Early voting is underway for the March 3 primary in North Carolina. One quasi-Democratic candidate for office to be familiar with is former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 2018 so that he’d be able to run for president. But back in 2016 he donated the maximum amount allowed by law to the campaign of Mark Johnson, who was running for state superintendent.
Johnson won that race by a margin of 1%, and his tenure as chief of North Carolina schools has been an unmitigated disaster.
Bloomberg’s own history on education should bring question marks to the minds of North Carolina voters who favor reforms to our state’s Wild West charter policy. Though his education platform simply says he “created innovative new high schools,” the truth is that, as mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg expanded charter schools by a factor of 10, from 18 to 183. At the same time, Bloomberg closed 150 struggling traditional public schools in the city.
Bloomberg also presided over New York City’s adoption of an A-F school grading system and pushed for low-performing teachers to be fired.
North Carolina education advocates should be running the other direction from this guy.
If Bloomberg became a Democrat, he needs to think like one when it comes to education. Public schools need to be funded and supported. Improvement in public schools comes when they are treated and funded as charter schools are. Running away from public education is not the answer. Our future depends on a well-educated citizenry. The quality of public education is vital for our democracy to survive. .Mark Johnson’s lack of support for the teachers, his shady dealings with companies that he encourages transactions with, and trying to destroy common core when it is politically to his advantage as right-wing conservatives would love that. I taught common core curriculum for several years and the purpose was to create learners who were thinkers, which may frighten a lot of politicians, especially in North Carolina.