Mark Johnson is a new leader for NC schools

mark-johnson-2Mark Johnson is a smart, savvy 32-year-old with lots of ideas about how North Carolina’s educational system ought to operate. Now he’ll be challenged to put those ideas into practice as he replaces three-term state Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson. Johnson, a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board, defeated Atkinson on Nov. 8 in something of a surprise.
Johnson, an attorney who taught public school with the Teach for America program before entering law school, deserves credit for running an energetic campaign, and he made his fast-paced pitch to voters in every corner of the state. One priority: reducing testing, which Johnson believes is taking too much energy from teachers. Another: more help for local districts from DPI. And another: support for charter school expansion and a voucher program wherein public money goes to parents (for now, only to lower-income parents) who want to send their children to private school.
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