Editorials

Johnston, Durham: no thanks on school ‘help’

Chris Germanoski, principal of Selma Middle School, discussed his plans to improve the poorly-performing school on September 21, 2017. Selma Middle is one of 48 schools across the state being considered for the new N.C. Innovative School District, which will remove five schools from local leadership and place them in the hands of charter organizations.
Chris Germanoski, principal of Selma Middle School, discussed his plans to improve the poorly-performing school on September 21, 2017. Selma Middle is one of 48 schools across the state being considered for the new N.C. Innovative School District, which will remove five schools from local leadership and place them in the hands of charter organizations.

Given the way Republican legislative leaders have simply run over those with dissenting views on everything from voting rules to public education, they’re apparently under the impression that public support for their extremism is unanimous. It’s not.

The latest example is the resistance of Johnston and Durham County schools to an ideologically-driven, goofy plan to create an Innovative School District, or ISD, which will take five underperforming schools from across the state and put them under the control of charter school operators, who’ll be charged with improving them. This idea assumes that charter school operators are inherently better than regular public school leaders, which is simply not true – and there have been charter schools with uneven performance results, too, by the way.

In any case, Johnston and Durham leaders have schools on a list of 48 from which the ISD schools would be chosen, and they’re saying no thanks to the state, that they will endeavor to bring their schools up to acceptable standards. They are right, and it’s that simple. If this “program” continues, it will represent a further weakening of mainstream public education, something that Republicans seem obsessed with, for all their rhetoric to the contrary. But their actions – more charters, a voucher program using public money for parents sending their kids to private schools, continued sluggish salary hikes for teachers – speak louder than their words.

Other systems, and parents and public education supporters, need to stand up to this bullying.

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