by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
… whether she meant to or not.
From this morning’s Carolina Journal Online lead story by Barry Smith:
“It’s not the individual, it’s the society as a whole, where it worries me about the privatization of public education,” Atkinson said Monday. “It’s a philosophical belief that public schools — public education — is at the core of our democracy, and is at the core of ensuring that we can prepare people to live with and work with people who are different than what one they have in a segregated environment.”
Atkinson said she worried that the availability of vouchers would erode support for public schools.
“What concerns me is not that individual child, but what concerns me is as a society that we will slowly starve public education,” Atkinson said.
Between those statements, along with her complaints that the General Assembly was not spending enough money on K-12 schools (she handed out materials, including the chart below — larger version here — to argue her case), the Democratic superintendent shot down two of the main talking points the education establishment trots out whenever conservatives push for school reform:
1) Money isn’t the issue; and
2) It’s all about the children.
Perhaps it was a rare moment of candor, or Atkinson didn’t expect that the assembled group of (mostly) sympathetic journalists would find anything controversial about those sentiments. But she’s provided what sports fans call bulletin-board material for the school-reform movement statewide. You may wish to find a thumbtack and clear some space …