Simply put, there is really no positive thing that Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has done for North Carolina public education.
He may tout “hooking” up all schools with high-speed internet, but then he will not stop that from being an avenue for replacing teachers with computerized instruction.
He may tout “school choice,” but his record of supporting a constitutionally mandated public school system is negative at best.
He may tout a strong record on holding schools accountable, but he made sure to present charter schools in a positive light no matter the truth. Remember this from 2016?
State education leaders sidetracked a report describing the overall student population at North Carolina’s charter schools as whiter and more affluent than student bodies at traditional public schools after Lt. Gov. Dan Forest complained it was too negative.
What makes that above snippet even more ironic (since it concerns diversity) is what Forest said a little over three years later at a church service this past July.
“No other nation, my friends, has ever survived the diversity and multiculturalism that America faces today, because of a lack of assimilation, because of this division, and because of this identity politics. But no other nation has ever been founded on the principles of Jesus Christ, that begin the redemption and reconciliation through the atoning blood of our savior.” – Lt. Gov. Dan Forest
He gave us license plates that never were. That’s because the demand never reached 500 to start the production.
And there’s that personal finance class that each student in North Carolina must now take. Forest championed a class that will supposedly teach students how to look at numbers correctly and navigate their way through a state economy that still has over 1 in 5 public school children living at or below the poverty level.
But he spends a lot of time running for governor in North Carolina. And not only is he running against Roy Cooper; Dan Forest is running against the North Carolina Association of Educators.
And for a man who supposedly made a career in the detailed-oriented field of architecture whose very basis is math and proper support for structures, Dan Forest is proffering an argument whose foundation is not only faulty, but intentionally false.
Attached to that tweet is a video presentation devoted solely to NCAE. It first makes reference to a recent report by Beth Wood concerning automatic pay deductions for organizations.
From that Forest claims that NCAE has barely over 5,000 members.
What he conveniently forgets to tell you is that the report clearly shows most organizations have many if not most of its members not use that form of payment for membership dues.
The very report he “quotes” tells us that. Look again.
Only one group on that list has a membership that fully pays through payroll deductions. In fact, at least two of the groups have memberships that are ten times the amount of people who use payroll deduction. Any statistician would know better than to misrepresent the numbers in a statement (unless he did it for political purposes).
There are two other teacher advocacy groups on that list whose memberships are mostly represented by people who do not use payroll deduction. PENC has 4.59 times the total number of members as their payroll deduction members. The NCCTA has 16.39 times the total number of members.
If NCAE followed those trends (and it does), it could might have a membership of at least 24,744.
Dan Forest should be very scared of that – especially since the governor’s race in Kentucky was very aligned with teacher activism.
Then in the same presentation, Forest makes this claim.
Forest says that the NCGA was to give teachers a 3.9% raise. Anyone taking a personal finance class can tell from the actual numbers in the bill that “raise” was introduced that Forest is not being detailed and refuses to show the foundational integrity of that claim.
Forest makes sure to note that Gov. Cooper vetoed that bill.
That particular veto concerned Senate Bill 354.
That bill would have put the following salary schedule in place for teachers.
It would have replaced this salary schedule.
The problem is that there is not much of a difference. In fact, it would only affect teachers with 16+ years and even then, not much at all. Just look at the comparison.
What that translates to is a monthly increase of $50 for all teachers with 16-20 years of experience.
150$/month for teachers with 21-24 years of experience.
$60/month for teachers with 25+ years.
How that translates into a 3.9% raise for teachers in this state is nearly impossible to even spin. And that’s coming from the guy who championed a personal finance bill for high schools.
Oh, by the way, Cooper had more raises for all teachers in his budget.
As an architect, Dan Forest should go back to the drawing table and build a better argument.