In his book, “Free To Learn,” Boston College psychology professor Peter Gray makes the connection between school and prison. 

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As a policy analyst and opinion journalist, I have spent much of my career advocating the expansion of choice and competition in education. I purposefully use both of those terms, because I think that families making choices and schools competing for students are distinct but mutually reinforcing mechanisms for improving educational outcomes.

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RALEIGH — A nearly $2 billion school construction bond proposal sailed through its initial House vote with bipartisan support.

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HOFFMAN — One Richmond County legislator is asking the state’s wildlife agency to contribute part of the money it makes off the Sandhills Game Lands in lieu of the lost tax revenue to the county.

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RALEIGH — Making money available for mental health programs and including students in conversations about school safety are among the recommendations in a report from the N.C. Governor’s Crime Commission Special Committee on School Shootings.

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RALEIGH — State education leaders are promoting career paths that don’t involve attending four-year universities.

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RALEIGH — Victor Clifton has a full scholarship to Duke University. He credited his school, Henderson Collegiate High School, with helping make this possible.

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As state superintendent of North Carolina’s public schools, I often hear from other leaders that standardized tests help hold students, teachers, and schools accountable. Accountability is important for our schools but also for our leaders. The testing system that the education-industrial complex built over the past decade forces our students and teachers to endure too many high-stakes tests layered on by federal, state, and local authorities. 

It must stop. 

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 The average public-school district in the United States enrolls about 3,700 students, according to a recent Governing magazine analysis. In North Carolina, the average school district enrolls more than 12,500 students. Only six other states in the nation exceed North Carolina in this regard (including Hawaii, where all 187,000 students are in a single district).

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