Mark Johnson

When North Carolina voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday, they will be faced with making a preliminary selection on who should be the next Superintendent of Public Instruction. It’s a position that directs an enormous amount of state and other funds. But it’s also a role that is poorly defined, and, currently, a source of contention.

A Wake County judge sided with state Superintendent Mark Johnson Monday in a legal battle over how to test North Carolina’s youngest readers.

N.C. Department of Public Instruction

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s superintendent of public instruction is alleging that more than 70,000 third-grade students have been wrongly promoted since 2014 even though they did not meet mandated reading requirements.

A state hearing officer ruled Monday that the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction violated the law and jeopardized the integrity of the state procurement process in selecting Istation software to test the reading skills of the state’s youngest students. 

North Carolina Superintendent of Education Mark Johnson speaking in Charlotte, February 8, 2018.

RALEIGH — North Carolina's state schools superintendent has decided he'll run for lieutenant governor next year, instead of seeking reelection.

Students in Leslie Nielsen's class at Community House Middle School in Charlotte work on posters seeking gift cards for Ocracoke School, which was damaged during Hurricane Dorian.

A south Charlotte middle school teacher has launched a drive to get aid to a tiny island school hard hit by Hurricane Dorian. She says she learned an important lesson from last year's hurricane aid effort.

elementary school students

A company that recently won an $8 million contract to test the progress of North Carolina’s youngest readers has now agreed to provide that program at no charge — at least for now.

North Carolina Superintendent of Education Mark Johnson speaking in Charlotte, February 8, 2018.

A controversial new computer reading program for K-3 students has been temporarily blocked from use in North Carolina public schools.  

Beth Cortez-Neavel / Flickr

The North Carolina Supreme Court has upheld an earlier three-judge panel decision that state legislators can shift some of the controls of the public school system from the state board of education to the superintendent. The court issued the ruling Friday with both sides declaring victory.

Several hundred South Mecklenburg High School students defied school faculty by walking out of class Friday morning, chanting and waving Mexican national flags and at times causing chaos according to students on social media.

The North Carolina Board of Education and the new state schools superintendent sat down this week for their first meeting. Republican Board Chairman Bill Cobey introduced his new GOP colleague. There was no hint that Johnson and the board are locked in a power struggle.

The disagreement is over which one of them is in charge of the Department of Public Instruction. Republican lawmakers say it's Johnson. The board says it's them. That struggle will begin playing out in court soon. WFAE's Lisa Worf joins Morning Edition host Marshall Terry now.