CLT: Project LIFT goals are model for all

From The Charlotte Observer, regarding a new, privately-funded $55 million project to aid low-income and low-performing students in West Charlotte.

Project LIFT’s goals sound like an awfully good plan for all schools, nationwide.

From the story:

The project’s backers plan to help CMS recruit and retain high-performing educators for the schools, and will push for longer school days, summer programs and early-childhood education programs. It will also provide technology for students and help families better support their children’s education.

Longer school days are just common sense: Parents work to make money to put food on the table for eight-nine hours each day; why shouldn’t students be required to work for the same amount of time each day to gain knowledge to make a better life for themselves? Parents work all year-round. So should students.

We need a cultural and societal shift in values. Continue reading this post…

UNC System President Tom Ross spoke to Charlotte’s WFAE in a story posted online today. In it, Ross (pictured right) says elimination of duplicated programs might be key to saving system funds in the face of the state’s $3.7 billion budget shortfall:

But what we want to look for is unnecessary duplication; that is places where there is there’s a duplication of programs, and perhaps that may lead to the elimination of some programs, or it may also lead to better collaboration among programs that could end up being more efficient and more effective. And so we hope that we’ll be able to save some dollars, and I should point out that looking for unnecessary duplication is not a short-term fix for our current budget crisis. This is really more of a long-term analysis that will help us plan for the universities’ futures

I agree. There’s tons of duplication. The system could save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars by centralizing and consolidating their information technology systems. Why on earth does each separate campus operate on entirely different IT systems for holding student records like health and immunization forms, transcripts and high school records. Consolidating systems like these and eliminating staff at each of the 16 university institutions overseeing these disparate systems seems a no-brainer.

A consolidation of record-keeping systems would also speed up transfer processes for students seeking to shuffle from one campus to another, a process that should never have been as painstakingly difficult and long as it is now.

And, we shouldn’t forget: Stop spending money on ridiculous, unnecessary things like “clickers.”

appstatelogoThere used to be a time — and that time, in many respects, might still be now — when most people thought of urban areas as the only places in to find any sort of measurable or visible LGBT presence. As gays move forward in our movement for civil and social equality, attention on our issues and recognition of our communities are starting to mount up in even the most unlikely of places.

An oral history project at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., researching and documenting the LGBT communities of the Appalachian Mountains received a $6,531 grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a private statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Continue reading this post…

The controversy of Irmo High School (Irmo, S.C.) principal Eddie Walker and his resignation (effective June 2009) over the formation of a gay-straight alliance has highlighted divergent opinions and points of views within the queer community.

The Rev. David Gillespie, a queer pastor who writes as “The Queer Heretic,” has come out disagreeing with activists who are calling for Walker’s immediate termination.

Read more at Q-Notes‘ InsideSource.


MD Court: Duh.

The Washington Post reports that the Maryland Circuit court affirmed the Maryland State School Board which affirmed the Montgomery County school board which included information about sexual orientation in the health education curriculum. The judged ruled there was no reason to “second-guess the appropriateness” of the curriculum chosen by the Montgomery community. Which includes giving the factually correct answer “No,” if asked if being gay is a mental disorder.

For all the talk of activist judges and special interest groups ramming agendas… it seems is is the anti-gay agenda which is out of step with the people, the public interest, and the process of law.