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Some of you are already back to school. Others are coming back this week and next. I am thankful for you and your leadership. The best part of my job is bearing witness to how you show up for our students in our classrooms and our schools and our communities.

Thank you.

This year, if you hear people saying our public schools are failing, ask them by what measure.

18% of traditional public schools are identified as continuously low-performing — almost exactly the same as the charter sector where 17% of charters are continuously low-performing.

Even in those schools, many students thrive. And many disagree about the measures of low performance.

It’s OK to talk out loud about our public schools and why we love them.

In a recent EdNC survey, guess what thousands of parents said they loved about their public schools.

Engaging and caring teachers, administrators, and support staff.

Our public schools offer an abundance of choice: year round, charter, magnet, language immersion, single sex, early college, career academies, virtual academies, alternative schools, lab schools, and on and on.

They are the largest employer in most of our counties.

Think of all the types of workers they employ, from plumbers to principals. Think about their purchasing power and all of the small businesses they support.

Think about their role as anchor institutions in our communities. They often have the largest commercial kitchen in the county. They provide after school care. Many provide summer camps. They are our shelters in emergency.

They are part and parcel of our community identity. Take in a Friday night football game in a small town this fall and see.


These are the sources EdNC checks every day: The New York Times, The 74, Education Week, The NC Tribune, The Insider, The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer, WUNC, WFAE, Brookings, Education Commission of the States, and DPI’s News. A cross section of diverse sources are checked weekly and monthly. If you have an article you think needs to be included, email [email protected].

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.

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