Rally (noun) –
1a : a mustering of scattered forces to renew an effort
2: a mass meeting intended to arouse group enthusiasm (merriam-webster.com)
The following tweet came from our state superintendent on June 25th of this year.
It is the right of every American to come together and peacefully speak out for an issue. What someone rallies for speaks for their interests and values.
When a lawmaker or an elected official attends a rally, it can show his priorities and/or his loyalties like Mark Johnson.
According to the job description of the state superintendent, Johnson is responsible for the “day-to-day” management of the North Carolina public school system. It seems that if anything was to threaten the public school system, then Mark Johnson would be the first to “rally” for the public school system and the students in the public school system.
This past January a rally was held in Raleigh at the Halifax Mall of public school advocates calling for a fix to the class size mandate that threatens most public school systems. This unfunded dictate would cause LEA’s to make decisions on what classes must be eliminated and how to navigate certain obstacles on classroom space and teacher allotment.
That rally was to petition Raleigh’s lawmakers to do the right thing. FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Mark Johnson was not there. Didn’t even tweet about it. Yet a former state superintendent was present, Bob Etheridge. He was rallying for public schools.
But that does not mean Mark Johnson did not “rally” for people in January.
Johnson was there. He was even the keynote speaker. He will rally for charter schools in a state that has gone out of its way to deregulate charter schools, ramp up vouchers, and use taxpayer money to fund those endeavors when no empirical data shows an overall increase in student achievement.
That’s the same taxpayer money that is not now being used for public schools and not being used to actually fund the class size mandate.
Fast forward to another rally.
When nearly a fifth of the state’s teaching force showed up in Raleigh on May 16th, where was Mark Johnson?
Not there in Raleigh. He didn’t even tweet about it.
But he did tweet about the NC Farmers on June 25th. And they certainly need all of our support, but did Johnson ever approach the NCGA about their decision to protect hog farm corporations in lawsuits when they are clearly encroaching on quality of life for people who live in the rural areas near them?
Ironically, when Johnson tweets support for agricultural studies in rural ares he is supposedly showing support for counties whose school systems may rely on DPI to help with professional development and other resources. If Johnson wanted to help some of those rural areas, then maybe he would have fought harder for DPI to keep both their budgeting and their staff who service all students.
Hard to be a leader of the public schools when you don’t rally with teachers or for public schools, but rather seem more interested in being friendly with those who seek to privatize public schools like in the following instance:
That was on June 26th, the day after the rally for farmers. By the end of the week, Johnson laid off over 40 DPI veterans. The Human Resources Dept. did the laying-off. Johnson wasn’t there.
There’s a pattern, and it shows that Mark Johnson simply refuses to rally for, with, and among teachers in support of public education.