Mark Johnson

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The state superintendent made a $928,000 emergency purchase that stoked the fight with the state board of education over what tool schools should be using to evaluate reading skills. 

A Democratic state senator who Republicans found both annoying and essential officially stepped down to join the state Utilities Commission.   

And presidential candidates Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are spending millions on ads in North Carolina as Super Tuesday looms. 

Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch —  our political observers on the right and the left — assess the week's news. 


children reading
U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

 

North Carolina's superintendent of public instruction is alleging that more than 70,000 third-grade students have been wrongly promoted since 2014 even though they did not meet mandated reading requirements.

Michelle Burton is a library media coordinator at an elementary school in Durham. On a normal day, she helps teachers and students with computers, manages the school library, and teaches students to use technology. One day last year, a box arrived unannounced. It was filled with bookmarks with State Superintendent Mark Johnson’s name prominently printed at the bottom.

Cole del Charco / WUNC

Jones County has seen its share of destruction and economic challenges. It was one of the poorest counties in North Carolina, even before Hurricane Florence swept through last September, decimating two of the county’s six school buildings. Students in the district missed 25 days of school.

Sandy Hook Promise

At the start of the next school year, North Carolina middle and high school students will have a new tool to report threats to school safety. State Superintendent Mark Johnson introduced the “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” at a press conference Thursday.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the Department of Public Instruction are taking steps to reduce the amount of time North Carolina students spend taking standardized tests. Johnson says the moves are meant to help relieve stress on students.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey (center-right) listens while State Superintendent Mark Johnson gives his monthly address to the board.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The chairman of the State Board of Education is leaving his post. Bill Cobey submitted his resignation to the Department of Public Instruction this afternoon.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey (center-right) listens while State Superintendent Mark Johnson gives his monthly address to the board.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Tension between State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the State Board of Education has not improved since the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in a case between the two. If anything, the tension is rising.

State Superintendent of Public Schools Mark Johnson
NC Public Schools

The North Carolina Supreme Court released a ruling Friday over who is in charge of running the state’s public schools: the State Schools Superintendent or the State Board of Education. After the decision was unveiled, both sides claimed victory.

The entrance to the Wake County Public Schools administration office.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

North Carolina's highest court says legislators can shift substantial control over public schools that educate 1.5 million students to the elected superintendent.

A graph showing poll results.
Elon Poll

North Carolina teachers do not want their colleagues — not even trained ones — to carry guns in school, according to a new Elon University Poll.

N.C. Supreme Court Building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear a case Wednesday over a power struggle between Republican State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the Republican-led State Board of Education. Shortly after Johnson's election in 2016, the General Assembly passed a law to shift powers from the governor-appointed board to the superintendent.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey (center-right) listens while State Superintendent Mark Johnson gives his monthly address to the board.
Jess Clark / WUNC

In June, a panel of North Carolina judges will hear a case that pits Republican against Republican in a power struggle over who should steer the Department of Public Instruction.

State Superintendent of Public Schools Mark Johnson
NC Public Schools

State Superintendent Mark Johnson's first months leading North Carolina Public Schools has been marked by a legal battle over just how much power his office should have.

It's a lawsuit that pits Republican against Republican.