The release of WestEd’s Leandro Report and its resounding call that NC should seismically increase its funding of public education will reverberate strongly in these next few months; 2020 promises to be a contentious election year.
And public education is one of the issues (along with Medicaid expansion) that has prompted Sen. Phil Berger to stall the passing of a budget that addresses the needs of our students.
As soon as the report was released last week, feedback and commentary came swiftly from the media, education professionals, lawmakers, and teachers.
And what has the top official in the state as far as public education is concerned had to say about the findings in the Leandro Report?
That’s right. Nothing.
This is the leader who
- Conducted a “listening tour” around the state to gather ideas to help craft innovations in classroom teaching and never really presented those findings, who also
- Said that he would decrease the amount of standardized testing that NC would subject students, but continues to laud a faulty school grading system, who also
- Celebrated the “revamped” NC School Report Card website and further entrenched our state into a relationship with SAS and its secret algorithms, who also
- Called for an audit of the Department of Public Education, a million dollar audit to find wasteful spending that actually showed that DPI was underfunded, who also
- Did a reorganization of DPI and replaced high ranking officials with loyalists from the charter industry and made them only answer to him and not the State Board of Education, who also
- Seemed rather complicit with the legislature cutting the budget for DPI while he was actually taking taxpayer money to fight the state school board over the power grab that the NCGA did in a special session that gave him control over elements of the school system that the voting public did not actually elect him to have, who also
- Rallied for school choice advocates and never rallied with public school teachers, who also
- Bought 6 million dollars worth of iPads using unlawful procedures, who also
- Supported both the extensions and renewed investment of two failed initiatives – Read to Achieve and the NC Virtual Charter Schools – who also
- Championed the Innovative School District which to date has not shown any success, who also
- Set up a personal website to act like a website for information about his job and initiative, but really looks more like a campaign website, who also
- Held a private dinner to make announcements about public education in February of 2018 launching his #NC2030 initiative of which nothing has been mentioned since, who also
- Used a for-profit company to “allow” teachers to get “supplies” for the new school year, and who also
- Unilaterally decided to sign a contract with iStation.
This leader who is running for a higher office next year has said this about the Leandro Report: