There is little doubt that gubernatorial candidate Bev Perdue will make instructional technology a centerpiece of her plan to improve education in North Carolina. I mean, her face is the first one you see when you go to the NC Virtual Public School website. The only problem is that the state does a terrible job implementing statewide technology initiatives. The pathetic (and very costly) NC WISE system is a good example of that.

Now, the NC Virtual Public School is in trouble. John Boling, who was appointed the director of the NCVPS in June, is out. Interim director Jim Barber reports problems with “stabilizing the infrastructure,” as well as teacher quality. Those are pretty important components of a virtual school – computer and teacher. That is a bad sign.

Today, state superintendent of public instruction June Atkinson sent a memo to all school systems in NC, urging patience for those who “experienced some frustration with the operational side of the NC Virtual Public School program.” (Don’t you just love the phrase “frustration with the operational side?”) Among other things, June points out that the virtual school is not offering courses that some students signed up to take and must use out-of-state providers to meet the demand for an unspecified number of courses.

At this point, both the “virtual” and the “school” are looking pretty sorry.