Fox 8 reported today that Guilford County Schools will be closing on Wednesday, May 16. That is the day schoolteachers from around the state are descending upon Raleigh to demand more money.
A couple of months ago, we had commented here about the lack of adult leadership and supervision at Grimsley High School and in the county school system when students walked out of classes to protest gun rights. It was abundantly apparent that the students would face no consequences for their actions. In fact, one could argue that they were encouraged by staff.
Similarly, we find no evidence that the county school system administrators, the Board of Education or the administrators at the individual schools made a concerted effort to prevent the de facto walk-out by teachers.
Ordinarily, employers are fairly concerned when their employees don't show up for work. And they become extraordinarily concerned when they are forced to shut down their activities because of employees not showing up. But we find no such anguish among the school system administrators and the school board members in Guilford County thus far. After all, so the thinking goes, it is in pursuit of a good cause.
Unfortunately, the proficiency scores in reading and math in our county school system-- and certainly at a significant number of individual schools-- tend to be fairly problematic. The recent NAEP results are shameful. The kids need instruction and time in the classroom because many of them are doing poorly. Alas, the teachers are abandoning them during work time to run off to Raleigh.
Another aspect of this issue is that parents are inconvenienced severely when this happens. Working parents must scramble to assure care of their kids since school will be out.
It is quite evident that our county school system is thoroughly politicized. There can be little doubt that many of the school board members and school system administrators are not unhappy with what the teachers are doing.
Once again, there is no adult leadership. There is no sign that the teachers are being held accountable.
But in spite of this, Governor Cooper is nominating Alan Duncan, our school board chairman, to the state Board of Education. Duncan will be empowered to do for the state what he has done for Guilford County.