typically the qualifying schools for the innovative school district. Usually the bottom 5% of performing schools in the state is that this is a multiyear effort if we could turnaround schools in a year. I think by all means we would but this is a a an effort that usually takes many years. You have to get the right chemistry of teachers and administrators in there to be able to do the hard work of school turnaround Terry when Ned this is proposed that test, Southside Ash pole elementary would become part of this special district. There was a lot of pushback in the community.

Can we tell if our parents or teachers or community leaders have started to accept this as a more hopeful proposition rather than a threatening one. There was a tremendous amount of resistance from the school board and the County commissioners and really kudos to the then in the innovative school district superintendent Eric Hall for meeting and being very patient with the various constituencies there in Robison County. There, now has been a change of mind, you find a lot of supports for the innovative school district in that county. There actually very happy that the innovative school district came in and is overseeing the turnaround in that school. So really credit to those early leaders of the innovative school district for coming in, meeting with county commissioners school board members and parents and selling this idea to them, and ensuring that this isn't somehow Raleigh controlling the school, but this is very much a local effort that's being led by local leaders and and with the support of school boards and County commission cemented in the early leadership in this special effort. There been a number of different leaders in this program what's happening there. Well we are on. I believe our third superintendent of the innovative school district of James Ellerbe was recently hired for that position it. It's hard to say what's going on its Department of Public instruction in some of these leadership changes. It's not clear whether the problem has to do with the organizational culture of the Department of Public instruction or whether there had been tension between the operator of the school and the innovative school district and perhaps the teachers there's a lot of moving moving parts here and if you don't have the right person in that position.

I could see that not being a long-term a job for someone that's unable to manage the various levels of governance that occur here in an innovative school that such an important point because some on the surface it when you hear there's been a turnover in three different leaders in a couple of years you're thinking, my gosh, something bad is going on in their perhaps so, but isn't it fair to say that Taft for some something special like this at a very important specialized program you've gotta find the right person to be able as you said to deal with all the different pressures. My goodness, it's gotta be a very, very difficult job and one of the biggest pressures is the timing and this is something that will be hopefully rectified in legislation that's been proposed in the house that's now in the Senate is that test scores come out and once a test scores come out they have to quickly determine which schools qualify and then they have to quickly find an operator for that school and then they have to go to that community and convince the school board and County commission that this is a good idea and then the whole process of transferring some of the assets and resources to the innovative school districts starts in other words, there is basically a six month timeframe in which all of this would have to take place.

That sounds almost impossible.

It's really difficult, extremely difficult, and that was one of the complaints of some of the folks that were involved in the ISD is that it was an unreasonable timeline so they're trying to fix fix that timeline make the decision sooner. So to give them more of an opportunity to reach out to communities and to touch base with those who would be affected by the change Terry there some folks who take a look at a low performing school and would say well this is simply an issue of money. We've got to focus in on more resources. We better pay teachers more with data provide a lot more per pupil expenditure, etc. I know you've written a lot about this, saying that certainly money is a factor, but talk a little bit about the approach that will be required to try to turnaround a school that has such low performance while it starts with something the money can't buy which is high expectations and unfortunately you find that in a little and low performing schools is very low expectations of the kids that's reinforced by the principal and the teachers and that's the culture that persists and that's one of the reasons why the school doesn't perform well.

So that's definitely part of its but what the innovative school district allows these schools to have his flexibility is to do different things to have the charter school like flexibility that enables them to maybe customize quick classes do not have to worry about things like class-size Terry, thank you very much that's all the time we have for the show this week appreciate your listening on behalf of my cohost Kai and Donna Martinez will join us next week for more Carolina internal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke.or call 166 JL left info 166-553-4636 Carolina journal radio is the John line foundation, Carolina's free-market think tank and Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are selling those did not clearly 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 Carolina and our sponsors. Carolina journal radio. Thank you for listening.

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