Superintendents Oppose Parental School Choice, Bash Opportunity Scholarships

parental rights chalkboard memeProtectionism 101.

News and Observer reported on a ‘wish list’ of sorts put together by some of the Central North Carolina region’s superintendents.

The article doesn’t say it outright, but one item on the list was cutting off funding for Opportunity Scholarships.


Wake County Superintendent Jim Merrill said lawmakers need to change the A through F grading system used to evaluate schools, one based 80 percent on passing rates and 20 percent on academic growth on exams. In addition, a school is now labeled as low performing if it gets a D or F grade and doesn’t exceed growth expectations on tests.

“Clearly the low-performing label lacks even the basic logic that parents should expect of any grading system,” Merrill said.

The superintendents also called for halting the expansion of the program that allows taxpayer dollars to be used to pay for tuition at private schools or any other program that sends taxpayer dollars to private, for-profit entities not held to the same standards as traditional public schools.

Wait, what? Not held to the same standards?

YES, they are. Perhaps these Superintendents are unfamiliar with NC state statutes and the rules for non-public schools.

In fact, one can argue they are held to higher standards because parents aren’t just parents at a private school, they are treated like customers — something Wake County and other districts don’t do and should. Parents hold private schools accountable with their wallets and will pull their kids out.

But wait, there’s more. Superintendent Till whines about testing:

“It’s unfair to test us to do death and then hold us accountable while the people you’re giving money to don’t have to give the same test so we can’t compare apples to apples,” said Cumberland County Superintendent Frank Till.

Dear Superintendent Till — Private schools are required by state statute to test their kids using a nationally recognized, standardized test. They can choose what they want to use. That’s part and parcel of school choice?

If you have a problem with that, take it up with State Superintendent Atkinson, who seems Hell bent on pushing Common Core aligned testing and forcing all 11th graders to take the ACT on the taxpayer dime.

The article also listed some other ‘wish list’ items which included more protectionism,  slighting of Charter schools and relaxing NC’s teacher licensing even more:

Other ideas mentioned Monday include:

▪ Making it easier for teachers who are licensed in other states to be licensed in North Carolina;

▪ Not giving charter schools money for things they don’t have to offer, such as meals and Junior ROTC;

▪ Not passing legislation that would allow charter-school operators to take over some low-performing traditional public schools.

Meanwhile, parents continue to head for the exits — charter school and homeschool enrollment is booming in North Carolina. Perhaps these Superintendents ought to address the why behind that exodus instead of trying to kill parents rights to school choice.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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