Phil Berger owning Phil Berger.
When schools that had remote instruction in place were unable to connect this morning to state networks, Berger took a swipe at the state board and could not have slapped himself in the face harder.
Because it really it is his fault.
In more than one way.
Here’s his tweet.
Yep. He made it about political parties. But Berger forgot to mention something worth noting especially since as the leader of the NC Senate for the last decade, he should know how the current state board came together.
He forgot to tell you that Gov. Cooper got to appoint certain members to the state board a couple of years ago because people in Berger’s own party appointed by Berger’s gubernatorial stooge Pat McCrory wanted Cooper to have that ability. They were tired of policies hurting public education championed by Berger and endorsed by another stooge of Berger’s – the state superintendent, Mark Johnson.
When Bill Cobey, a republican, announced his resignation from the State Board of Education in July of 2018, it seemed coincidental. But then two other members submitted resignations from the SBE.
Alex Granados reported in the summer of 2018 for EdNC.org:
“Also since the resolution of the Supreme Court case and reorganization at DPI, Cobey, as well as Board Member Becky Taylor, both announced their resignations. Today, Board member Greg Alcorn added his name to that list, announcing his resignation in a letter to Governor Roy Cooper” (https://www.ednc.org/2018/08/10/two-formerly-high-level-dpi-staffers-out-another-state-board-members-resigns/).
Granados then reminded readers that all three of these people were selected for their terms by Pat McCrory. They were republican appointees. They submitted resignations during Roy Cooper’s term, a democrat.
“Since the vacancies have occurred prior to the end of the Board members’ terms, Cooper can appoint new members to finish out their time on the Board without seeking legislative approval. Appointees to the State Board require legislative confirmation if they are being appointed to full terms, but not if they are filling a premature vacancy.
That may be particularly helpful to Cooper, who has had trouble getting his appointees through the General Assembly.”
And all three of the newer appointees are STILL ON THE BOARD. In fact, all of Cooper’s nominees in 2019 for the state board were actually confirmed by the NCGA which was heavily controlled by Berger’s own party.
Those nominees could have been rejected. But they were not. Berger allowed that to happen. In fact, Berger stopped one of those people from being appointed earlier.
Furthermore, the problem that happened with schools not being able to “sign into” state databases and state supported platforms resided with DPI.
Phil Berger is the phantom head of DPI.
Consider the reorganization that occurred at DPI in 2018 after the final decision of the lawsuit between the state board and Mark Johnson. That lawsuit pertained to a power shift given to Johnson during a special session right before Johnson took office. Berger led that special session. It eventually created the ability for Berger’s puppet to funnel all of DPI through one office and keep DPI from having to partly answer to the state board.
Below is what it was prior to the new reorganization.
This is what it looks like now.
The first thing to notice is that on the older chart some positions were titled with ALL CAPS and had a thicker border surrounding them. That meant that these people were Dual-Report Positions. In short, they answered to both the state board and to Johnson. However, that went away on July 1, 2018.
What that means is that those people who held (or hold now) those positions not only answer to Johnson alone, but he has total control over what they do (or the person who controls Johnson), A man with less than two calendar years of teacher training and classroom experience combined along with an unfinished term on a local school board now “calls” the shots for all of those veterans in a DPI whose budget is being slashed by the very people who prop up Johnson.
Also in the older chart, Johnson reports to the state board. In the new one, the state board of education does not even really have any ties to DPI except through an internal auditor. It’s like they do not exist, which is just what the powers that run the NCGA wanted.
It’s what Phil Berger wanted.
In actuality the organizational chart at DPI looks more like this:
So when Berger says,
… what the man who is trying to weaken public schools is really saying is that he was the one who really enabled this situation.