President of the Public School Forum of North Carolina is stepping down

The head of one of North Carolina’s leading education think tanks is stepping down.

The Public School Forum of North Carolina announced Wednesday that Keith Poston is resigning as president and executive director of the organization “to focus on personal family matters.” The organization said that Michael Priddy, immediate past chairman of the Forum’s Board of Directors, will serve as acting president and executive director while they search for Poston’s successor.

“We are very grateful for Keith and the leadership he’s provided us over the last 5 1/2 years,” Tom Williams, chairman of the Forum’s board of directors, said in an interview Wednesday.

Williams praised Poston’s work with the group, saying that he was stepping down because he couldn’t focus on the job right now because of his family situation.

Poston had been an executive at Time Warner Cable when he was hired to lead the Forum in December 2013. The past five years have seen Poston be a frequent critic of the education policies promoted by the Republican-led state legislature.

Poston has raised concerns about the state not providing enough funding for traditional public schools. He’s also voiced concerns about how the state has increased funding for families to attend charter schools and private schools.

“It has been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve as the leader of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, but there are personal family matters I need to focus on right now,” Poston said in a statement. “My belief and commitment to the issues including advocating for public education and our amazing teachers, supporting our state’s most vulnerable children and advancing racial equity is unwavering.

“There is too much work yet to do in this state and in this country for me to ever stop doing my part.”

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.