Opinion roundup: June 10, 2016

Posted June 10
Updated June 24

CAROL FOLT: How to fix higher education (Wall Street Journal column) -- our universities are falling behind our own expectations. Legacy thinking, outdated teaching models and poor facilities, among other things, leave us at risk of failing our students—some of whom are given low scores for preparedness across key learning outcomes, such as analytical thinking and applying their skills to the real world. Furthermore, bureaucracy and red tape are hindering our research efforts. According to one study, investigators working on federally sponsored research projects spend 42% of their time doing administrative tasks. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we spend roughly $170 million a year complying with too-often vague, complex or duplicative state and federal regulations.

'Bringing the’noise of democracy’ to classrooms (EdNC column) -- For our schools, the 2016 election surely will offer opportunities for teachable moments, as well as it will hand over responsibilities that should not be abdicated. After all, public education, as defined by Thomas Jefferson and pursued through the centuries, has had as a central function the preparation of a citizenry capable of democratic decision-making. Still, largely because of the crude aggressiveness of Trump, the 2016 campaign places pressures on educators. Teachers appropriately want their classrooms to remain neutral common ground for instilling the values of civil discourse, of research-based debate on issues and of casting a vote.

Cliff Cameron was a true public servant (Charlotte Observer column) -- There aren’t many people who would leave a job paying $543,333 per year for one paying ten times less, but when Cliff Cameron, whose funeral was last Wednesday in Charlotte, was asked to become North Carolina State Budget Director at $59,356, he turned even that down and insisted upon a salary of $1 per year.

School split stalemate goes to Raleigh (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- The failure of locally elected officials to negotiate a reasonable compromise over the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools district lines comes as a disappointment to all of us who had hoped for a settlement to emerge from the Twin Counties.

Money wins the day (Greensboro News & Record) -- In an otherwise quiet primary, money spoke loudly Tuesday. The biggest spender, The Club for Growth Action, was the most successful.

Low turnout hands victory to the well-organized (Fayetteville Observer) - -There are about half a million registered voters in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. Just under 10 percent of them went to the polls on Tuesday. Just over 6 percent of them cast a Republican ballot.

Even this year, incumbents roll (Charlotte Observer) -- If voters are angry, they didn’t take it out on incumbents on Tuesday; Alma Adams rolled, Pittenger survives in newly drawn districts; Even credible challengers and anti-establishment mood aren’t enough