Should Democrats really “Focus on the sweet spot-Education.”

| June 25, 2013

Joe Mavretic-colorBy Joe Mavretic, Former Speaker, NC House and NC SPIN panelist

Republican strategists must be salivating over Gary Pearce’s “Focus on the sweet spot-Education.”

If education is the Democratic Brand for North Carolina, then the Democrats are in for a pounding.  Fifty years of Democratic Education Governors-what’s our unemployment rate? Extra pay for teachers with MAT degrees-what’s our dropout rate? Teacher aides, twenty in a classroom, early-childhood education, more teacher training – why do we spend so much on remediation? Why do we score so poorly in math tests-because elementary teachers love kids and hate math! Why do we fall short at least three thousand teacher graduates every year-because the Democrats haven’t pushed the University System of North Carolina. Of the sixteen university campuses, where do the bottom half rank nationally?

Here’s the yardstick the Republicans will use to measure the Democratic Education Brand:
” The purpose of spending half of every county’s budget and half the General Fund for education is: To graduate good citizens with the skills needed in the market place and the ability to enjoy life.” 
How’s that Democratic Education Brand been doing for half a century?
What’s the graduation rate from public schools? From community colleges? From the university system?
Good citizens? How many in prison? Voter turnout? Clean roadsides?
Job skills? What’s the unemployment rate? What are the skill levels in rural areas? In the inner cities? How’s that Democratic Education Brand  doing in Robeson, Columbus, Vance, Warren, Halifax, Edgecombe, Northhampton, Bertie, Hertford and Tyrell Counties?
The ability to enjoy life. The first courses cut/reduced are the AP’s and the arts. How’re we doing on obesity, healthy teeth, good eyesight, teen pregnancy, STD’s, personal bankruptcy and divorce rates.
Here’s a bottom line.
” After fifty years of the Democratic Education Brand, the average wage in North Carolina has never reached the national average.”
The real question for the independent voter is:
” When I bought the Democratic Education Brand, did I get what I paid for? “




Category: NC SPIN Perspectives - Opinions from NC Leaders & Organizations

Comments (3)

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  1. Johnny Hiott says:

    The education system in North Carolina is broken and has been for decades. To fix it ? Go back to local community schools PERIOD.
    Go back to teaching kids a trade, bring back the distributive education and industrial training classes. Teach kids how to do simple arithmatic, grammar, spelling, “true” history,teach reading and writting. With these simple tools a graduate of the sixth grade can succeed in life ! Bring back dicipline into the schools and I am NOT talking about having them arrested but paddling their fanny. Put God back into the schools. Take all of the socialism out of grade schools. If a kid wants to be a socialist let them go to a university and learn it as that’s about all they teach anywhere in America these days.

  2. Tom Holt says:

    He is not comparing apples and apples. NC’s constitution says every child in our state is entitled to a free public education. That means we teach every one and do not turn anyone away. We teach the economically challenged, the educationally challenged, those with disabilities, those with emotional issues, those with one parent families, those with limited English skills—-well you get the picture. If the long range goal of the Republicans is to provide scholarship grants to families for private schools by robbing the public schools to do it, then those schools should be prepared to have to accept those same students as well. If they did, you would see very shortly student achievement in those schools go down and a mass teacher exit as many of those teachers are there because they desire to teach only the upper echelon student. The answer to education is not to cut funding. The answer to education is to prepare and train the best people to be educators and to pay them excellent salaries and treat them like professionals with incentive pay for reaching levels of achievement in their individual program areas and not just general or random benchmarks. The answer to education is to take those students who wish to be destructive and nonproductive out of the learning environment and place them in alternative schools that are funded properly to provide The kinds of active learning strategies that meet their individual needs. The answer to education is to make schools small again to be sensitive to the local communities expectations and where individualized instruction is a reality for those students who need it.

  3. Sue D. Garriss says:

    With all due respect, Mr. Mavretic, as a retired math teacher with 30 years experience, I don’t think this article has anything to do with the “brand” of education but with an effort to lay all the ills of society on the backs of teachers and to elicit support for Republicans, regardless of what they do. STD’s, healthy teeth, divorce and bankruptcy? Really!!! The graduation rate is up, math scores are up when compared to like populations, more people are being educated than ever. Unemployment – now that’s a problem, but a problem of the recession. You mentioned my home county of Columbus – there are NO JOBS!!! And I would bet for every business that claims they can’t find qualified applicants, there are education programs available, that the citizens can’t afford, to train them for those jobs!! I am soo tired of people claiming that the education system is broken. I think the politicians are broken!!!