Public Schools First NC

Public Schools First NC (PSFNC) is a coalition of left-wing advocacy groups. The News & Observer gives the coalition the royal treatment in an article published today.

I visited their website and here is what I found:

The first face you see when you arrive at their website is Karen “off with their heads” Lewis, President of the Chicago Teacher’s Union. The second face you see is Dr. Helen Ladd, a professor at Duke University and author of the NC State Board of Education vision statement.  The third face you see is not a face at all but the facade of the Legislative Building.  In other words, the coalition brings together the liberal trifecta of unions, academics, and political activists.

So what does the coalition believe?  You have heard it all before – more money, a tightly controlled system, racial diversity, no high stakes testing, etc.  They believe that “Parents should have a significant voice in the education of their children,” but apparently that does not mean that parents should have the opportunity to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to the school of their choice.  Moreover, charter schools are acceptable as long as they operate “within local school districts” and for-profit companies are not involved.  Teachers must be “licensed by effective teacher preparation programs,” according to the coalition.  They want lawmakers to stop “ignoring” the child poverty problem in our state.

And then there are the outright lies and distortions.  For example, they claim that school choice programs “in places such as Milwaukee and Washington D.C. do not demonstrate any academic advantages.”  The evidence that children benefit academically from choice programs in Milwaukee and Washington D.C. is pretty compelling.  And I lost count how many times they characterized charter schools as private or for-profit schools.

It will be interesting to see how PSFNC plans to further their agenda because their agenda does not leave much room for compromise with Republicans.

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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