Opinion: Class sizes barely budge under Republicans

TerryStoopsby Dr. Terry Stoops

I have a pretty utilitarian view of class sizes.  Sometimes smaller class sizes make a big difference.  Special needs students and those who require intensive instruction or remediation surely benefit from smaller classes.  Most of the time, however, adding or subtracting a few students from the average classroom does not produce a significant change in outcomes.

Moreover, the costs associated with class size reduction initiatives, from hiring additional school-based personnel to adding classroom space, are considerable.  Often there are less costly and more beneficial school reforms available.  In his 2010 article, “The Cost Effectiveness of 22 Approaches for Raising Student Achievement,” education researcher Stuart Yeh concluded that class size reduction was less cost-effective than 12 alternative school reforms, including cross-age tutoring and computer-assisted instruction.

NumbersUSA rates Jones top NC Member of Congress in fight against illegal immigration

WalterJonesWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) has been rated the top member of the North Carolina congressional delegation for his fight against illegal immigration, earning an “A” grade from NumbersUSA, an organization dedicated to securing America’s borders.

“Congressman Walter Jones has repeatedly demonstrated that he is an exceptional advocate for an immigration system that serves the national interest, especially in protecting the economic opportunity of American wage-earners, and his NumbersUSA Grade Card reflects his steadfast dedication to the issue,” said NumbersUSA President Roy Beck.

Three arrested in alleged staged accident ring in Bertie and Hertford Counties

NCDOIRALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin recently announced the arrests of three people in an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving a series of staged auto accidents in Bertie and Hertford Counties. The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating two additional suspects in association with this case.

Travis O’Neil Basnight, 28, of 736 Cremo Road, Colerain, was charged with four counts of insurance fraud, four counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of filing a false police report. Basnight was arrested on Jan. 28 and placed under a $40,000 bond.

Phil Berger, Jr Announces Strong Fundraising Results In End Of Year Report

PhilBergerJrEDEN, N.C. — Yesterday the Phil Berger for Congress committee announced they had raised over $115,000 in contributions during the first six weeks of Berger’s campaign. “Support from across our district and state are represented in this $115,000 in campaign contributions,” said Phil Berger. “We’ve worked very hard in the few short weeks since I announced my candidacy. We’ve knocked on doors throughout January and made 5,000 phone calls reaching primary voters with my message of fighting to end Obamacare and standing up for conservative North Carolina values. I feel so blessed to see that folks are excited about supporting me and I truly believe our campaign is resonating in all 10 counties of the 6th district.”

National Association of Counties applauds Senate passage of measure that delays federal flood insurance premium hikes

NACoLogoWASHINGTON, D.C. –  The National Association of Counties (NACo) today applauded Senate passage of legislation to delay implementation of new federal flood insurance premiums which would cause insurance rates to rise rapidly in certain areas of the country.  For information on how this legislation would impact counties and the people they serve, please click here to read NACo’s new legislative presentation on Biggert-Waters and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 (S. 1926), which passed by a 67-32 vote, would delay for four years implementation of flood insurance premiums until after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completes its affordability study and Congress can act on those recommendations.

2013 Main Street Award winners announced

NCCommerceRALEIGH, N.C. – Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and Assistant Secretary Dr. Pat Mitchell announced Thursday that 21 awards will be given to participants in the N.C. Main Street and Small Town Main Street program. Award winners are recognized for excellence in downtown revitalization efforts in categories that include promotion, organization, design and economic restructuring.

“North Carolina is already seeing signs of economic recovery and our communities are playing a significant role in that effort,” said Secretary Sharon Decker. “These cities and towns are taking advantage of our recent economic reforms to provide a vibrant “Main Street” setting for emerging business leaders and active citizens.”

Gregory D. Cox Named Special Agent in Charge of the Counterintelligence Division at the FBI’s Washington Field Office

FBIWASHINGTON, D.C. — Director James B. Comey has appointed Gregory D. Cox special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division at the Washington Field Office. Mr. Cox most recently served as chief of the Global Operations Section in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters.

Mr. Cox began his career as a special agent with the FBI in March 1991. He was first assigned to the Washington Field Office, where he worked drugs, gangs, and criminal enterprise matters.

N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel to meet Feb. 4 in Washington, NC

WASHINGTON, N.C. – The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel on Coastal Hazards will meet from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in Washington, N.C., to discuss issues related to Mad Inlet as well as an erosion rate methodology for all developed inlets in North Carolina.

The panel will meet in the hearing room of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington, N.C. The meeting is open to the public, and the public is welcome to speak during a comment period scheduled for 11:10 a.m.

Jones takes action to preserve original Cape Hatteras lighthouse foundation stones

WalterJonesWASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) continued his efforts to preserve the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse original foundation stones, which are engraved with the names of each past keeper of the lighthouse and dates of their service.  In December, Congressman Jones expressed concern to the National Park Service (NPS) that the stones, left in place after the lighthouse itself was moved further inland to prevent it from being damaged, were not being properly maintained.  In light of the response he received from NPS, Congressman Jones has asked Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent Barclay Trimble to meet with the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society and the Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation Society to discuss the best manner in which the three organizations can work together to preserve the stones moving forward.