The Words “Standing Up For Public Schools” and “Full Communication” Have Never Described State Supt. Johnson

The Editorial Board of the Raleigh News & Observer minced no words in its central opinion piece from today’s edition. It is scathing and worth reading just for the use of diction to carry a rather stern tone ( .

From “Chipping away at DPI – and hurting kids:”

Mark Johnson, the new state superintendent who taught school for a couple of years before becoming an attorney and served on a county school board, could have fought against the cuts to his own department, and could now be standing up for conventional public schools and teachers and more funding – standing with Graham and Friday.

But he has chosen a different path, to advocate for more charters and more public money for vouchers and to stand with the Republican leaders of the General Assembly. Johnson clearly is the dream superintendent for Phil Berger, president pro tem of the state Senate, and state House Speaker Tim Moore. He will do what he’s told.

North Carolina’s public education system is in jeopardy. The public – parents, teachers, advocates – is going to have to stand up for the schools where Johnson will not.

And that observation is spot on. In fact, it was interesting where Johnson was actually standing when this editorial was being written.

From (and ABC affiliate):

Mark Johnson, the department’s superintendent, visited Contentnea Savannah School in Lenoir County on Thursday and spoke about what is being done. He was at the school for the Teach for America Summer Camp, one of the very few like this in the country. In fact, Lenoir County is one of only two in the state with this type of program.

For the second year, Lenoir County Public Schools have partnered with Teach America for a Summer Camp. The program doubles as both a summer school program for students who need it and also as a training center for Teach for America (

Johnson was visiting a non-traditional public magnet school in the summer to observe Teach For America’s program. And in the wake of the drastic cuts to DPI’s budget that he never fought against announced something interesting.

Johnson also mentioned programs like the Teach for America Camp and STEM camps would not be impacted. Nearly 300 students and 40 teachers participated in this year’s camp.

Remember what that N&O edictorial said about Johnson not standing up for traditional public schools? Well, it could not have been more perfectly timed.

And to add more salt to the NCGA-inflicted wounds to traditional public schools, Johnson announced today that “full communications from the state’s top public school agency will resume Aug. 1” ( .

Odd that the words “full communiation” and a person like Mark Johnson would collide in the same sentence.

Because “full communication” and Mark Johnson have never collided in reality.