by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
In an editorial urging state Sen. Phil Berger to defer and study his education reform proposal, the editors of the News & Observer want Republican leaders “to be open to the input of people like the NCAE and June Atkinson, state superintendent of public instruction.” I do not know if Berger met with Atkinson, but he has invited the NCAE to his office for a meeting to discuss his education reform package, the Excellent Public Schools Act. Here is what the NCAE had to say about the meeting:
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) held a closed door meeting with NCAE Government Relations Manager Brian Lewis (this writer) & lobbyist Marge Foreman on Tuesday about concerns NCAE and its members have on Senate Bill 795 (Excellent Public Schools Act). It was a substantive meeting and Sen. Berger was very engaging and open to NCAE observations of the bill. Sen. Berger referenced the meeting with NCAE in today’s Senate Education Committee and said he appreciated NCAE’s “constructive criticism.” Sen. Berger reported the bill is currently under a rewrite and a new version will be available on Friday with a scheduled committee vote on Tuesday.
Senator Berger’s willingness to meet with the NCAE reflects a level of magnanimity never shown to Republicans when the Democrats were in charge.
And during Berger’s six terms in the state senate, how many times did the News & Observer urge Democrats to be open to the input of charter school advocates, proponents of school choice, private school representatives, or home schoolers? I do not know for sure. I suspect that you can count the number of times on one hand…of someone with missing fingers.