February 5, 2016

A few days after an African -American State Representative from Winston -Salem pleaded for more choice for children in the ”death traps ” of failing public schools, a group funded by the strike happy Chicago Teachers Union is condemning North Carolina for offering too much school choice.

Interestingly enough, this is the same Union that walked out on students for 9 days in 2012 to fight fmr. Obama White House Chief and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual’s proposal to link teacher evaluations to student performance.

The New York based Network for Public Education -armed with $200,000 from the Chicago Teachers Union – rates North Carolina schools F.

Rather than grading schools on student achievement (North Carolina has the 7th highest achievement in the country when adjusted for poverty rates), the Network for Public Education rates schools on inputs instead of outputs and the monopoly power the system has over parents and students.

The Network gives low grades to states that allow public or private school choice, charter schools, tuition tax credits and online learning. States that test students for promotion or graduation get low scores. So do states which link teacher pay to merit or student performance. And what do you have to do to get a high score? Raise teacher pay and insulate them from performance measures by increasing the proportion of teachers with tenure which keeps bad teachers on the payroll.

In fact , the Network harshly rejects any accountability in the system. We ”demand that any candidate that receive our support reject high stakes testing and the use of tests in teacher evaluations.”

In effect, pay us more so we can do less. No wonder the Chicago Teachers Union bankrolls the Network for Public Education.

In April, the Network will join forces with Reverend William Barber’s Moral Monday at a conference in Raleigh.

Their announcement says, ”We will convene our third annual conference from April 15-17 in Raleigh, North Carolina. That state, now controlled by privatization zealots, needs us, all of us! We are thrilled that our major speaker will be the charismatic Rev. William Barber, the leader of the Moral Mondays movement for social justice in North Carolina and across the nation.”

Ironically, the Network and the oh so holy Monday Moralizers are fighting against school choice opportunities while Representative Edward Hanes, a Democrat from Winston -Salem, is lashing out at the DPI bureaucracy for opposing change. “Everybody who works in education, and understands [education] policy, and understands what data are, knows that nine times out of 10 that’s a death trap for minority kids in the southeast of the United States of America” to remain zoned into traditional neighborhood schools,” Hanes said.

The Network for Public Education’s rally with Moral Monday might be a good way to put some money from the Chicago Teachers Union, laundered through the Network, into Reverend Barber’s pocket with a speaking fee. But one finds nothing moral in trapping kids in failing schools to preserve the monopoly power of the system.