Mark Johnson is Our Own Betsy DeVos

When Betsy DeVos became the Secretary of Education after a tie-breaking confirmation vote, she brought with her absolutely zero experience in public school education. In fact, her only “qualification” for the job was an agenda that rubber-stamps those who prop her up.

And there are striking similarities with our own state superintendent, Mark Johnson. While Johnson does have limited experience in the classroom, it seems next to nothing considering that he is the state’s highest ranking public education official. In fact, contrasting Mark Johnson and Betsy DeVos with a veteran teacher very much shows how unqualified both are for their positions and how similar they are to each other.

Criteria Betsy DeVos Mark Johnson Veteran Public School Teachers in NC Who Have Taught For Five + Years
Has a degree in education or went through a teacher preparation program at a college or university NO NO Most all of them. Lateral Entry in most states still requires that teachers take certain preparation courses.
Has teaching experience NO YES – two school years YES –
Attended public schools NO YES – graduated from Louisiana’s equivalent of a Magnet school for math and science IF 90% of go to traditional public schools, then safe to say MOST OF THEM
Sends children to public school NO YES MOST OF THEM, if they have kids
Believes vouchers hurts traditional public schools NO NO DON’T MEET MANY WHO LIKE THEM
Supports teacher unions and teacher advocacy groups NO NO MOST DO – IF NOT WITH MEMBERSHIP, THEN DO RELY ON GROUPS TO LOBBY FOR THEM
Administrated in a school NO NO Most administrators were teachers
Been through a principal change as an educator NO NO MOST OF THEM
Been through a curriculum change NO NO YES
Seen a group of students matriculate throughout an entire school experience from beginning of high school to graduation to another level of schooling NO NO YES
Managed budgets for public funds NO Served a partial term as a local school board member but was campaigning partially during that time PROBABLY NOT
Talked to teacher advocacy groups NO AVOIDS LIKE THE PLAGUE A GREAT MANY OF THEM
Talked with special education advocacy groups NO AVOIDS LIKE THE PLAGUE A GREAT MANY OF THEM
Finished an entire term in elected office NO NO NOT APPLICABLE
Oversaw a budget that expanded resources for students in traditional public schools NO NO A GREAT MANY OF THEM ON A SMALL SCALE
Displayed understanding of IDEA and IEP law. NO NO YES
Led a school in a re-accreditation process NO NO MANY OF THEM – IT’S A SCHOOL-WIDE INITIATIVE
Participated in a PTSA NO NO MANY OF THEM
Coached a public school sport NO UNKNOWN MANY OF THEM
Oversaw a budget for a school NO NO ADMINISTRATION DOES THIS
Had continuing certification NO NO YES
Mentored a younger teacher NO NO YES
Had a student teacher NO NO MANY OF THEM
Sponsored an extracurricular NO NO MOST OF THEM
Written curriculum standards NO NO MANY OF THEM
Led a professional development workshop for teachers NO NO MANY OF THEM
Published scholarly work on educational issues. NO NO SOME OF THEM
Knows difference between proficiency and growth for students NO DON’T KNOW MOST OF THEM
Meet With ALL Parents Who Request Conference NO NO YES
Keeps Open Channels of Communication with students, parents, administration, and community NO NO YES
Does Not Require an Entourage to Explain Concepts of Job NO NO YES


Results United States Secretary of Education North Carolina State Superintendent Becoming an Endangered Species 

Furthermore, both Johnson and DeVos have a problem saying “no” to forces that seek to “reform” public education.

Consider the following quotes:

“I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.” – Betsy DeVos, 1997.

“These are things I have learned from my own experience. If I disagree with the policy, I’m not afraid to say ‘no’ to anyone who gave me money.” –Mark Johnson, 2017.

DeVos is well known for advancing “reforms” involved with school choice, vouchers, and charter schools. In fact, she has given large amounts of money to causes that champion those reforms. And Johnson is someone who actually can’t say “no” despite what he said above.

When DPI’s budget was cut by the very General Assembly that extendied him unchecked power over the public school system, did Mark Johnson say, “No?”

No, he did not.

When he said that “local leaders know what we need” for their local schools, did Mark Johnson tell the people pushing for charter takeover with an ISD, “No?”

No, he did not.

Has there ever been a time where Mark Johnson has openly said “No!” to any of the very lawmakers whom he says he might have a disagreement with?

No, there has not been.

Has Mark Johnson ever told the General Assembly “No!” to taking more money out of the budget for public schools to place in a voucher program that has not yielded a positive outcome?

No, he has not.

Has Mark Johnson ever publicly questioned the actions against teachers and the education profession by Phil Berger or Tim Moore?

No, he has not.

Additionally, both DeVos and Johnson seem to attract large crowds of people who do not approve of their performance. DeVos literally has spent millions on security detail as “protection.”

And Johnson seems to leave town when lots of teachers come to talk about education.


Yes, Mark Johnson is North Carolina’s Betsy DeVos.




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