Cat 5 Politics: NC Gov. Cooper Declares “State of Emergency” Over Approaching Democratic System

North Carolina is now officially in a “state of emergency.” After the announcement by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), citizens may be justifiably confused on whether they should move inland.  The cause is not a developing storm over the Atlantic, but an approaching democratic vote in Raleigh. Legislators are preparing to override his veto to allow greater school choice under the state voucher system, so Cooper declared that override to be akin to a Cat 5 hurricane.  Cooper wants citizens to move politically, not physically.

Seven in ten North Carolina voters favor greater school choice. Nationally, the figures are the same with 72% favoring greater choice with huge majorities among both Republicans and Democrats. So the emergency is the combination of the voters and democratic change.

Cooper declared “It’s time to declare a State of Emergency for public education in North Carolina. There’s no Executive Order like with a hurricane or the pandemic, but it’s no less important.”

I do not question the significance of this democratic vote, just the invocation of emergency power to stop it.

recently wrote about how public schools and boards are making the case for school choice advocates with failing scores and rising controversies. Despite massive school budgets, public school systems continue to fail their students, including Baltimore where 23 schools in Baltimore City had zero students who tested proficient in math. Those schools include 10 high schools, eight elementary schools, three Middle/High schools and two Elementary/Middle schools. The state found that 2,000 students who took the state test could not do math at grade level.

We also discussed how a high school student almost graduated near the top half of his class after failing every class but three in four years. He had a 0.13 GPA. His mother objected and went public.

Faced with school boards and teacher unions resisting parental objections to school policies over curriculum and social issues, states are on the brink of a transformative change. For years, boards and teacher unions have treated parents as unwelcome interlopers in their children’s education.

That view was captured in the comment of Iowa school board member Rachel Wall, who said: “The purpose of a public ed is to not teach kids what the parents want. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client is not the parent, but the community.”

State Rep. Lee Snodgrass (D-Wis.) tweeted: “If parents want to ‘have a say’ in their child’s education, they should home school or pay for private school tuition out of their family budget.”

As public schools continue to produce abysmal scores, particularly for minority students, board and union officials have called for lowering or suspending proficiency standards or declared meritocracy to be a form of “white supremacy.” Gifted and talented programs are being eliminated in the name of “equity.”

Once parents have a choice, these teachers lose a virtual monopoly over many families, and these districts could lose billions in states like Florida and North Carolina.

Gov. Cooper is accurate that this is a whirlwind of change for schools, but it has been developing on their radar for decades. Rather than address the parental concerns, teachers and unions struck out at the parents, shifted focus to social agendas, and lowered standards.

To use Cooper’s analogy, they sat on the coast watching as this growing democratic system approached without taking any real measures to safeguard their schools by making meaningful changes.

Cooper declared that “the Republican legislature is aiming to choke the life out of public education. I’m declaring this state of emergency because you need to know what’s happening.”  It was an ironic statement since these districts and teacher unions have been choking the life out of our public schools for decades while dismissing the concerns of parents.

North Carolina has been ranked 16th on school quality under one study and 29th in another depending on measuring testing scores as opposed to broader criteria. Florida is ranked number one overall, but just implemented greater school choice options.

As I have previously written, this trend has been particularly hard for many of us who are ardent supporters of public education. Growing up in Chicago during the massive flight of white families from the public school system, I remained in public schools for much of my early education. My parents organized a group to convince affluent families to remain in the system. They feared that, once such families left, the public schools would not only lose diversity but political clout and support. They also wanted their kids to benefit from such diversity. My wife and I also believe in that cause and we have kept our four kids in public schools through college.  We believe public education plays a key role in our national identity and civics. It shapes our next generation of citizens.  My children have benefitted greatly from public schools and the many caring and gifted teachers who have taught them through the years.

I have no doubt that Cooper’s alarm will be shared by many in the media who will send reporters to the eye of the democratic hurricane to be shown on live national television being buffeted by the high political winds and threatened by the voting surge.

However, Cooper’s invocation of emergency powers leaves voters with a chilling message: they are the threat.  The developing storm is the hazard of democracy. Just as many Democrats now claim that free speech is harmful and needs to be curtailed, it appears that democracy itself is an emergency that requires immediate state action.

Cooper is detecting a sharp drop in political atmospheric pressures just before an election season. For a politician, that is nothing short of an emergency.

162 thoughts on “Cat 5 Politics: NC Gov. Cooper Declares “State of Emergency” Over Approaching Democratic System”

  1. People keep asking what this “state of emergency” allows the governor to do. I was wondering that too, so I did a little internet research. The answer: nothing, it’s a publicity stunt, he’s trying to get like-minded people to contact their state rep or state senator. That’s about it.

  2. Communism failed.

    Communism lasted in Russia for 75 years by force of arms.

    Even the “armed guards” gave up on communism.

    Two or three megalomaniacal lunatics persist in the world.

    Public schools are day-care centers and a teachers union redistribution of wealth program.

    A union is a criminal organization; its only possible concession in negotiation is violence.

    Unions must not be recognized and must be illegal.


    Private free market competition always provides the best product at the lowest price.

    Students must obtain and education the old fashioned way. They must earn it!


    Redistribution of Education is forced on the public even if public students are incapable of assimilating education.

    Incapable and unmotivated public school “attendees” are disruptive, deleterious and detrimental to education.

    THE PROBLEM: The losers hate the winners and the winners are outnumbered by the losers.

    Thous Shalt Not Covet

    The losers covet with a vengeance what the winners have.

    That’s where the Constitution comes in.

    It is unfortunate that America doesn’t have a Supreme Court that knows how to read it.

    Equity prevails in the Constitution with its absence of bias and favor – people are free to succeed.

  3. Nobody has yet explained – what did Cooper’s declaration of emergency empower him to do? What orders has he implemented?

  4. Turley’s assignments today are to attack a Democratic leader and to lend support for another alt-right theme: that charter schools do better than public schools (which is not true) and, therefore, families should have a “choice” about where their child goes to school so that they aren’t stuck with “failing” public schoos. This argument exists to generate support for public funding for religious schools, under the guise of caring about childrens’ education. The Network For Public Education published an unbiased review of this issue, and concluded that charter schools do not produce better results than public schools, despite the fact that they cherry-pick students likely to do better, they kick out kids whose test results might make them look bad and/or who have behavior problems, and that they “teach to the test”, to make it look like their students are doing better. Below is their conclusion:

    “Bottom Line
    Despite the advantages charter school have to selectively enroll students, concentrate instruction on teaching to the test, and
    push out students who pose the most challenging academic and behavior problems, these schools still do not out-perform
    public schools. Instead of expanding the number of these schools, we should ensure families have access to public schools
    nearby that are adequately resourced to serve the existing student population in the community. Integrating neighborhoods,
    fully funding public schools, lowering class size, and using research will increase the achievement of all American students.”

    1. Gigi ( Natacha) ,The Network for Public Education is hardly ” unbiased”. Their mission statement is ” We are an ADVOCACY group whose mission is to preserve, promote, improve and strengthen PUBLIC SCHOOLS for both current and future generations of students. Doubt they would laud Charter schools under any circumstances.

      1. Charter schools ARE public schools–but they are run mostly by religious organizations that try to justify public tax money going for religious purposes with the false notion that they do a better job of teaching basics–which they don’t. Statistics don’t lie–charter school students where I live do NOT do better on standardized tests than regular public schools, and this is true generally, even though charters weed out kids not likely to do as well. Charter schools don’t care about kids who need counseling or special help because of learing or behavioral problems, but such children are among school populations and also deserve a good education.

        1. Gigi ( Natacha) I know charter schools are public. But I think the point of the post had to do with the voucher program. I don’t know where you live but here in Chicago, the charter schools are much better than the non charter. Students in non charter schools are much less proficient in math reading and science. All state charter laws require that schools be ” Secular”. Which by definition means ” no religious or spiritual basis. I don’t know where you got your ” Charter schools don’t care about kids who need counseling or special help” . Because they are under the auspices of the CPS just like non charter schools I would assume that requirements for all counseling or special help would be the same. All children deserve a good education, I agree. Access to great education is the first and in my mind the most important step in helping everyone to achieve success as an adult.
          I do have to give you credit also. Not one reference to Trump. ( and I am not Trump fan).

    2. GiGi, regardless of the “unbiased” report by the Network for Public Education, so many of their facts are absolutely not true of all charter schools. My grandchildren have attended two charter schools in North Carolina. In both cases the
      students were selected by lottery, not “selectively enrolled” and certainly not “cherry picked.” Charter schools do not push out students who have “challenging academic and behavior problems” once they are enrolled. Two of my grandchildren receive special instruction for ADHD, and it is high quality and inclusive. I can also assure you that their curriculum is much stricter and does not “teach to the test.” As a public school teacher myself, however, I can tell you that I was required to administer a two hour “assessment” 4 times during the year prior to actual testing, taking up valuable instruction time. Further, all lesson plans had to list the testing standards that were being addressed. Perhaps you are thinking of Magnet schools, which are public schools. Those students apply and are selected based on the specialty of the magnet, International Baccalaureate, law, engineering, etc. In Wake County, NC, the application to be accepted to a magnet school includes the following: “The socioeconomic status of where you live and your assigned school will determine your place on the priority list” and “Applications are not first come, first served.” Unlike the charter schools whose acceptance is 100% lottery, the magnet schools have 10% lottery. I grant you that not all charter schools are on the up and up, but their charters are approved by those acting under the authority of the state legislature, that are typically –wait for it–public agencies such as local school boards or state departments of education.

  5. What we are seeing is the formation of two different education systems.
    One, non-woke parents who want the best for their children and their children’s future.
    The other, either parents who are woke or those who cannot afford an alternative to public schools.
    The former will have children who can read, write, do math, understand the sciences and history. They will do well in non-woke colleges, and go on to a bright future.
    The latter, well, we have already seen the results of public education and those schools that embrace wokeism. Their future is rather . . . dim. The parents of these children should be given a choice to improve their child’s education and opportunity in life.

    1. @upstate

      There are also an alarming number of parents that simply don’t give a sheet. At all. Not even a thought in their head. Many schools and unions also prey on immigrants from less educated regions that don’t know any better.

    1. Hullbobby LOL!!!!!! I’ve posted less than a dozen. Come on man. Learn to count properly. I see you STILL keep reading my comments.

  6. The last gasp of state school totalitarians is a feeble plea but nevertheless one that has kept them in power far too long. Hear them exclaim, “Public schools are good enough. Parents should send their children to those schools and be accepting of the results no matter how dissatisfying they may be.”

    We must ask ourselves is “good enough” the best that can be? Are we doing our best for kids when we do not allow for choice in how their education is to be delivered? Are we standing up for their education when advances in technology enable us to deliver its products and services at far less cost to taxpayers? Are we standing up for their education when the intention of bureaucrats and union leaders is to prevent competition while also remaining within a delivery paradigm that has existed since before the turn of the 19th century?

    No one should ignore that the whole point of charter schools, vouchers, and other tax funded alternatives to the monopoly that is public education is about choice. The expense concerns flow from the fact that all those alternatives remain tax funded. Only when the alternatives show better results for the tax money they receive will people begin to awaken to cost effectiveness and how it is driven by ever increasing competition. Once that becomes an actuality those same people and more will begin to awaken further to how well the merits of private sector competition can be made to work for less expensive education.

    The hard truth is public education has become too costly and tolerant of mediocrity for what it should be in the 21st century. It needs innovation that takes it away from the traditional approaches. We all need to ask what are the educational materials required today. Do we really need as many school buildings as we have? Hasn’t technology altered the role of the teacher as well, and should not that role be adapted to the new realities?

    1. Ron A. Hoffman. Choice requires that there indeed be a choice. A real choice, not just merely rhetorical pronouncements.

      Private schools are not going to magically appear or expand their facilities to accommodate demand. Most pick and choose who they accept. Some use a lottery system, others require religious statements of faith from parents and students in order to ‘earn’ place in the school.

      School choice has not been the panacea they claim to be. It has more problems than they’d like to admit.

      1. Choice should extend for parents to choose among public schools as well. The best answer to addressing and fixing public school failures is for public schools to compete among themselves.

        1. Competition has not produced significant improvements in public schools. In fact some school choice programs have harmed private schools more than public schools.

          “The broader policy goal of school choice always was to cause schools to compete for students on issues of quality. The stark reality is that when it came to competing for students, Indiana’s local public schools absolutely dominated the competition. By the 2019-20 school year, local public school share of students rose from just under 88 percent to more than 91 percent of students. This doesn’t include the large number of students enrolled in charter schools that are operated by local public school corporations. In contrast, school choice has been devastating for Indiana’s private schools. While there are a few that prosper, most struggle. Mergers or outright closure of many private schools continues to be a real risk to school choice in many communities. Today, Indiana pays for just 6.2 percent of students to attend either charter schools or offers vouchers for private schools.

          By diverting students to less expensive schools, our study found that Indiana’s school choice saved the state close to $88 million in the 2019-2020 school year.“

          Competition is not always the solution.

          1. In taking your perspective on it, all is well with public education in Indiana. That’s good. Really good. Now, what does Indiana have most public education troubled states don’t? What’s that you say, Joe? “Indiana is a Republican stronghold and is rated R+11 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index. The current governor of Indiana is Republican Eric Holcomb, and Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly.” Oh no! Say it ain’t so, Joe.

        2. @Ron

          In my former home city, there is one school district. One. They encompass a city of a million people. Unless they are broken up, there is no such thing as competition.

          I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think even people on the noble side of this issue have fully wrapped their heads around just how awful things have become.

          Another example: that same district is now bragging about an 80% graduation rate. What they don’t tell you is that they now graduate every student, regardless of GPA or ability. That means the remaining 20% simply stopped coming to school or similar, for whatever reason. They only got 80% when they literally pass EVERY student? That is not a brag.

          Dumpster -> fire.

      2. Svelaz: you are correct for all the reasons you list. “School choice” is just a vehicle to divert tax dollars to religious schools that cherry-pick students likelier to do better, limit enrollment which results in smaller classes, they “teach to the test”, and have the ability to kick out kids with learning and behavioral problems, who need more attention and services, which they don’t want to provide because it doesn’t involve shoving religion down their throats but instead requires a desire to meed the needs of such students beyond classroom teaching.. See:

        But, they’ve found an attractive arguments: parents controlling their childrens’ educations. It’s BS.

      3. Private schools are not going to magically appear or expand their facilities to accommodate demand.

        I count 7 new christian schools that are less than 20 years old in our geography, That can triple by the next election, with the others doubling in capacity. Downtown Cities are in an office space glut, due to work from home popularity. So hiring a staff of teachers and renting some floor space is so simple you might figure it out.

        1. No, no, no!

          American industry has NEVER expanded and contracted in response to demand or a dearth thereof.

          NO, NO, NEVA, NEVA, UH, UH, UH!

  7. I am a product of the North Carolina public school system to include the North Carolina University system and have actually run for a seat on my County School Board and still live in North Carolina thus feel quite free and qualify to speak to the latest democrat led disaster to befall this State……King Roy the sitting Governor.

    We have a Council of State system of government where major issues such as “Emergencies” are supposed to be considered by certain specific Office holders within the State Government.

    During the Covid crisis King Roy went on his own way in issuing his various decrees (Executive Orders) either in disregard of the Council of State or while just not even going to the Council of State and was at one time sued in Court by the Lieutenant Governor.

    North Carolina prides itself on our Public School and University System….we even have such language in our State Constitution and properly place great store in the importance of education…good education….and post the Civil Rights movement that applies to all of us in the State no matter what our skin color might be. I saw that change first hand.

    Our. public school system used the “Feeder” system….specific neighborhoods (census tracts)/voting precincts fed certain elementary schools which fed specific Junior High Schools…..which in turn fed certain specific High Schools.

    Thus if you lived in the “right” part of town you went to Reynolds High School, which was located at the juncture of the most posh rich neighborhoods of town, some upper middle class neighborhoods (think White here) and some of the poorest neighborhoods (think Black here)…..yet the school had no Black Students at all. Families like the Reynolds (tobacco), Hanes (textiles), Gray (Banking) and other extremely well to do families were represented. The School benefited from that in the amount of outside money in addition to “favored” treatment by a School Superintendent and School Board that knew how its Bread was Buttered ensured that High School was staffed with good teachers and had lots of athletics and excellent visiting notables giving speeches, orchestra presentations, and the like. The city orchestra performed its concerts in the School Auditorium (the building funded by Reynolds Tobacco money). Yes….we were a Separate but certainly not equal education opportunity as was the policy in those days.

    Then….we got Ten Black Students ending that separate but equal thing and in time we saw the all Black and all White schools become full integrated and become what we see today in that school system.

    The political movement of changing the funding method of State Public Schools by allowing the “Money follow the Student” and allow Parents to “choose” which school their Child attends is a fancy way of saying each Public School must compete for students which we know is an mortal threat to sorry teachers and poor administrators who rely upon a guaranteed inflow of students to fill their classrooms and ensure employment. It also allows for entire school systems to ignore failing to provide a good education for all students within the system.

    The North Carolina State Legislature is tasked by the State Constitution to provide funding and oversight over the State’s School system, each County is required to fund the Public Schools within its jurisdiction, each County has School Boards to run its public schools. In this instance the Governor, King Roy, is playing pure partisan politics and doing so for corrupt reasons.

    He knows the Legislature has a Veto Proof Majority since several Democrats have joined with the Republicans in the Legislature thus even if he vetoes the Bill it shall become Law upon the Legislature voting to overturn his Veto.

    He knows the State Supreme Court no longer has a Democrat Majority that ignores the Law and votes along in a party line fashion and now looks to the Law….so he knows that he cannot win that way.

    He has refused to utilize the Council of State because he knows he does not have the Votes there either.

    So…here we are….he issues another of his infamous Decree’s…..calling it an “Executive Order” falsely claiming he has the Emergency Power to stop a legislative act by the State Legislature.

    You wonder his State Attorney Genera is on this…..Prince Josh the Crown Prince is no where to be seen or heard from as he is running for Governor and does not want to lose any Democrat votes.

    Prince Josh is running against the State Lieutenant Governor, Mark Robinson, who was a victim of that old school way of thinking and who lived on the wrong side of town that saw him sent to the “Black High School” at about the same time I was gifted a good High School Education despite living two railways the wrong side of town but still within the feeder district of the best “White” High School in the same town. Mark is a very large Black Man, a Man of faith, a Man of Principle, and came from poverty, a poor education system, a broken home, and has shown we are all in this together and that career politicians do not have the wisdom or character that they claim to do. Ask Lieutenant Governor Robinson what he thinks about the Governor’s actions and motives and get his take on the value of School Vouchers and School Choice….his view is that of someone on the wrong set of a railway tracks with a clear view of what lay on the other side but was out of reach due to the system….one that continues today in the absence of School Choice and Vouchers.

    That is what this is about….in today’s desegregated society….how do we ensure equal opportunity for every student no matter Race, what part of town you live in or how much you want that better education for your child.

    King Roy is wrong…wrong in action, wrong in motive, and wrong in everything is what he is doing today…..just as it was wrong in the past.

    Typical Democrat….he really does not care about the Child….as folks…..this is about every Child.

    Send the money with the Child….let the Public School system compete in the pursuit of excellence.

    Fair, legal, and legitimate competition never hurt anyone except the Losers….and then only if they themselves did not learn from their failure.


        PUB MED National Institute of Health – National Library of Medicine

        James Watson tells the inconvenient truth: faces the consequences

        Jason Malloy


        Recent comments by the eminent biologist James Watson concerning intelligence test data from sub-Saharan Africa resulted in professional sanctions as well as numerous public condemnations from the media and the scientific community. They justified these sanctions to the public through an abuse of trust, by suggesting that intelligence testing is a meaningless and discredited science, that there is no data to support Dr. Watson’s comments, that genetic causes of group differences in intelligence are falsified logically and empirically, and that such differences are already accounted for by known environment factors. None of these arguments are correct, much less beyond legitimate scientific debate. Dr. Watson was correct on all accounts: (1) Intelligence tests do reveal large differences between European and sub-Saharan African nations, (2) the evidence does link these differences to universally valued outcomes, both within and between nations, and (3) there is data to suggest these differences are influenced by genetic factors. The media and the larger scientific community punished Dr. Watson for violating a social and political taboo, but fashioned their case to the public in terms of scientific ethics. This necessitated lying to the public about numerous scientific issues to make Watson appear negligent in his statements; a gross abuse of valuable and fragile public trust in scientific authority. Lies and a threatening, coercive atmosphere to free inquiry and exchange are damaging to science as an institution and to scientists as individuals, while voicing unfashionable hypotheses is not damaging to science. The ability to openly voice and argue ideas in good faith that are strange and frightening to some is, in fact, integral to science. Those that have participated in undermining this openness and fairness have therefore damaged science, even while claiming to protect it with the same behavior.

        1. I assume people wish to stay up to date best they can. I found this piece below interesting today.

          Later I’ll try to post about the camps Biden handlers are gathering fighting age males coming illegally across our borders.

          Special Reports
          Woke Culture Is Modern Maoism Tailor-Made To Destroy The West
          by Trans War On Humanity |
          May 23rd 2023, 11:29 am

          1. So you are finally “woke” to the fact that this “disease” has been spread by the direct and mortal enemies of the American thesis, freedom and self-reliance, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, actual Americans and America?

            Those direct and mortal enemies include China, Russia, communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs, AINOs) in America, etc.

            1. It’s late, I hope I’ve something left for tomorrow.

              Wait, what’s this? Biden/Obama & Crew are over running the US with Phk’in Terrorist from about a 140 different countries. Well that’d be Treason, I’d think the AG & US Intel would make Arrest or something, if they weren’t in on it!


              BREAKING: Witnesses Confirm Military Camp Being Used to Bring in Fighting Age Males Across Southern Border

              May 23, 2023


      2. @jim

        That hasn’t been the case in my experience. Lowering of standards, certainly, I get what you’re saying, but that is a woke ideal, period, it isn’t aimed at anyone of any particular background most places. My wife’s black students were some of her hardest workers. It was the lazy and entitled locals in a blue city she struggled with. 🤷🏽‍♂️

  8. OT

    America for the first time in decades is seeing that the real racial tensions in this country are not systemic racism but rather a cultural problem of violence and an attitude of entitlement which has fanned the flames of hatred between peoples of all cultures in our land. What we have learned is that you can be an American or you can be a Leftist democrat….you can’t be both.

    “Dem Strategist Calls Florida A ‘Terrorist State’ After Admitting She Went There For Spring Break”

    1. Oil and water do not mix, they are forced to mix through the introduction of emulsifiers.

      The political emulsifiers employed to force the mixture of political oil and water are irrefutably unconstitutional.

      Immigration law, the Naturalization Act of 1802, denied entry to oil.

      Public financial assistance, food stamps, WIC, SNAP, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, etc., all support oil.

      Affirmative action, forced busing, non-discrimination laws, fair housing laws, etc., etc., etc., are all unconstitutional and exist simply to force the physically impossible mixing of oil and water.

  9. Gov. Roy Cooper, State Rep. Lee Snodgrass, Iowa school board member Rachel Wall, public school unions and public school boards have accomplished that which exceeds all differences in race, ethnicity, sex/gender and religious membership and preference: they have FAILED in the education of children, the most vulnerable of citizens. This accomplishment is nothing less than child abuse that will adversely impact those citizens for their entire life.

  10. Turley’s use of the Florida ranking is disingenuous, as usual. The No. 1 ranking is due to higher education not K-12 education which is what school choice is aimed at. DeSantis leaves out the fact that Florida schools are vastly underperforming compared to the rest of the nation.

    “A few years ago, just before COVID hit, a Stanford University study of state-level standardized tests showed that Florida’s “learning rate” was the worst in the country — by a wide margin. Florida students learned 12 percent less each year from third to eighth grade than the national average from 2009 to 2018. The next worst state was Alabama, according to The Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University. Florida’s political and education leaders completely ignored that finding. Contrast that deafening silence with the hype and misinterpretation that comes with the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), “the Nation’s Report Card.” When those results came out last fall, Gov. Ron DeSantis crowed on Twitter that, “We kept schools open in 2020, and today’s NAEP results once again prove that we made the right decision. In Florida, adjusted for demographics, fourth grade students are #1 in both reading and math.”

    Tellingly, DeSantis ignored the eighth grade results, which came out far worse than fourth grade — just as they have in every NAEP cycle since 2003.

    …Florida kids regress dramatically as they age in the system. Since 2003, Florida’s eighth grade rank as a state has never come close to its fourth grade rank on any NAEP test in any subject.

    · The size of Florida’s regression is dramatic and growing, especially in math. Florida’s overall average NAEP state rank regression between fourth and eighth grade since 2003 is 17 spots (math) and 18 spots (reading). But since 2015, the averages are 27 spots (math) and 19 spots (reading).

    No other state comes close to Florida’s level of consistent fourth to eighth grade performance collapse. In the last three NAEP cycles — 2017, 2019 and COVID-delayed 2022 — Florida ranked sixth, fourth and third among states in fourth grade math. In those same years, Florida ranked 33th, 34th and tied for 31st in eighth grade.

    · For comparison, Massachusetts typically ranks at or near #1 among states on both the fourth grade and eighth grade NAEP for math and reading. Its eighth grade rank has never been more than one spot lower than fourth.“

    Florida’s education system is not as successful as they portray it. They love to brag about it. Until you dive into the details where it falls apart.

    1. Svelaz – From the US News and World Report rankings cited by JT: “In evaluating the best states for education – one of eight categories driving the overall Best States rankings – U.S. News examined metrics tied to both higher education and the space from pre-kindergarten through high school. Learn more about the best states for education below, and see the Best States methodology for a detailed look at the data behind the Best States rankings.” So, it is not true that: “The No. 1 ranking is due to higher education not K-12 education which is what school choice is aimed at.”

      1. What? Your quote says the metric is derived from both higher ed and pre-K through high school.

        If you break down JUST the pre-K through high school scores, the state ranked 14th according to US News. So, if the overall rating is 1st, then Svelaz’s statement is accurate.

        Regardless, the US News criteria is not a measurement of score performance, it tracks affordability of college, enrollment rates, graduation rates and other measurements. So, it doesn’t actually measure what Turley is purporting it does.

        Also, Florida’s graduation rate is inflated because they simply lowered the standards. When I was in school, they made a 90 an A, 80 = B, and so on, so that GPAs would be higher. This did nothing to educational performance. If that means they are graduating more students, then it graduation rates are inflated.

        1. Svelaz, you detract from your academic pedigree when you upvote your own comments in seconds. At least wait a few hours


          1. Mmm.. I don’t upvote my own comments. You keep adding to your uneducated pedigree when you post stupid things like you just did.

              1. Anonymous, thanks for showing us you have nothing of value to contribute. Nothing at all.

        2. Anonymous – If Florida schools are “only” 14th in the nation, then it cannot be true that: “Florida schools are vastly underperforming compared to the rest of the nation”, which is another of the statements of Svelaz.

          1. Edward, Florida students are underperforming as they move up in grade level. DeSantis only touts 4th grade achievements while ignoring 8th grade and above which ARE getting worse.

            They are #14 in K-14 overall. Meaning including all students in 4th grade who are propping up the ranking with the higher scoring. If you take away the 4th grade that ranking will certainly drop further.

            It’s dishonest to tout Florida as No. 1 when they include higher education in the mix. Instead of K-12 which is where school choice is targeted.

      2. Edward. It is true. Because they are including higher education with the rest making the OVERALL ranking No.1.

        However when you separate higher education from K-!2 in the rankings it is NOT No. 1.

        According the US News & wold report 2023 rankings Florida’s K-12 ranks at #14 Not No. 1.

        OVERALL which includes higher education it ranks as No.1 which is what Turley is citing as proof of the success of school choice. Which is false.

        Florida is #15 in college readiness, # 32 in NAEP math scores, # 21 in NAEP reading scores. #9 in Graduation rates.

        Obviously it’s not really No. 1. It’s only No. 1 because they include higher education in the mix.

        Remember this is about school choice involving K-12 education. Not higher education. That is why Turley’s and DeSantis use the No.1 ranking without mentioning that it includes higher education and not just K-12 which is NOT. No.1 , but No. 14

        New Jersey is No. 1 followed by Massachusetts as No. 2.

        Massachusetts is No. 1 in NAEP math scores and No.2 in NAEP reading scores. Florida is # 10 in best states overall.

        1. Svelaz: Out of fifty states a rank of 14 sounds pretty good to me. Might not be #1 but pretty damn good. So what exactly is your complaint? That higher education in Florida is so exceptional that it improves the overall ratings? (I am not convinced that is true. Look at the list of States with party schools).

          1. The complaint is that the claim Florida is No.1 in education implying that Florida’s K-12 education referred is false. Turley is not talking about higher education. He’s talking about K-12 and school choice.

            Including higher education is only being used to make a false claim and it has nothing to do with school choice programs which are only targeted a at K-12 education.

      3. All Florida papers in major metropolitan areas are owned by large corporations or left wing outfits. None of them are pro-family, pro-children, pro-morality, pro-America. Without fail the Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel and other minor cities with papers (Jacksonville Times Union, Gainesville Sun) are far left. The Tampa Bay Times is owned by the Poynter Institute which also owns the notoriously left wing, dishonest The other papers in Florida are owned by Gannet, Tribune Publishing / Alden Global Capital, or McClatchy Company, the 3 largest print media conglomerates in the US.

        The honest papers are the ones owned by local outfits which are managed by local residents. Miami has several of these, both in Spanish and Haitian creole.

        1. So you’re blaming the papers for the fact that Turley and DeSantis lie about the rankings? US News & World report rank Florida’s K-12 education at #14. Not #1. The paper are pointing out that when you dive into the details of the statistics both Turley’s and DeSantis’s claims are false. Neither mentioned the fact that the ranking they brag about includes higher education which is NOT part of the school choice programs.

          Are you also accusing the NAEP of being “leftist” because it ranks Florida’s math and reading scores at 32 and 21 out of 50? They are certainly not No. 1.

          1. It’s deserving of praise, until the 8th grade scores are shown. They drop to 26% which is NOT good.

            1. Dropped from what? You don’t know the subject matter. Obviously you weren’t educated in Florida or you would have a better answer. Were you that one child in Baltimore who failed most of his courses and was in the upper half of the graduating class?

          2. “That is not deserving of praise. Do you agree?”

            From the source cited by anonymous.

            In 2022, the average score in Florida (225) was
            lower than those in 1 states/jurisdictions
            ****higher than those in 44 states/jurisdictions
            not significantly different from those in 6 states/jurisdictions

            What is anonymous talking about? He linked proving the opposite of what he contends.

  11. I can think of at least two or twelve regular posters on this blog who just might be “all in” on the Governor’s declaration. (Stir, stir, stir.) 😂 PS– They know who they are.

    1. Agreed. “Choice” should not be restricted to only those who can afford to pay “twice”.

      1. I am a product of Catholic schools that offered charity tuition. My parents paid property taxes and hence funding for public schools in Miami where desegregation busing was in force, 1970s. Problem was that blacks hated immigrants (and still do) racists that they were. Cuban parents feared for their children since blacks threatened Cubans all the time, and descended on them in packs in black schools. In response to segregation busing, Cubans started opening up Catholic schools for Cuban parents who wanted to have choices. We did not have the athletic departments, school clubs and all star football teams. We were however able to learn English, took AP science courses in Spanish, we read classics in both Spanish and English, and we were taught the importance of excelling in America.

        Public schools are a money pit with poor ROI. Either the kids are a threat to immigrants or the teachers are Marxists. Parents should explore options like mine did.

        1. In your neighborhood growing up, how many faith-based private schooling options were there for Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus?

          If public funds allow “school choice” but the only choice is a Christian school, how is that choice one that is fair to all faiths?

          My public funds shouldn’t go support faith-based learning that is only offered for one religious tradition. I have less of a problem for non-religious private schools, provided they are held to the same testing standards as public schools.

          1. What’s stopping Atheists from opening their own schools, like the religious folks, and getting paid with tax dollars, too?

              1. If I were an Atheist, sure. Since I’m not, no. Like every other religious group, Atheists already have the means and free will to do what they really want to do, including building schools for other non-believers, if they wish. Whether or not they believe that will is from a ‘higher power’.

                  1. Why don’t you tell us the significant religions that believe man has no zero, free will. You might have a problem defending that point.

                    1. “Why don’t you tell us the significant religions that believe man has no zero, free will.”

                      Any religion that promotes original sin, which is a version of innate ideas. That is textbook determinism, of a mystical type. Morality implies choice, which the wicked doctrine of original “sin” eviscerates.

                      After that deterministic premise, any nod to “free will” is merely a sop.

              2. Just curious, why would atheist want to start their own schools? We already pushed god out of our public schools.

                1. You complained that there wasn’t private funding for an atheist school. That means your fellow atheists aren’t generous if such a school is needed. I believe in charity, so what you are saying is nonsense.

                  By the way, when I read what is written by those who have gone to Catholic school, I note that they are many levels ahead of you. Atheist or not, it seems you made a mistake in your choices.

          2. When one chooses a private school, the school has to meet certain standards but they can add more providing a more rounded education. As long as the children are educated and meet the needs of the state, that is a good thing.

            If the school is a religious one and meets the needs of the state in the same fashion, what is your problem? The only objection would be indoctrination into the religion.

              1. Kansas, one has to evaluate what is being learned. The Regents system in NYS was a good system, and for years helped educate a lot of the young with good results.

                What is your alternative?

        2. So very glad to hear your family could opt-out and were ‘pro-choice’ in education. That is my wish for all parents.

          People forget (or were never taught) government didn’t create the US educational system. Private entities, churches, and parents did. They did it by raising local funds from the community to build the schools and hire the teachers. Parents were literally, the school’s administrators.

          I don’t know exactly when each State commandeered the community schools, only that the quality of education in far too many places has gone downhill since then.

          1. Private entities, churches, and parents did.

            Absolutely. Most of the big name universities today were started by religious clergymen. Harvard was named after an English clergyman, John Harvard, the most honored founder of Harvard. Yale university was founded by the Congregationalist clergy, Princeton by Presbyterian Great Awakening preachers, Episcopalians founded Columbia, and Catholics founded some of the great universities in America: Georgetown, Notre Dame, Boston College, Loyola U in Chicago, Fordham U in NYC, and others

            Home schooling of course takes its history from the times prior to compulsory school attendance laws.

  12. I’ve already sa ved 10 minutes today by skipping the first 10 of the expected 200 comments of Svelaz. Whenever you see Svelaz just know that the diatribe will be 100% opposite of WHATEVER Professor Turley is opining on. It is a contrarian thing that must be a blast for any “friends” and family members of this guy.

    Having said the above, in my daily attempt to get Svelaz to shut the heck up for a few minutes in order to allow others to comment without the obligatory “debate”, let me say regarding the issue that the teacher’s unions have brought this on themselves with their fascist approach to Covid, their unending desire to indoctrinate kids in their favored sex theories and their obvious lack of professionalism as shown in the many, many Tik Tok videos that these narcissists insist on showing to us all.

    Teachers are the most overrated group of “professionals in our land. Sure there are some great teachers, probably even many great teachers, but they are the only “profession” that pats themselves on the back the way that movie and tv stars do. Ever see the bumper stickers saying to thank a teacher, or teacher this or teacher that? Odd that you never see a bumper sticker thanking the nurse that deals with burn patients or cancer patients??? We never see the host of Jeopardy say “thanks for your service” to a nurse the way they do to a 22 year old teacher of 5th grade students.

    What we have seen of teachers through their union over the years is enlightening. In Turley’s own city of Chicago we had the big shot member of the teacher’s unions screaming that schools need to remain closed during the pandemic…AS SHE WAS ON A CARIBBEAN ISLAND. Randi Weingarten is the issue, she is the disease and she needs to be defunded by having more school choice.

    1. Hullbobby, predictable as usual. Your whining gives away the fact that you read my posts despite claiming you skip over them. You wouldn’t be whining about what I said if you didn’t know what I said.

      My comments don’t prevent others from posting either. It’s telling that you don’t understand the purpose of this blog at all. My “contrarian” posts are just a different point of view or perspective. You’re just upset that there ARE other views contrary to yours. George posts a LOT more than I do and rants incessantly over nothing. You don‘t go off on a bender whining about his constant postings which are still more numerous than mine.

      You’re just bitter about the fact that I point out differences and problems with Turley’s arguments and those he cheers for or criticizes. You just can’t seem to handle that type of…diversity of discussion. You want views and opinions to align with yours because it’s less aggravating and easier to accept. You just want an echo chamber where everyone is preaching to the choir thus missing the entire point of debating or critiquing Turley’s columns. You know, that whole free speech thing he’s always talking about.

      Free speech is not a guarantee that everyone will not be annoying or contrary to YOUR views. You just don’t seem to learn that lesson at all.

      1. Svelaz, I never say to ban you, I just tell everyone that you comment 200 times on every issue…which you have just about reached already and it is only 1:00. Did you ever think that maybe you should get a life?

        1. Anybody know what kind of background Svelaz comes from? His profile is empty, as if he (she?) were ashamed of it.

        2. Hullbobby, but you WANT to ban me. You can tell, if you had the ability you would.

          You still can’t do math correctly. Learn to count man. YOU’RE the one obsessed with my posts. It seems YOU need a life rather than obsess over the number of posts I make. At least count them correctly.

    2. I’ve already sa ved 10 minutes today by skipping the first 10 of the expected 200 comments of Svelaz.


      Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage
      – Saul Alinsky

  13. This post has spurred the usual right vs left and ad hominem attacks among readers. I wonder how many of these who are certain of the root problems of our failing educaiton system have actually taught or set foot in a classroom. I have. What I see is a large and disturbingly complete abnegation of parents doing their jobs. It only takes a few rotten apples brought to the teacher to disrupt the learning environment. It appears parents are no longer socializing their children to acceptable social contract and behavioral standards. School administrations and the citizens of our communities refurse to hold these parents accountable and pick on educators as they are an easy target. Left with distressing situations, it is the tendency of humans to adjust the controls of what they actually have power over. As one British writer put it, these children are feral. The failing educaiton system needs to be placed at the door of poor parenting and societal breakdown. Public schools are expected to do everything and be everything. This may prevent or encourage parents to abandon their own responsiblities further. Based on what I see everyday in the classroom, I worry for the future of our country. Shades of Escape from New York or an amalgamation of that with Lord of the Flies is in our future. Those kinds of social environments breed toxic political ideologies and tyrants. If you really care about your future, you might want to consider volunteering in one of your local schools, instead of sitting on the sidelines of a blog and posting self-righteous cant.

    1. Perhaps it’s because poor parents know they’re powerless against the the likes of Unions, administrations, and lawyers who’ve told the schools, ‘you can’t remove someone else’s problem student for behavioral issues’. Remember, teachers and administrators can and are being sued by parents for sending their own problem-child students to the principal’s office after physically striking them – just because. Without the parent approving the school being able to correct their child behavior the cycle will continue.

      Seems to me the problem children should be sent to live with the lawyers that represent them. Soon after, you’ll see the fastest turnaround in disciplinary action that’s desperately needed so students want to learn can get back to actual learning.

      1. “ Perhaps it’s because poor parents know they’re powerless against the the likes of Unions, administrations, and lawyers who’ve told the schools, ‘you can’t remove someone else’s problem student for behavioral issues’.”

        You mean those poor parents working two or three jobs and coming home exhausted and expected to keep track of all their children’s schooling issues and whatnot? Yeah it’s certainly not a problem for those who have the luxury of time and only one job and two parents who make enough to have time to do the extra things everyone says should be a responsibility of parents.

    2. I taught elementary school in NC about 12 years ago. At the time, it was #49 in teacher pay. The school I taught at was one of the most underperforming in the state. Students didn’t have any choice among traditional public schools as the rural district only had one school at each level.

      A public charter came in, and suddenly competition was a thing. I fully support public charters; however, giving money to unregulated private schools is a bad idea. Most private schools have no standards whatsoever, and allowing students to use public funds for religious schools is messy because most areas do not provide a sufficient number of options to allow multiple faith-based options.

      Sometimes, a middle ground is more appropriate. I support vouchers for private, non-religious schools, provided the private schools are held to the same testing standards as public schools. Of course, I am sure the pollsters don’t allow for any type of reasonable nuance.

  14. I don’t understand Turley’s fascination with public education– saying it “plays a key role in our national identity and civics.” How is it any better at that than private schools? If anything, I thing private schools are better at that role, too. I attended both private and public schools. There is zero doubt that the smaller class-sizes and greater flexibility in the curriculum based on ability rather than age was far superior at the private school. For instance, in the 3rd grade I would got to the 5th grade class during math and the 6th grade class during what was then called Language Arts.
    During my fourth grade year my mom’s financial circumstances changed and I had to go to public school. It should go without saying there was no accommodation for my advanced math and L.A. abilities and I floundered in abject boredom for a couple of years until my mom was able to send me back to private schools.

    1. He’s a ‘classic’, small ‘L’, liberal Democrat. Someone who remembers when the US Public school system was at the top of educating students world-wide. The bigger mystery is why he’s still a member of the Party while so many of his brethren D’s have turned authoritarian.

      1. I agree. I’m similarly baffled. I went to NYS public schools back when they were considered superior. For years I supported the concept of free, public education. (Not the nonsense of “diversity” which means nothing and accomplishes nothing; one has to first believe in the bigoted idea that there is something essentially different — and also important to “understand” — among little kids from different “racial” or ethnic groups.)

        Then I had my own kids and saw first-hand what schools have become, largely because of the federal Department of Education and out-of-control (and arguably unconstitutional) public employees’ unions. Excessive administrators and administrivia. “Mainstreaming” that makes it impossible for a teacher to teach to “the class”. Some really stupid teachers. I yanked my kids out of their elementary school and homeschooled them.

        What people refuse to acknowledge is that learning does not require fancy buildings, fancy athletic programs, fancy equipment, funded clubs and the like that typically are pointed to as schools in rich neighborhoods.

        What people refuse to acknowledge is that learning requires only: (1) access to good books, both literature and texts (and if there aren’t enough, well then reading TO students is as or more effective than assigning reading homework that’s often not done); (2) a blackboard or white board and paper and writing implements; and (3) a good teacher who knows the subject matter and is able to instill enthusiasm, and also has the freedom to be creative.

        And what people refuse to acknowledge is that academic success is a function of those actually good teachers, the IQ of the students, and culture of the students’ homes. It’s not a function of money or amenities or how pretty the building is.

        In every single area, the schools that rank highest in academic achievement on anyone’s measurement scale rank highest because their student body is on average innately smarter and more well-disciplined because of family background. Not because they have a swimming pool or a well-funded football team or a pretty auditorium.

        1. Well said. Would only add these few data points: Even FDR, the Leftist’s second fave president after pro-eugenics Wilson, was against government employees forming Unions. As he rightly acknowledged, neither ‘side’ represents the interest of tax payors. Critical-thinking skills are missing from the teaching environment, or so it appears, in all areas. Civics and Current Events, as one example…the best teachers encourage their students to look at and debate more than ‘one side’ without ever revealing their personal bias. And you’re right on the money when you say the Department of Education has made things worse. Federalizing *anything* means government making and forcing one-size-fits-all decisions onto everyone. Nothing ever good comes from that.

  15. It’s especially absurd and detrimental to give into pressure to lower standards to accommodate Blacks who don’t perform as well, and to close down excellent gifted & talented programs because mostly Whites & Asians are in them. This hurts all students including Black students who are thereby essentially told they don’t have to work harder since the bar is lowered for everyone. Besides it’s not only Black students that matter.

Leave a Reply