Mark Johnson uses NC public schools email list as his personal blog

On Thursday morning North Carolina parents and caretakers with a child in NC public schools opened their inboxes to find an email about school safety from Superintendent Mark Johnson with the subject line “School Safety: A Message from NC Superintendent Mark Johnson.”

This message would alarm most parents, perhaps expecting an update about threats to school safety or specific action steps the school plans to take. Instead, Johnson offered tepid commitments in a form email that one expects to receive in campaign correspondence, not an educational necessity. Johnson, with likely 2020 aspirations, may be testing the waters of the DPI listserv as a way to get his name out.

It is not as if Mark Johnson has been free from scandal. In September 2018, Johnson appointed Joe Maimone as his chief of staff, the same man who once claimed that public schools were “milking” federal free and reduced lunch dollars. Moreover, Johnson and Maimone are not so far separated from the Charter School Industrial Complex™, or TeamCFA and Achievement for All Children, a network of charter schools funded by the religious right.

Perhaps before sending out correspondence with no real substance to a massive list- Johnson might consider answering the following questions:

Helpful items for Mark Johnson to address:

  1. Is there an emergent policy or news update I need to inform parents or caregivers of?
  2. Is there a change to protocol?
  3. Am I telling parents or caregivers something they don't already know?

If there answer to the above three questions is “no” perhaps Johnson may think twice about using the DPI listserv as his personal blog.