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Carolina Journal Radio No. 749: Revisiting major N.C. boondoggles

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 749: Revisiting major N.C. boondoggles

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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September 25, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal has spent more than 25 years exposing government boondoggles. CJ recently revisited two of the most prominent ill-fated projects that left taxpayers on the hook. Editor-in-Chief Rick Henderson discusses the 10-year anniversary of the failed Randy Parton Theatre in Roanoke Rapids and the 25-year anniversary of the disappointing Global TransPark surrounding the Kinston Airport. America faces numerous foreign policy and national security threats. Van Hipp tracks them as chairman of American Defense International Inc. During a recent visit to Raleigh, Hipp spelled out his key concerns about interlocking threats from North Korea, radical Islam, and other sources. The term “efficiency gap” has cropped up in recent years during national discussions about gerrymandering and electoral redistricting. A recent debate over new N.C. legislative maps included an interesting exchange about the efficiency gap and its role in helping guide legislative mapmakers. You’ll hear highlights. State lawmakers recently voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill to expand the availability of credit insurance. You’ll hear highlights from the N.C. House’s debate on the measure. Supporters said it would enable more people to insure purchases of items such as all-terrain vehicles and jet skis. Critics worried that predatory lenders would take advantage of the new law to harm consumers. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction has released its latest grades for public schools across the state, along with graduation rates and other significant school data. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research, analyzes the data and highlights key findings.


From Cherokee to Currituck 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 public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio on which coca during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state United States faces many interlocking foreign policy and national security threats during a recent visit to Raleigh that of a group called American defense international analyze those threats. The term efficiency Crops up in debates about electoral redistricting in North Carolina you'll hear highlights from a recent debate about the term dealer by state lawmakers voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the bill dealing with credit insurance and will wade through the latest numbers assessing North Carolina public school performance. Those topics are just ahead. But first, Donna Martinez joins us. She has Carolina Journal headline. They both began as projects. Their supporters said would create jobs and economic growth in North Carolina but 10 years later the Randy Parton theater in Roanoke Rapids has left that city millions of dollars in debt at 1/4 of a century later, the global trance Park in Kinston is still searching for a plan that works Carolina Journal has been reporting on both these stories for years now and editor-in-chief Rick Henderson joins me with an update. Rick welcome back to the programming queue. Let's start first with Roanoke Rapids now Carolina Journal reported on this and on the feasibility studies before. This actually got going. A decade ago showing that there were projections that weren't really likely to occur. And in fact this thing went belly up.

Yes it sure did, in fact it was supposed to create something like 12,000 jobs in the area.

The notion of putting entertainment center by five Verona graphics to make little committee Branson or something like that.

A place that would attract people who were driving from New York to Florida, suddenly stopping us.

So you show your Sims and other entertainment events X would pan out very well but it did to the tune of $21 million cost of the theater, which was entirely subsidized by taxpayers. Most of it from the state and Randy Parton who was the operator of the theater. Dolly Parton's younger brother put none of his own money into the project. You have no stake in it. Other than whether or not if it was that I give him employment for a while. I believe he's getting us under salaries like 1,000,000 1/2 dollars year cooperated with theater had its first performance on 26 July 2007 and Randy Parton was kicked out, a lesson six months later, is this place still open. Yes, it is now called the Roanoke Rapids theater. It does a handful of performances a year seats about. I think 12 1500 people, something like that and it does so you second-tier country-western acts of couple of shows you along those lines, convention events and that type of thing but it's still the city has $15 million tab it still owes on theater and their debt service is nearly million dollars a year is only running in no couple hundred thousand dollars in revenue to the city's way underwater. So this is really something that is just hung around the neck of that the taxpayers they are having to deal with it at the time this is all being developed.

Rick, it seemed clear to those, I think, who were looking at the data, the projections and the likelihood of the location and etc. that it was going to be an uphill climb for this to meet expectations. Any of those officials who made those decisions.

Are they still around, or have they acknowledged the failure of this almost visions, most of them have service linked away completely walk away from anything that happened a couple of the developers actually select economic development jobs in other places it just was. It was a terrible idea from the beginning was destined to be a boondoggle but yet the notion of bringing Dolly Parton's less talented younger brother to run an entertainment center in Roanoke Rapids had some appeal for people and a lot of these areas of eastern North Carolina northeastern part of the state.

They're just so desperate to grab on to what they think is going to be the magic magic attraction.

One thing is going all the sudden revival local economy when incident in many cases there is not one single thing is going to do it.

In fact, there are many things that may not do it in some some cases these local economies are just not going to ever recover in the way that they did when they were manufactured places this in some ways, this turned out to be the cautionary tale for what happens when you have outsized expectations and people who understandably want their area to thrive. They write new jobs.

We can all understand that. But really, almost sending a message to other local officials that this is not the way to go about it and you think it indeed they do. And speaking of things that we that we do 1/4 of a century ago at the global trance Park in the Kinston area. That project was deemed is that in many and me the same types of ways. It was going to make that area thrive supposed to be a big manufacturing but just in time factoring and now 25 years later it's never really panned out either. Note that even larger more grandiose aspirations of the time were talking about 48,000 direct jobs created there. It was using an old airport and the idea was, you would be able to transport raw materials of by boat rail. Up to this location in Kinston where then you would be manufactured and reassembled. It would be then shipped back out through major centers and it just for one thing, the surrounding highways were never sufficient to provide that level transportation and secondly it was just basically a really expensive glorified industrial park that didn't have an anchor tenant and still does not really have an anchor tenant is gotten something like $200-$300 million in taxpayer support. Over time, and yet the only closest thing to an anchor tenant has now is a spirit Aerosystems, which is the some assembly of some of of some airplanes, but still it only has 1000 private sector jobs at about 400 public sector jobs there much less than the 48,000 into space. That's huge in effect. Now the general assembly has directed this new director to create a new plant right.

This will be the third strategic plan that has been set up since the park opened back in the 1992, and in this case, the idea is to make sure that somehow rather it can use a rail spur 6 mile rail spur which was built and provided with an additional $24 million in public funding. When Spira got there first spirit was even using it. So they built this rail spur spirits. It was no use and hasn't used it and now there's some are saying it is beginning to find some use for the radial store to get deliver equipment back and forth to the shipping lanes and that sort of things. But still, it's been an incredible disappointment of Mike Walden from NC State University did a very critical report about it at the time which got him into a bit of trouble because he was the one naysayer if you will. Among the folks in the were free with economic development side of North Carolina business who just said the numbers didn't really add up for him and it was one of the things that Gov. Martin, Gov. Jim Martin was convinced was going to be a huge economic driver religion a respite out Rick as I was looking at Carolina journals some updated reporting on this and by the way. Both of these stories are

Both these projects the Randy Parton theater and the global trance Park when you talk about him. It sounds like a good idea, and one can understand why some people get caught up in wanting to do quote good things for the place that that they live in. But again, it's economic data and how the market forces work on that. That seems to really be that the common factor in both price and in both cases.

Also, these were extremely innovative ideas. In other words, you expecting to have the city Roanoke Rapids build entertainments pavilion anchored around one person who wasn't really all that famous in case of global trance Park. I just-in-time manufacturing facility to get was taxpayer supported and didn't have a tenant and so is not solicit or building they will come will not necessarily. You have to have something for them to come to that's attractive in both these cases, the project failed because there really was a market for what it was offering. While these two stories that really are are great examples that, not only for taxpayers to be reading to understand how their money is put into projects with with dubious results and also for all those local officials who are seeking ways to try to get the economy in their areas going in read both of the Rick Henderson is an attorney. Thank you stay with us much more Carolina journals radio to come in just a government plays a key role in your life affecting your paycheck the way you educate your kids the way you do business. How can you tell if government is doing a good job making the right choices. Spending tax dollars wisely. Carolina tackles those questions every day. The John Locke foundation publishes Carolina journal imprint each month and on the web each you'll find exclusive investigative reports on topics. No one else is covering what else a rundown of the best new stories, editorials and opinion columns in North Carolina.

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You can find the information you welcome back Carolina journal radio amateur cook. I United States faces a number of national security and foreign policy threats today. One man keeping a close watch on those threats is Van hip he's chairman of American defense international Inc. he recently spoke to the John Locke foundation and joins us now to share some highlights from that presentation. Welcome to the program. Thanks for having so what you see as the number one threat. There were Facebook this morning ritual today.

That was after the day after 9/11, and one of the main reasons is technology is changing faster than our government's ability to adapt and so jobsites more dangerous world. As technology changes, the threats increase exponentially is a combination of things you got radical Islam, which got North Korea you got cybersecurity in all contacts together in a way because Iran radical Islamic regime is funding the North Korean threat cybersecurity. The North Koreans now have a quantum encryption device. That's a scary thing which should though the first country to win the racial quantum computing and random number generation almost prevent hacking so they can if they win that race. No matter what we do what we would be very tough to take other system so it's this president sure did inherit a mess. So it sounds as the biggest threat is the fact that all these other threats can now be more coordinated than they were absolutely and in and read technologies. Just changing so quickly, and unfortunately our government is so stovepipe like the 9/11 commission should best that 9/11 of the vocals above all else, was a failure of imagination were always responding to the last attack rather than thinking outside of the box to prevent the next. How do we then change your mindset and start preparing for these these new attacks will be untrained with the government does business. I think Pres. Trump is prior to the right things. She's gotta get his people in the Pentagon we would mean that we are we've been set for long time. Too many Obama holdovers get them out of there.

There many of trouble us out there that he needs to put in the ministration will have his back would do the right thing. Let's take a look at some of the specific threats of her first of all start with one that's been quite a bit in the news but for the reasons the media has been fixated on the Russians in their attempt to influence elections.

The Russians in and of themselves they constitute a major threat at this point is the Russian bear all the overly respect his strength. If you go back and look through history and I've been saying that Vladimir Putin is just an old KGB agent who's been masquerading as the president of Russia but they do oppose a threat not good.

To the extent that that that they use to but they can sure be helpful to us if if they wanted to, but as far as the Russian election shenanigans IT I think Jay Johnson's testimony to Congress was was was very significant. Didn't get as much media play where Obama's own Sec. of Homeland security said he that there was no evidence that he saw that the so Russian of a cyber attack influenced election, change any of all offered any votes or suppressed any vote is pretty strong from Obama's own Homeland security Sec. yet certainly is.

Let's turn to some of the other issues as well. You mentioned some of these. What about radical Islam radical Islam as a force.

How important is it for us to be folks. If the challenge of our time and I think kicking a bill of Jordan should best be called World War III in a war within Islam that will think it's important for us to work with the moderate reform. Muslims liking a bill of Jordan also like to looking home of the six of Morocco's very strong, well I just wrote an op-ed about the things that they're doing to help us in the water of those account people need working more with and also what these mosque I've called for rewards program. If you see something going on in the mosque. If you come forth with actionable intelligence call for rewards program to encourage people in the mosque to come forth with actionable intelligence. We are chatting with Van hip. He is chairman of American defense, international, Inc., another one of our potential threats that's been in the news quite a bit recently. As North Korea with all of these missile launches. What is your concern about North Korea these days. It all comes down to that ballistic missile capability combined with the nuclear threat. I look at this for long time and we know they have the nuclear warhead design package of the infamous Pakistani scientist Dr. AQ Khan open source intelligence tells us that Iranians are in route to North Korea. Now in the past. Almost every time they leave going there a nuclear test of some sort has fallen so that's the threat to America. I was surprised by the ICBM launch last week I wrote a piece of back in 2012, documenting how they used in all three rocket to get a satellite in space so we know they've had this, though getting very close to having ICBM but if they can initiate what the president I think is watching for we cannot allow them to have an ICBM that can accommodate a nuclear warhead that we that's when we, we, you and I know they're doing all the diplomatic stuff now.

Last attempt there but does military option.

Still, the table and we cannot allow them to have a nuclear warhead on ICBM that can reach that state. Some people said that it would be enough for them not to necessarily have the material that would cause an explosion on the ground, but to be able to launch something that would lead to an EMP electromagnetic pulse attack that in and of itself could be a price absolutely in the EMP commission has said there is very strong evidence that they may already have two EMP warheads and that would have the same effect of the geomagnetic storm of the face of the sun had one in 1859 out. That was the last one and I tell people if you don't believe me listen to NASA. NASA says it is inevitable in the next 10 100 years that we will have another Carrington event. So what we gotta harden the grid and I have better transformer technology to get our grid up and running and it's gotta be a top priority of our Department of Energy are there some threats out there that you see is important that people just don't even have on their radar. At this point will fall, but to my North Korea. I did so finally I lay people up and that the cyber threat the cyber threat is the most complex national security challenge we've ever faced.

I called the fifth dimension of warfare after AirLand see in space and up it's it's it's causing not only great national security harmed remarkable great economic harm every year were losing more intellectual property among our businesses, universities, government networks than in the entire Library of Congress is a major major threat and one that we gotta get out in front of to how big of an extent is it a problem when it's not just the bad guys trying to attack Defense Department computers that sort of thing, but the people who are sending you these bogus Facebook requests or the spam email is that part of this problem as well. It is coming in in in. The threats are coming from from mom from different sources primarily what I say.

If you distinguish, for example, between what the Islamists are doing on the Chinese do it because each requires different countermeasures from a cyber standpoint of the Chinese war, but espionage in the Islamist about sabotage, but I would say this, it is primarily a recruitment or problem or the top experts. James Gosper has said that we need about 30,000 true cyber security experts in America were the worst kind of attack. We've only got 5000 I've been calling for national security scholarships in our college campuses and university campuses.

Let's recruit the best kid we've got to go into cybersecurity and going to data security. What we know as these issues move forward. One person is going to be keeping a close watch telling us all about it is Van hip.

He is chairman of American defense international Inc. thanks much for joining links will have more on Carolina journal radio just a moment. Full color throughout every issue more visual storytelling. We've revamped Carolina journal to make it easier to read a new look and a new feel. But one thing hasn't changed and it never will.

That is our commitment to truth and transparency in government, you can still count on Carolina journal for investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles and vetting of corruption. No permission to shine the light on what North Carolina government and the bureaucrats who run it are doing in your name and with your money will never wane and because of that I reach and influence are growing through all of our distribution outlets we reach more than 1 million N. Carolinians every month so make sure you stay informed. Read the monthly print edition of Carolina journal. Then check in several times a day, Carolina that's where you'll find fresh stories, opinion pieces and updates on government politics and your money. Carolina journal.

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You'll also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation logo back Carolina journal radio I Michiko kind. The term efficiency gap has emerged as a key sticking point in a national battle over drawing election maps recent exchange between Democratic State Sen. Ben Clark and Republican representative David Lewis shows that the issue has reached North Carolina for each map that was bought for for consideration that an efficiency gap analysis be conducted are we going to be able to do that. First of all, the article that talks about the use efficiency gap which is entitled, I believe partisan gerrymandering and efficiency gap by officer McGee proposes the use of an efficiency gap concept that is yet to be peer reviewed any other legal or academic stuff scholars further. I think it's important now that the efficiency gap itself is designed to measure election results and it is based on past election results. I would think it would be disingenuous to try to create proxy you left election results in order to try to measure and Eve efficiency gap. Further, I think is important to understand that if you buy into. If you will the efficiency gap criteria. We would actually be moving away from our current system of government to a a European-style parliamentary system.

I further believe that the use of this criteria with require the legislature to severely. Jerry may enter an order to dictate a predetermined outcome and that drawing would require the legislature to reject constitutionally required re-searching criteria. Such as the County grouping full.

I say all that to say that I do not believe that the efficiency gap. One can be applied prospectively as it has been written about to I reject the argument that an efficiency gap test is a necessary or negative thing I do not believe that anyone's vote is wasted, which is the premise that the efficiency gap operates old efficiency gap can be calculated prospectively. There are a lot of articles out there regarding efficiency.and secondly the capability to do so doesn't exist with regard to the notion of the ways that the votes that's not an is not implying that an individual's vote is wasted. What is dictated is that the distribution those votes.

Gerrymandering devalues the focus of the citizens is something we should not be doing this fall.

The US Supreme Court will discuss efficiency gaps election that make overture with more Carolina journal radio really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Locke foundation. We do, and that's not bluster in a private survey of more than 250 North Carolina political insiders 87% said we influence them either a great deal a good amount. So while others talk and complain.

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Welcome back Carolina journal radio I Michiko kind North Carolina lawmakers recently voted to override a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper, the governor had targeted a bill dealing with credit insurance, Republican state representative John Zilkha attempted to place the governor's concerns and perspective language does make some minor revision to current law as it relates to credit, property insurance bill expands the class of property was eligible for single interest credit, property insurance and strikes out the word household strikes out the word household. This law was written 34 years ago and what were doing today is acknowledging the types of property that people can today. So what could you that's not household property will think of something that you can take off your property at your house. So think of an ATV and altering fickle urgency. I know of no one who buys a jet ski to just in our garage. You take it off your property to use it. Most homeowners insurance, property policies do not cover jet skis and ATVs and most renters insurance policies do not cover those type of personal property, even when there you can a rider to your insurance policy that can cover for some types of losses. So what this does, by acknowledging that there are different types of property today.

Is it allows a person to person whose financing the purchase of this property set of consumer finance place or at small business Association also finances and it allows them to purchase this type of insurance. Zilkha says this type of insurance already is legal in other forms. This type of insurance can also be purchased for personal property that is not covered by household renters insurance to take off of your own land you can go to all the major carriers are most major carriers and by this exact type of insurance so generally speaking, how much does that cost if you go to normal commercial insurance company on like I mentioned their names to the all-time.

How much does it usually cost the cost about $3.15 per thousand as high as eight dollars per thousand. Now we will have car insurance and homeowners insurance. We know that's some other cost of insurance is wrapped up in your credit score and other factors. So if you are to buy this to the consumer finance company or small companies of finances equipment. If you get this credit insurance.

What's the cost. There any objections to this and said it cost more generally speaking I have not surveyed every single company that provides this type of insurance but generally speaking, and talking to a number of different companies and people who actually provide this. The cost is incredibly less than you get from major insurance carriers. Generally speaking, $0.87 to a dollar 31 per thousand. Democrat Deb Butler took Gov. Cooper sighed and spoke against the measure, Butler says she consulted with some experts in her home city of Wilmington. We have the privilege of having some of the finest lawyers in the state who analyze predatory lending. The financial protection law center of Wilmington, North Carolina, and I have consulted with them at length about this and they tell me in no short order that this type of insurance is predatory in nature.

It has a disproportionate effect effect on poor and unsophisticated buyers driving the price of their goods and insurance in an astronomical way. Nothing is changed about it since our last gathering. The governor recognizes that and I urge you to support him in this mission.

Other lawmakers had questions about the measure. One was Republican Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County. The way it's worded here. I don't read legalese that will and it looks to me like it saying that prevents any property you own, except for an automobile could be seized if you don't play on this loan. Could you explain well may be wrong about that.

In this type of loan is what's known as a secured loan terms of the loan are secured by the property. So for example if you purchase a WaveRunner or an ATV use sign up for this type of credit, insurance only covers that piece of equipment that if you were to default on the payments.

For example, that somebody couldn't come and get your lawn more tractor or your bedroom suite or something else that it has to be put only on the piece of equipment that your financing Republican John plus also wanted a clarification.

Could you just give a real world practical example of this type of insurance and how it works use an example of an ATV. We have some folks in Yerevan sure like to go hunt deer season or any other citizen purchase and if they are not cheap. You certainly can't buy one with a $250 cash card that you can buy anywhere at the bank cost upwards of $10,000.

So once you take the property at $18,000 ATV out with you on a hunting trip. If you run into a tree and you have no insurance you still own $10,000 because you have borrowed money legally and voluntarily and I wrote $10,000 you don't have these collided with a tree destroyed this type of insurance provides protection against the collision. Democrat Mickey Michelle last couple of questions.

This legislation purchased for this mandatory concert does not.

It's always voluntary state law and federal law actually prohibits the coupling of mandatory insurance with consumer price consumer purchases of this type. So it is not mandatory. I don't know how many cool folks. By ATVs, but requires registration necessary reason for it is again to ask to include those classes of property and of change last 20 or 30 years my samples jet skis ATVs which when this law was originally written. People didn't have close so it wasn't really that, so it's not a major change in the long some minor change to recognize new classes of property that people can take off of their personal homestead, where they live. So it's just trying to update things the way people actually live today. Democrat Ken Goodman wanted to know about protection for consumers is the lender have to disclose to the buyer that this insurance is not mandatory absolutely is in full compliance with the law he has to say that it is not mandatory. In fact, the forms that are put in front of the customer to sign state that very fact have to clearly disclose the price of the insurance that is corrected us to decide how much to charge consumer for this insurance is actually very good question. The lender does not get to decide that that is decided by the insurance carrier is merely providing that option at the point-of-sale publican representative Jeff Collins reminded his colleagues that the bill does not turn and illegal product into a legal product.

This type of insurance is not illegal already and if you listen carefully if we allow the this new group. Prices will actually be better than what people are currently offered on this type of insurance which is already legal in North Carolina.

You been listening to debate about a bill that permits a new way of selling credit insurance North Carolina lawmakers overrode the veto from Gov. Roy Cooper determined the bill into law will return with more Carolina drought radio if you the freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups all across the state. All in one place North Carolina one-stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement North Carolina You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina Journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analyst plus opinion pieces and reports on higher education. All of that from the Pope Center for higher education policy commentary and polling data from the Cintas Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all of that, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Log on today. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio I'm Dina Martina's new education data from the state Department of Public instruction is helping to point us to some trends some successes and some real concerns among the headlines. According to Dr. Terry stoops of the John Locke foundation statewide proficiency and four-year graduation rates have inched up but there was a slight decline in the percentage of schools exceeding growth expectations and Dr. stoops joint is now look at the data, welcome back Terry, thank you first of all let's talk about the graduation rate situation where we will, according to most the reports with the highest 40 graduation rates we've ever had and 86.5% and it's true we have our graduation rate has been increasing every year for many years. We hear a lot that this graduation rate is an indicator that students are being successful that they're getting through school in greater numbers and that there prepared for college and career. After they graduate. But I have some doubts about that, and I think II indicate that in some of the things I said and written about these task let's talk about the community college remediation rate for so what does that mean and why is it significant well and it asked the question how many students that graduate and go directly to North Carolina community college need remedial classes in math and English, and we find that around 1/3 of community college students, and these are recent graduates and not students going back to the community college after being in the workforce need remedial math and reading were not talking about complex math were not talking about very difficult English language arts.

Things were talking about what they should have learned in high school and recently we learned that a lot of students in high school were taking credit recovery courses and these are courses that are pass fail.

That essentially allows them to skirt the regular curriculum take these very brief courses and pass them to get them counted toward their graduation and this is really of particular concern because now that we have a higher quantity of graduates. The question is what is the quality of those graduates and I think we need to start asking very serious questions about that certainly isn't any help that student at all gets out with a college with with a high school diploma, but isn't prepared really to either go on to college or some sort of training or going to workforce its knots, and I fear that the graduation rate is being used mostly for political and say look were succeeding in North Carolina. The graduation rate keeps going up. But the problem is is that as it goes up. We are graduating more and more kids. It seems that really are prepared for what is going but they're going to encounter the workforce. Earn higher education. So that's why we need to start taking a serious look at this.

So how are we doing before those kids actually get out of school. Our kids learning are they entering a grade.

For example, and then coming out at the end of that school year. Having illustrated that they actually have learned and have have grown in their knowledge were seen fairly positive trends with student growth. If you look at all of our growth targets across entire states around three quarters about 75% of students are either meeting or exceeding growth.

Around 25% or not. And that's very positive, but that's only really one half of the story.

The other half is how many of those students freshly proficient. So growth measures how far they have gotten in the school year are they meeting what we would expect them to do over the course of a year by the student may be able to grow during that year, but still not even be close to being grade level proficient. So, while 75% of students are meeting or exceeding growth expectations only around 57% are proficient in English run 55% are proficient in math and this is really what we need to be worried about some this is a great case. I'm sorry three through eight, we really need to be mindful that even though there making growth. They also need to be grade level proficient and barely breaking 50% of students that are proficient in these subjects and in some grades it's even lower than 50%. Will Terry if that's the case, then, are these kids moving onto the next grade independence. If they're in third grade because the read to achieve program. Sometimes they're not moving on, because the read to achieve program for third grade literacy says that if you are not grade level proficient by third grade, then you may be held back another some caveats to that in students may make up the requirements and other ways about for the most part they're not being held back. They are the get to continue on and were seeing that as students move through middle school proficiency rates go down, and that's because the students are grade level proficient in the early grades and they continue to fall further and further behind as they go through elementary and middle school, so by the time they reach eighth grade. We have some of the lowest proficiency rates across all subjects because the students have been passed on Terry, are we seeing any trends in the data that would indicate to us that the certain subgroups of students who are maybe a particular doing well or subgroups of students that have really difficult challenges in ingesting extra help shore well really comes as no surprise that the white students and Asian students really accept have really excelled in our in our tests testing system were seeing that Hispanic students, African-American students, students with disabilities and second or English as a second language students continue to struggle, there continues to be an achievement gap. We are not doing a very good job of closing the achievement gap were not seeing really the kind of gains that we need to see in order to ensure that those students who have traditionally struggled are getting up to where the other students are and let me just say that this is been happening for decades is nothing new about the achievement gap and there's nothing new about the subgroups struggling with these other groups succeeding.

This is not a creation of Republican legislators, but this is a thorny problem that states beyond North Carolina are dealing with and having a hard time solving Terry within the public school system. We have traditional classrooms that traditional public school, but then we have public charter schools which are in some ways outside the system but are definitely part of it as well. Any trends between those charter schools, and traditional district schools that were seeing in any of the scores are the proficiency rates.

Yes, what's important to them.

This is probably the least reported subjects. Charter schools are outperforming district schools as a whole. If you look at their school performance grades and a lot of people just realize the North Carolina downgrades schools a through F that wasn't the case years ago where we would give them names that no one knew what they meant. We now grade them a through F and if you look at the eight through a system of a higher percentage of charter schools getting A's and B's than the district schools.

But you have a higher percentage of charter schools getting F's compared to the district system and this is how this this is occurred since we've incorporated the a through F system a few years ago. Obviously, a school that is particularly repeatedly getting F grades is a problem whether they're a traditional school or a charter school, but there is a difference about how to handle well if you're in F school in the charter system you can face closure and a lot of schools do if they have persistent low performance on state tests, they are subject to closure. What's interesting this year is that those schools in the district system that are Deezer, F's, or put on a list and may become part of the innovative innovation school districts are what we used to be called the achievement school district and be taken over by the school district to receive special attention from a charter school operator and perhaps as an attempt to raise student achievement. So there are consequences and district system, but they get extra help and the charter schools get faced with the possibility of closure. What's fascinating date at the very latest data from the state Department of Public instruction on test scores, graduation rates at proficiency scores, etc. the analysis comes from our guest, Dr. Terry stoops. He is the John Locke foundation's vice president for research. Also, the director of education studies.

You can read this entire Terry, thank you thank you that's all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for another edition of Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development John Locke call 66 GLM info 166-553-4636 Journal radio nation airline is maintained on this program nearly mentioned on the show or other foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again

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