A Question For North Carolinians About Public Education That Needs Answering

No really. It’s not rhetorical.

It is in an article written by Dana Goldstein, who is an educational journalist for the The New York Times.

The title of the article proposes the very question that lawmakers like Phil Berger and Tim Moore need to answer. Considering they spearheaded a budget approved through a nuclear option, held lots of special sessions, and spun enough rhetoric to fill a composition course, it would be nice to hear what they have to say that would not need to be debunked immediately.

The question needs to be answered by voters who endorsed an amendment to cap income taxes.

The question needs to be answered in part by all North Carolinians as each person is somehow, someway a stakeholder in public education.

And before someone says, “Well look at the elections and the fact that we did vote for that income tax cap!” consider the seats gained by pro-public education candidates in the General Assembly that resulted in the breaking of the supermajority in both chambers of the NCGA.

Consider the many incumbents who championed privatizing efforts in public education who lost their re-election bids.


Dana Goldstein also is the author of a rather good book on the teaching profession and its history in the country. It is called The Teacher Wars.

teacher wars

This book is very much worth the read. I wrote a review of it last year for EdNC.org saying:

“The Teacher Wars offers a rather comprehensive foundation in learning about the modern public education system in an unintimidating fashion. It adds a tremendous amount of texture to anyone’s understanding of schools and thoroughly explores the countless facets of the largest public service offered by any state government.

Whether one agrees with her conclusions is certainly up for debate, but one would be much more educated about public education to have that debate with Goldstein’s book. It is detached from opinion where needs be and offers erudite opinions without dominating.

In short, it teaches well.

And it is very relevant to North Carolina.

As is that question: “Voters Widely Support Public Schools. So Why Is It So Hard to Pay for Them?”