The NC Brand redux

NC Journalist extraordinaire Mark Binker shared a link to the public radio show Marketplace covering the Moral Monday protests (nothing you don’t already know).   Rather, Binker’s thoughts sharing the link are what struck me:

So what does it say that NPR’s [Ed.  it’s actually American Public Media] business news show covered Moral Monday’s last night? Are they still a “peripheral issue” in job recruiting, as the governor suggested?

Ummm, yep.  I was actually thinking about this very issue today while driving through the part of Cary all full of tech companies, etc., and thinking that all this craziness sure is not going to encourage forward-thinking companies to locate here in the future.  Depressing.

And as long as I’m on the brand issue, Pino writes in comments:

The anti-gay laws I get. But the rest?

Meh.

The whole Sharia thing doesn’t matter to me, guns in bars? I think that a bar should be able to decide. As for the schools? Well, there is little evidence that shows better funding increases outcomes.

And the “once proud? UNC? Is it no longer proud? And shrinking the budget of a University is somehow crazy because?

First, I love the fact that he just writes off the most absurd aspect of this with “doesn’t matter to me.”  I would argue that the crazies in the legislature embarrassing our state should concern all North Carolinians who care about the future of our state.

And, of course, better funding increasing educational outcomes.  Yes, it’s complicated and there’s lots of moving parts, but ceteris paribus, you sure want your kids schools better funded than not.  If you believe that people respond to economic incentives, among other things you’d have to believe that money invested in better teacher compensation would result in keeping more good teachers in the classroom.   From the Shanker Institute:

  1. Does money matter? Yes. On average, aggregate measures of per-pupil spending are positively associated with improved or higher student outcomes. In some studies, the size of this effect is larger than in others and, in some cases, additional funding appears to matter more for some students than others. Clearly, there are other factors that may moderate the influence of funding on student outcomes, such as how that money is spent – in other words, money must be spent wisely to yield benefits. But, on balance, in direct tests of the relationship between financial resources and student outcomes, money matters.

As for the once proud university, ask all my students who cannot get courses they need because of the classes we are busy cutting due to budget cuts how they feel about this.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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