Also, the radical Durham City Council tried out a test case for deplatforming school choice in their district and much more.
#1 – The State Board of Education Resignations
All of them were Pat McCrory appointees.
Way to go, ‘Republicans’.
It looks like these resignations will let Roy Cooper gets to fill their slots with no oversight or approval by the legislature. That’s about a 7 month time period.
This is truly worrisome given who Cooper tried to appoint to the Board of Education last time around.
And don’t forget to consider Cooper’s farce of an education commission, which was created for the express purpose of attacking the legislature and dismantling School Choice.
Re-appointing Kenan was not such a big deal, however, John (J.B.) Buxton and Sandra Byrd were.
Byrd is rabidly anti-school choice, an active leader with the NCAE and has actually sued the state over the scholarship program for low-income students known as the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP).
Buxton, a former NC State Superintendent candidate, has several ties to radical and far Left organizations in North Carolina. Buxton’s campaign team included Tom Lambeth, the former executive director of the liberal Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has been responsible for a large amount of funding for BluePrint NC, the liberal organization which penned the now famous attack memo outlining the ‘crippling and evisceration of Republicans in North Carolina.
Lambeth wasn’t the only one on board with far left ties. Buxton’s donors in 2004 included far-left billionaire, George Soros, who gave the campaign $2,000.
Buxton’s wife, Hunter, started up an organization called “First Vote NC” which was absorbed by the education newsgroup, Education NC. Without question, Hunter and her Husband JB are progressives.
First Vote is a civics/ voting educational program that has won some awards and has been used by the Dept. of Public Instruction in various districts around the state despite a number of disturbing problems with the curriculum that was being used.
I had intended to write about what I found with regards to the obvious political bias in the program, however, I have been communicating with Mebane Rash of Education NC and she has been very receptive about my feedback regarding the curriculum. We will have to see what eventually shakes out with First Vote in the future.
#2 – DPI Employees Leaving – or were they fired?
Also leaving the realm of Public Education in North Carolina are two long-time Atkinson Cronies – Adam Levinson (CFO) and Stacey Wilson-Norman (Chief Academic Officer). Both of them were given those titles by the state board while entangled in a lawsuit over the Superintendent’s powers and Supt. Mark Johnson opposed their promotions.
My sources in DPI say they were fired, media is reporting they ‘left’. Whichever it was, is fine with me. Atkinson’s faithful need to be purged.
Alex Granados (my NC Ed reporter of choice, btw) says they were ‘demoted’:
Both Wilson-Norman and Levinson were effectively demoted as part of Johnson’s recent reorganization, with Levinson retaining his role but with less authority, and Wilson-Norman being reassigned to the lower-level role of division director of curriculum and instruction.
Drew Elliot, communications director at DPI, confirmed Wilson-Norman’s departure and provided a statement from Johnson.
Stacey has been a wonderful person to work with and we wish her well as she continues a long career of service to North Carolina’s public schools,” Johnson said.
According to an article in the Fayetteville Observer, this month the Cumberland County Schools Board of Education voted to hire Wilson-Norman as Chief Academic Officer.
Wait, there’s more, Cobey has to get his whining in:
Elliot said he couldn’t comment on or confirm Levinson’s termination, but Bill Cobey, chair of the State Board of Education, said that Levinson has been terminated effective the end of this month.
Cobey expressed disappointment and said the State Board has no control over such decisions.
“It’s a sad state of affairs, because he’s an outstanding employee,” Cobey said.
This is the same Adam Levinson who Atkinson shifted money around to keep and give promotion after promotion. He was an “outstanding employee”… FOR JUNE ATKINSON.
This statement by Cobey ought to really cement just how much Auntie June still directs what he thinks and says. It also goes back to when June and Bill got caught trying to play a shell game with state funds.
#3 – Radical Durham City Council tries to Deplatform a Charter School
From the Durham Herald Sun:
The argument over charter schools reached the Durham City Council on Monday night, even though the council has no jurisdiction over the school system.
Council members were divided over giving the go ahead for Excelsior Classical Academy, a charter school, to get education revenue bonds. The bonds require no money from the city, just its approval. Excelsior needs the financing to pay off the bridge loan it used to buy the building it had been leasing, along with upfitting the space.
But the council voted no, 5-2.
The two yes votes were from council member DeDreana Freeman, whose children attend a charter school, and council member Mark-Anthony Middleton, who was a founding board member of Excelsior.
“I find it quite offensive that we would even consider using this as an opportunity to push a charter school out of business,” Freeman said.
Charter schools receive public money per pupil, but are governed by their own charters rather than by the Durham Public Schools system.
I went on a bit of rant, focusing on the most radical of the Durham Council bunch.
#4 – Hundreds of NC Teachers Flunking Math Exam for Licensure
This story is interesting. It’s one part lack of training, one part horrible Pearson, test and one part ‘Welcome to Common Core’. Read my Twitter Moment thread that unpacks this story and brings up some key points about these licensure tests.
BONUS NC ED NEWS
Why does the Left in NC hate school choice and low-income students?