February 16, 2018

Need to Know

You may notice some new faces on the Weekly Insight byline in the coming weeks. While the Weekly Insight has traditionally been written by staff and board members, we are expanding the pool of contributors in order to cover a broader range of topics. Check out this week’s Insight by Tina Simpson on the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact and its implications for telemedicine in rural North Carolina.

The Other 49

The Rand Corporation released a new report on community colleges in Texas that is relevant for North Carolina’s community college system. The report, Designing and Implementing Corequisite Models of Developmental Educationlooks at how community colleges are dealing with the influx of students who are unprepared for college level classes and placed in remedial classes. Studies show students who start in remedial classes are less likely to take college level courses and graduate, so community colleges in Texas are experimenting with new models of remedial courses.

The report explores corequisite remedial courses, which are taught at the same time, and often by the same instructor, as college level courses. Community colleges in Texas are experimenting with several different models of this, and the report details challenges and recommendations.

Dropping Knowledge

The Urban Institute released a very timely report on the antipoverty effects of SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In 2016, the Census Bureau estimated that SNAP reduced the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) poverty rate (a more comprehensive poverty measure than the official poverty measure) by seven percent.

This study corrects for underreporting of SNAP benefits due to a variety of reasons and finds that in 2015, SNAP lifted 8.4 million people from poverty and reduced the SPM poverty rate by 17 percent. They break it down by region and demographics and find that SNAP caused the largest percentage reduction in poverty for children, non-Hispanic blacks, working families, residents of the Northeast and Midwest, and residents of nonmetropolitan areas.


For Your Consideration

The University of North Carolina system published a report this week titled Leading on Literacy: Challenges and Opportunities in Teacher Preparation Across the University of North Carolina System. UNC recognized the need to address teacher preparation in literacy after a 2015 report “found that none of the 15 teacher preparation programs in the UNC System had a positive, statistically significant effect on elementary reading achievement when compared to teachers prepared via other routes.”

Findings from interviews of administrators, faculty, and students at UNC teacher preparation programs include:

  • Some faculty and teaching candidates found a disconnect between what is taught in educator preparation programs and alignment with curricula and practice of school districts
  • Teacher candidates overwhelmingly wanted more field experiences, including observations, tutoring, and co-teaching
  • Instruction on state standards was not uniform across programs
  • Administrators and faculty were concerned that fewer candidates were arriving in college prepared to pass the Praxis exams, especially in mathematics
  • Candidates wanted more “practical” classes, such as classes on behavior management, teaching reading and writing, and special education


  • How a Police Chief, a Governor and a Sociologist Would Spend $100 Billion to Solve the Opioid Crisis

    The Upshot | 02/14/2018

  • Does Rent Control Do More Harm Than Good?

    Governing | 02/14/2018

  • Fresh evidence supports the link between cancer and sweet, salty processed foods

    Quartz | 02/14/2018

  • The Airbnb Gold Rush: What’s a City to Do?

    Coates' Canons | 02/15/2018

  • Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming

    CityLab | 02/15/2018

  • 2018 gun violence at America's schools

    The 74 | 02/14/2018