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‘Scare tactics’: Istation, company awarded controversial state K-3 reading contract sends cease and desist letters to critics

Another cease and desist letter was sent Monday to Justin Parmenter, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher who has been chronicling the Istation and Amplify controversy on his blog, “Notes from the Chalkboard.” In his blogposts, some of which have been shared 15,000 times, he says the change to Istation will result in “increased screen time” and “reduced human interaction” for K-3 students who are tested on reading.

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In Common Cause v. Lewis, courts will again take on partisan gerrymandering

This lawsuit challenging partisan gerrymanders of legislative districts drawn in 2017 is expected to draw national attention as similar lawsuits move forward across the country. Common Cause NC, the N.C. Democratic Party, and a handful of individuals last year filed a redistricting lawsuit against the N.C. General Assembly. Republicans violated the state constitution by carving out voting districts to their advantage, disenfranchising voters, plaintiffs said. GOP lawmakers denied any legal wrongdoing.

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Redistricting should favor voters

Republicans should see what happened to the previous Democratic majority as a cautionary tale. If the Democrats of 2009-10 had advanced reform themselves, in particular by submitting for voter approval a constitutional amendment governing the redistricting process, that would have placed constraints on what Republican line-drawers could have done in 2011. Of course, Democrats didn’t think they’d lose the 2010 elections. Politicians are often overconfident.

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