About Mark Johnson’s Last Letter to Teachers

The state superintendent now has the power to send messages to all teachers through PowerSchool, the Pearson product used by the state to manage student data on almost all variables: grades, attendance, testing, etc.

This message appeared to teachers on March 21st.

Johnson message

And while it may have presented some platitudes, reading it and reflecting on past actions and words, it reaffirms the empty rhetoric that comes from the office of the state superintendent.

When Johnson says “we,” to whom is he really referring? All of DPI? That’s nonsensical. The fact that he had to not only “reorganize” DPI and hire his own loyalists as well as let many veteran DPI officials go last summer, to say that all of DPI is united is laughable.

Possibly he means himself and those people he willfully obeys in the NCGA.

And look at the issues.

Competitive pay: Is this the same guy who last year said that 35K was a good salary?

johnson salary


  • Eliminate high-stress testing. Over two years after his election, Johnson still has not identified which tests he would eliminate, given no detailed plan, and has not seemed to weigh in on any of the bills coming out of the current session that already are void of teacher input.
  • Investments in school mental-health and school safety. Does this include more nurses, counselors, psychologists, etc?
  • State support to build and renovate schools. There was a chance to put a 2 billion-dollar school bond on the 2018 ballot. What did Johnson do to help that cause?
  • And TeachNC? It’s odd that Johnson talk about a program to show how great teaching in NC can be when he spends an entire letter telling us what he could have fought for in the past two years that if successful would have literally helped eliminate the need for a program like TeachNC.

2020 can’t come soon enough. Until then, we teachers will keep doing the job.