Mass Text From State Superintendent Sparks Ethics Complaints

Mass Text From State Superintendent Sparks Ethics Complaints

10:51am Feb 14, 2020
In this Sept. 7, 2017 file photo, North Carolina public schools Superintendent Mark Johnson discusses the findings of an annual report measuring the performance of the state's 1.5 million students and their schools, in Raleigh, N.C. Johnson is the subject of ethics complaints following mass texts and emails he sent to parents and teachers across the state. (AP Photo/Emery P. Dalesio, File)

A number of ethics complaints have been filed against North Carolina State Superintendent Mark Johnson. The complaints are related to a mass text Johnson sent to parents and teachers.

On Tuesday, Johnson sent text messages to over 500,000 parents and educators, along with emails to 800,000. The messages expressed his opposition to Common Core, a set of academic standards for math and language arts students.  He also asked parents and teachers to take an online survey about those standards.

Justin Parmenter is a Charlotte-Mecklenburg language arts teacher and frequent critic of the superintendent. He tells the News & Observer that his complaint was one of at least 10 filed by parents and teachers across the state. 

The complaints accuse Johnson of misusing his position by accessing a state database for personal gain. Johnson, who is running for Lieutenant Governor, has been vocal about his opposition to Common Core.

The complaints also allege the messages were timed to coincide with this week’s start of early voting.

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