Here are the most-read opinion articles from September and October at newsobserver.com, in order of highest readership:
1. “Margaret Spellings’ departure from UNC is bad — very bad,” by Stephen Leonard. “We now have the bizarre spectacle of two talented UNC leaders, Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings, run out of town on the same rail, by the same board, the same legislative leadership, and for exactly the same reason: both refused to allow demands for partisan conformity to disrupt the university’s pursuit of academic excellence.”
2. “Six reasons why the NC constitutional amendments should be rejected,” by Mark Nance. “Instead of providing full information, legislative leaders are relying on voters to be ill-informed and vote based on partial, misleading ballot descriptions. It doesn’t meet the constitutional standard.”
3. “Sen. Thom Tillis now says that man is contributing to global warming,” by the N&O editorial board. “We’re pleased Tillis has left the Flat Earth Society and acknowledged that the planet is warming, that mankind is contributing to that warming, and that we have to do something about it. His previous statements and actions on climate change, particularly his urging Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, have been harmful to our country.”
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4. “How Raleigh manages flooding. A big test awaits,” by Caroline Wolfe. “Hurricane Florence could provide a difficult test for how Raleigh manages flooding. As urban development increases in Raleigh, concrete and asphalt prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground and directs it towards streams and creeks instead....Raleigh has adopted several measures to manage flooding and stormwater.”
5. “Yes, teachers should give homework. The benefits are many,” by Harris Cooper. “Beyond achievement, homework can also lead to the development of good study habits and a recognition that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can also foster independent learning and responsible character traits – essential skills later in life when students change jobs or learn new skills for advancement at work.”
6. “This Raleigh school unfairly got an F. It merits an A for effort,” by Ned Barnett. “Assigning letter grades to schools was introduced 15 years ago in Florida by then-Gov. Jeb Bush. It was intended to give parents a clear, quick assessment of a school’s quality. It hasn’t worked. Instead of quality, letter grades reflect circumstances beyond a school’s control.”
7. “He spent 30 years in prison. How did jurors get it wrong?” by Kristin Collins. “Some seemed relieved to finally talk through the trauma of the trial, though none would let us use their names. Many were ashamed of their role, afraid of what their neighbors would think. Some feared God’s wrath, and wondered if they would go to hell for (Henry) McCollum’s wrongful conviction.”
8. “How Republicans outsmarted themselves on the NC Supreme Court,” by Colin Campbell. “This move initially seemed like an effective, if sneaky, scheme to help (Justice Barbara) Jackson. Few Republicans would challenge their party’s incumbent, while multiple Democrats would be eager for a shot at the state’s highest court. If five Democrats and only one or two Republicans were on the ballot, Jackson would surely win.”
9. “Blasey Ford’s allegations and timeline are credible, psychiatrist says,” letter to the editor by Mindy Oshrain. “In my psychiatric practice over the past 35 years, I have treated numerous women who were sexually assaulted. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation, her story and the time line of her narrative and decisions to disclose are completely credible and follow a typical clinical course following sexual assault.”
10. “North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy,” by Andrew Reynolds. “If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world. Indeed, North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela.”
Drescher, opinion/solutions editor, is at firstname.lastname@example.org; 919-829-4515; @john_drescher.