Many in Raleigh who defend the ill-tempered reforms that have been introduced over the last eight years point to the NEA’s calculations of “average” teacher pay as evidence of “progress” in the public education system due to those reforms.
But will they give the same credence to the the National Education Association for this report as they do for average state salaries?
This week the NEA released its report cards for each state’s handling of charter schools. As expected, North Carolina did not receive a stellar grade.
Each state was graded by the same criteria. North Carolina achieved a 48/100 which is an “F”.
This grade makes a lot of sense as the criteria were measured by examining the laws, statutes, and legislation of the state. And it makes sense in that the low number of points (or even zeroes) given can easily be explained by those who have followed public education these last few years.
It is true that a for-profit entity cannot apply to open a charter school here in North Carolina, but they can be contracted by those who do apply to open a charter sometimes on behalf of the for-profit entity.
Think of the Innovative School District and look for the political contributions made by for-profit entities to politicians who can help craft legislation to enable these for-profit entities to get contracts with charter schools in NC, a state that has no cap on how many charter schools can exist in the state.
Look at Team CFA (based in Oregon) and its founder, John Bryan. He has been donating money left and right to specific politicians and PAC’s here in North Carolina to extend the charter industry including Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (through a PAC). He spear-headed the attempt to win the contract of the ISD school in Robeson.
Look at Charter Schools USA based in Ft. Lauderdale. It is run by Jonathan Hage whose political contribution to politicians in North Carolina are rather numerous. Just look at Followthemoney.org.
Local school systems (LEA’s) have no control over the charter schools in their districts, but have to give money to those charter schools. Next year Wake County will have to give over $45 million to charters in Wake County but have no oversight over those charters who report to DPI, and DPI is run by a man enabled by the very people who want unrestricted charter school growth.
And look at what happens to a charter school when it opens in a rural area. It can cripple the funding for the very few traditional public schools in that small district.
If anyone needs to look up how well the two virtual charter schools are doing in NC, then it will not be hard. In fact, they are two of the lowest performing schools in the state.
North Carolina’s grade is a valid one. So, will people like Phil Berger, Mark Johnson, and Jerry Tillman dismiss this report? Probably.