So it’s school “choice” week again. Let’s start with this fact: District public schools in North Carolina all by themselves do a great job with choice–through magnets, community college partnerships, year-round options, and special programs galore. We do not have “traditional” schools.
But our current state superintendent has made a choice to do as little as possible to support our schools in truly meaningful ways. He makes some showy gestures, but look closer at his words and actions, and he’s failing to truly support public education and our teachers–the people you and I know well. The people we worship with, my mother, my father-in-law, my sister-in law, my great-aunt, my cousin. The people we entrust our children to, the people who put in far more hours of hard work every week than Mr. Johnson–making a difference for the future of this country with each and every child who comes through our doors, believing in our country’s promise of a brighter tomorrow through education in what was once one of the best states in the country for education–and can be again.
I’ve made a choice–inspired by the Respect for Public Ed work of the NCAE, I support Strong Students, Strong Schools, and Strong Communities. I made that choice by sending my kids to the same schools that I went to. And I make that choice in trying to serve our teachers and schools every day with policies that benefit everybody. That’s what public education is all about, and it isn’t really a choice.