Published work

June 2024

Op-Ed:  I’ve been a teacher for 30 years.  Michele Morrow would ruin NC public schools.

May 2024

Republicans find a new way to punch down on NC teachers

March 2024

NC school voucher dollars are funding Christian nationalist indoctrination

July 2023

NC’s reckless school voucher program is about to get a lot of money

June 2023

New voucher bill would give taxpayer dollars to schools that discriminate based on religion

April 2023

A massive expansion of school vouchers is on tap after Cotham’s switch

January 2023

Veteran NC teacher questions Board of Ed chair’s good faith on merit pay plan for teachers

December 2022

NC teacher: There’s a teacher pipeline crisis in NC. This plan won’t fix it.

June 2022

The Merit Pay Zombie Rises Again in North Carolina

Emails show NC officials are taking the wrong approach with new teacher pay plan

December 2021

Small bonuses show CMS doesn’t understand the gravity of the teacher exodus

September 2021

North Carolina’s witch hunt over Critical Race Theory

June 2021

Is Mecklenburg failing our schools?  Let’s start with this startling figure.

May 2021

Teacher:  No, my lesson to 7th graders on ocean pollution is not indoctrination — even if a state legislator thinks so

April 2021

Hybrid COVID-19 classrooms are not sustainable for NC schools

February 2021

My students need support, not standardized tests. Biden, keep your promise to end testing.

Want more in person classes?  Get NC teachers vaccinated

December 2020

Spare us the sanctimonious talk about the pandemic and public education

Diary of a Teacher Day 1:  Back in the Classroom

November 2020

Can we stop blaming educators for getting COVID?

The search for silver linings in a disastrous election for NC educators

October 2020

North Carolina can leave the Republican Dark Ages on education

September 2020

Catherine Truitt is just another Mark Johnson

August 2020

Virtual schools are starting.  But half a million NC kids don’t have the internet access they need

July 2020

Stop using equity as a prop on school reopening, Senator Berger

June 2020

Goodbye and good riddance to NC school head

May 2020

Students weigh in on the pros and cons of remote learning

It’s not healthy for the county to leave CMS hourly workers behind

April 2020

Lawmakers are out of touch with remote education plan

How Phil Berger could use coronavirus to once again suppress liberal voters

A veteran teacher has ‘a mini COVID-19 educator meltdown’–and realizes that less is more with online learning

March 2020

In the COVID-19 classroom, less is more

NC State Board of Education votes not to move forward with $1.2 million Istation contract

Is now really the time for North Carolina to give Istation $1.2 million?

NC Department of Public Instruction asks districts to refrain from conducting formal evaluations of online teaching

NC Superintendent Mark Johnson fails to win a single county in his bid to become Lieutenant Governor

February 2020

New and damning evidence emerges in Department of Public Instruction spying case

Mark Johnson campaign robocall removes any remaining doubt his Common Core stunt is 100% political

Michael Bloomberg donated maximum amount to Mark Johnson’s 2016 campaign and has a history of charter school expansion

Mark Johnson’s sudden Common Core hate is a disingenuous campaign stunt

Allegations of electronic eavesdropping at the Department of Public Instruction deserve to be taken seriously

January 2020

In North Carolina, Education Activists Face an Uphill Battle

December 2019

Leandro report:  Principal pay plan harms high-need schools

NC education software giant SAS paying for state legislators to attend anti-public school ALEC’s annual meetings

November 2019

Craig Horn plans to run for state superintendent.  Here’s what he’s done to teachers.

NC GOP official disputes account of suffering teacher, gets dunked on by Rep. Deb Butler

North Carolina’s next state superintendent should be a teacher

Educators back Cooper’s pay raise veto, lawmakers must do better

100 days in, Superintendent Mark Johnson still hasn’t turned over my public records request

The truth about the General Assembly’s inadequate educator pay raise bill

October 2019

Effective Discipline:  Bringing classroom strategies to a state constitutional crisis

Why Representative Craig Horn would be a terrible state superintendent

How a sales tax increase will benefit our communities

Threats of litigation undermine efforts to hold elected officials accountable

Superintendent Mark Johnson is doling out iPads like Santa Claus

September 2019

Legislators set to add four more schools to floundering Innovative School District

NC reading tool controversy update:  More uncertainty, defiance

August 2019

NC House Republicans resort to slimy tricks to prevent decent educator pay raises

School with sordid segregationist history reopens as a charter.  NC Director of Charter Schools praises its commitment to diversity

NC Superintendent offers iPads to charter schools–but there’s a catch

NC Department of Information Technology pauses Istation implementation in order to review contract award

NC Superintendent addresses iPad discrepancy, promises distribution

3,269 iPads are collecting dust in the NC Department of Public Instruction textbook warehouse

NC chapter of International Dyslexia Association releases statement of concern over Istation adoption

July 2019

DPI’s unreleased public records could shed light on how Istation won NC contract

NC Superintendent cites leaked text message criticizing his failed attempt to influence assessment outcome as reason for cancelling contract process

NC Treasurer Dale Folwell has unexpected encounter with educators harmed by his health plan changes

NC state senators call on Senator Berger to delay Istation implementation and review contract process

Action needed:  NC legislator to offer amendment which would arm teachers

About Istation’s threats of legal action against NC educators

What DPI’s newly released records reveal–and what they don’t reveal–about Superintendent Mark Johnson’s unilateral Istation contract award

DPI releases documents showing NC Superintendent Mark Johnson lied about K-3 screener procurement

Court documents allege CEO sought to influence research on Istation

New Istation tool underwhelms for North Carolina’s dyslexic children

New documents show DPI dismissed dyslexia screening deficiency in selecting Istation tool

June 2019

Research shared by Istation deems Istation an inadequate substitute for human teachers

NC Superintendent misrepresented cost of mClass reading tool

Mark Johnson’s Istation ‘delay solution’ is neither delay nor solution

NC Superintendent’s claim that Istation contract process is confidential is demonstrably false.  Here’s the evidence

Why did NC’s Superintendent ignore his expert panel on new reading tests?

NC Superintendent Mark Johnson and DPI attempt to pull down the blinds on Istation contract process amid rising public controversy

NC Superintendent ignores input of professional educators, opts for increased screen time for schools’ youngest readers

A former student just provided me some powerful evidence of transfer

NC virtual Pre-K pilot driven by stereotypes, not data

May 2019

North Carolina’s schools need to quit telling children they have no future

My school’s lockdown drills, active shooter training are security theater.  Yours are, too.

NC should pull the plug on virtual pre-K

146 students, 146 personal handwritten notes of encouragement for students about to take standardized tests

Red for Ed is about much more than politics for NC educators

Virtual Pre-K back in House budget, no funds for expanding legitimate Pre-K

April 2019

A letter to N.C. students:  Here’s why your teachers are marching

NC teachers are getting the message from Republicans

What my students learned–and didn’t learn–from my efforts to teach empathy in Language Arts class

NC school districts working hard to limit teacher leadership on May 1

New power grab by Superintendent Mark Johnson is a recipe for dysfunction

NC educators gearing up to win big for our schools on May 1

NC Superintendent’s School Supply Program is a disingenuous shell game

March 2019

NC teachers prepare to march to restore benefits stripped by legislators

NC lawmakers file bill that would create virtual preschool for children of poverty

NC school employees will converge on Raleigh May 1 to press for much-needed change

A new story of school segregation in North Carolina: A private white-flight academy is turning charter

February 2019

NC superintendent opts for marketing over substantive change

How CMS can better respond to ICE

January 2019

Why performance pay is the wrong path forward for North Carolina’s schools

(repost Washington Post)

School choice doesn’t happen in a vacuum

NC Superintendent’s testing changes miss the point.  The problem is in the stakes.

I cut standardized test prep out of my lessons and focused on relationships.  Student growth was the highest of my career.

(repost Washington Post, repost Diane Ravitch)

Five things lawmakers can do for public education in 2019

December 2018

An open letter to Betsy DeVos about arming teachers

(repost Washington Post)

Want your students to be kinder?  Try this assignment.

North Carolina’s teacher bonus scheme isn’t working.  Let’s put that money into something we know does.

(repost Charlotte Observer)

November 2018

Cultivating kindness in an unkind world

(Education Week version)

October 2018

Butler shooting shows us where we’ve fallen short

North Carolina’s Voter ID amendment is a 21st century poll tax

September 2018

As Hurricane Florence approaches, Charlotte-area children get a real life lesson in empathy

(repost Washington Post)

August 2018

North Carolina’s principal pay plan does more harm than good

(repost NC Policy Watch)

The myth of school choice in North Carolina

(repost Washington Post)

July 2018

DPI layoffs will hurt North Carolina’s poorest students

June 2018

We need to upgrade our school buildings.  The legislature blew it.

Mecklenburg County budget a chance for commissioners to demonstrate priorities

NC teacher:  Test score says the year was a dismal failure for my student–but it really was ‘a resounding success’

May 2018

How schools are wasting some of their best talent

NC teacher thugs are coming to Raleigh

(repost Diane Ravitch)

For teachers, May 16 about more than paychecks (op-ed version)

For NC teachers it’s about more than the paycheck

(repost Washington Post)

NC Professional Teaching Standards encourage advocacy

(repost Diane Ravitch)

North Carolina teachers ready their megaphones to demand change in priorities

(repost Washington Post)

April 2018

Students need trauma-informed care

March 2018

A teacher was accused of lacking testosterone for opposing giving guns to educators.  Here’s what his 7th graders said about that.

February 2018

Giving teachers guns won’t make schools safer

The legislature passed a temporary class size fix.  But it’s still not enough.

January 2018

Unintended consequences:  Legislation deserves the educator’s touch

(repost Washington Post)

A Defense of Creative Writing in the Age of Standardized Testing

(repost Diane Ravitch)

(repost Washington Post)

Catastrophe looms over unfunded class size mandate

Performance pay for educators fails to take into account the true value they add

(repost Washington Post)

December 2017

Peace Corps story translated/published in Albanian (original here)

NC Senate excuses on class size mandate don’t pass smell test


November 2017

Cost of NC Senate inaction on class size mandate


Impact of standardized testing on writing instruction and ability


October 2017

Importance of multiple measures of success in education

                                            (repost, Diane Ravitch)

                                            (repost, Washington Post)

August 2017

Why business principles don’t work in education

                                     (repost, Diane Ravitch) 

                                     (repost, Washington Post)

June 2017

Peace Corps bio article

Teacher raises don’t move the needle enough

Changes to retiree health benefits will harm teacher recruitment in NC

May 2017

Too much screen time in our classrooms?



April 2017

Solution to class size legislation debacle just delays the problem for a year

Teacher pay raises are eclipsed by rising health care premiums


March 2017

Peace Corps story about eating a raw goat spleen

Class size legislation may reduce arts/PE offerings

February 2017

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools must do more to protect children of immigrants



December 2016

District plan could weaken award-winning language magnet program

October 2016

Why I stopped assigning homework

August 2016

ESSA may provide opportunity to pay for National Board certification

July 2016

Democracy, not coups, needed in Turkey

June 2016

Background check bill could strip licenses of teachers who protest

Negative impact of standardized testing on our students