Remembering Mark Johnson’s Schools Reopening Task Force

Last April 30th State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced the following:


I remember asking, “WHERE ARE THE TEACHERS?” McKinney was a teacher until a couple of years ago. Jeffery Elmore is a teacher, but has spent more time in Raleigh supporting his party’s stalling a budget process and keeping Medicaid from being extended while using teachers as political pawns.

That list seemed to include many people who did not have the best interests of public schools and their teachers and students in mind.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest wanted to give everyone a voucher for a private school, preferably a religious school as part of his platform to run for governor. He also said this in 2019 church service:

“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.”

Forest also was very critical of Cooper’s executive orders concerning the coronavirus which have probably saved lives. In fact, he downplayed the importance of masks throughout his last campaign.

That NC DPI leadership team? The one that reported only to Johnson after his enabled reorg?


There was Sen. Deanna Ballard who issued a press release in an attempt to diminish the problem of teacher salaries. Oh, and she hates unions.


There was Rep. Jason Saine. He’s helped set up charter schools and was a recent National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council – ALEC.

There was that “special Adviser on Education” from SAS? The private company that gave us EVAAS. The people who compute our School Performance Grades. The people who use a secret algorithm to rank teachers with Value Added Measurements?

There was Jonathan Felts, the unofficial spokesperson for Mark Johnson.

“Felts, a former George W. Bush White House staffer, professional GOP consultant and senior advisor to former Gov. Pat McCrory, says he’s taking no pay for his work in the office of new Superintendent Mark Johnson.

That includes providing updates and statements to the press on behalf of Johnson’s state office and offering scheduling details for the superintendent as he embarks on a statewide listening tour. Felts emphasizes his official title is transition chairman for Johnson, nearly two months into the new superintendent’s tenure in Raleigh.”

But there were no teachers – the people on the front lines. Yes, there were superintendents, but no teachers. And there were no people representing the two largest areas of the state: Charlotte or the Triangle where the cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed.

But the biggest aspect of this “task force” was that it never seemed to ever have met or gave any indication of guidelines for reopening schools.