State Superintendent

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

A judge this week reversed a settlement between the UNC System and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, making the fate of the mangled Silent Sam statue again uncertain. 

The state superintendent, who's campaigning for lieutentant governor, blasted 540,000 text messages to parents and educators voicing his opposition to Common Core and soliciting responses to an online survey. 

And, Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg returned to North Carolina as they're rising in the polls. 

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation process the developments. 


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.

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

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.

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 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.

Image of June Atkinson, who has been the North Carolina state superintendent since 2005.
North Carolina Democratic Party

June Atkinson has served as the state superintendent for almost a decade.

During her tenure there have been a number of significant changes to the state’s public education system, including the adoption of common core standards, the proliferation of charter schools, and continued debates about where education fits in the state budget.

Five candidates are running for the Republican nomination for State Superintendent. Dave DeWitt reports that the race will come down to the last days.

Dave DeWitt: The five candidates suffer from a bad case of poor name recognition. Richard Alexander, Mark Crawford, Ray Earnest Martin, John Tedesco and David Scholl are not well-known statewide.