The 18-month tenure of Mark Johnson has been rather eventful. And most of the actions or lack of action that have taken place under his “leadership” have been overwhelmingly deleterious. Consider:
- House Bill 17.
- Promotion of “school choice.”
- Audit of DPI.
- Fighting with State Board of Education.
- Spending more time with privatizers than with public schools.
- May 16th march and rally.
- Hiring a bunch of “yes” people and laying off of DPI veterans.
- Not fighting for more per-pupil expenditure.
That’s just a short list. But there is one thing that Mark Johnson has done for public schools and public school advocates: he’s uniting us.
And he’s doing it at a rather pivotal time, the months before important elections.
When almost a fifth of the state’s teaching force converged on Raleigh to demand more for our public schools, what was most prevalent was that there was an air of unity among teachers and advocates. What they were unified for were public schools. What they were unified against has names and faces.
If you didn’t catch the back and forth on July 2nd between Johnson and the State Board of Education, then you might want to see what transpired. Emails were sent to teachers that showed that the divide between the SBOE and Johnson is still widening. You can see those statements here: https://www.ednc.org/2018/07/02/strife-between-state-board-of-education-and-superintendent-mark-johnson-continues/.
It was Johnson’s statement through his counsel that really seemed to ignite some public school advocates.
Specifically it was this:
“Mark Johnson won. Cobey lost. Mark Johnson will manage the N.C. Department of Public Instruction with the full authorities granted to the superintendent per House Bill 17.”
Mark Johnson wants to be the face and the person who wants to control public education in North Carolina. That will unify people.
Over 20,000 in one specific example.
Oh, and that jab against journalists in the statement above.
That’s unifying as well.