The SPAM Of The State Superintendent

When receiving blanket emails and glossy flyers becomes the normal mode of communication from the state superintendent to teachers and parents, it becomes increasingly and painfully more apparent that what he chooses to “discuss” is an obvious attempt to not have to “confront” the real issues of public education in North Carolina.

Remember that Mark Johnson refused to “rally” on two different times with more than 20,000 North Carolina teachers and public school advocates for our public schools.

Remember that he also held an invitation only “dinner” to deliver “major announcements” for public education in North Carolina. One of those was the #NC2030 initiative. It’s still 2019.

Another one was the TeachNC initiative. As of today the official Twitter account for TeachNC has fewer than 150 followers.


But we have those emails. Some come at holidays. Some come in groups. Many are prompted by hurricanes.

Hardly any address issues that teachers need clarification for especially from the state’s top “public” education official.

Here are the ones sent to teachers since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

  • 8/25/18 – “Support, flexibility, and innovation from DPI”
    8/30/18 – “You said we’re testing too much – here’s what I’m doing”
    9/10/18 – “School safety” (about Hurricane Florence)
    10/3/18 – “How you can help schools recover from Florence”
    10/17/18 – “Hurricane Update”
    11/15/18 – “Parents’ Perspective Survey: Testing”
    11/20/18 – “Thank you”
    12/21/18 – “A special visit from Santa”
    1/16/19 – “Reducing testing in our schools: Giving teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn”
    2/13/19 – “Your child’s future”
    2/19/19 – “Major Announcements”
    4/12/19 – “Happy Spring Break and Easter!”
    5/7/19 – “We must elevate our teachers”
    5/30/19 – “Too much testing in schools”
    6/13/19 – “End-of-year Update”
    7/4/19 – “Happy 4th of July!”
    8/19/19 – “The Truth About Read to Achieve”
    8/23/19 – “Back to School Update”
    9/2/19 – “An Important Message About Hurricane Dorian”
    9/10/19 – “Dorian and Florence – Easy Ways You Can Help”
    9/12/19 – “Resources for Classrooms”
    9/13/19 – “NC Kindness Campaign”
  • 5 were about reducing testing.
  • 5 dealt with hurricanes
  • 4 were for holidays
  • 2 were about supplies
  • 1 was about how we could use
  • 1 was about kindness
  • 1 defended an already ineffective program
  • 3 were about teaching as a profession with spun facts

None were about the budget crisis.

None were about how to deal with the poverty that is perfectly mapped by School Performance Grades

None were about the funding of schools.

None were about vouchers, ESA’s, charter schools needing to be more regulated.

None were about teacher raises.

None were about the removal of longevity pay and graduate degree pay.

None were about the reduced benefits for teachers.

None were about the cuts to the numbers of teacher assistants.

None were about the ISD’s lack of success.

And while all of them thanked teachers for “what you do for our students,” it’s hard not to read each and every one of them without thinking that Johnson was writing a self-congratulatory note to divert attention away from the fact that he was not confronting the very challenges that we as educators have.

Maybe he could email us about that.