I'm here in North Carolina for the Network for Public Education after a ten hour drive. I've seen many things upon the way. The Mrs and I stopped to gawk at the New River Gorge Bridge, which is an amazing feat of engineering. On the way into Raleigh, we wound our way through amazingly narrow and windy street, as if Raleigh were patterned on a falling-down-drunk version of Pittsburgh streets.
After ten hours in the car, my wife and I walked all around downtown Raleigh, which is amazingly beautiful and modern-yet-classic. We ate a delicious meal, and then the miracle of facebook allowed a former student I haven't seen in almost twenty years to reach out and invite us to walk a few blocks to join her, her husband, and some friends at a restaurant to catch up./ She thanked me for my work with her decades ago, and I also got to meet three former North Carolina teachers who gave up the classroom for other lines of work.
But nothing more amazing than just a few minutes ago, when Governor McCrory appeared on my hotel to explain just ho awesome he has been for teachers in North Carolina. Nothing I have seen today was as amazing as his ability to deliver this line with a straight face. Because, to recap-- under McCrory, North Carolina's elected government has tried to get rid of tenure, both by direct assault and by offering teachers the deal of trading their job protections for a raise-- a deal that is appealing since North Carolina teachers hadn't gotten a raise in years. When they did finally come up with a raise, it was an insulting package limited to only some, while continuing to shaft the rest.
The state is losing teachers at what ought to be an alarming rate, still bolstering charters, installed an anti-education president at their primo state university system, and installed a punishing pass-or-fail testing set-up for eight year olds.
That McCrory can even think about selling himself as an education governor is the most mazing thing I have seen in North Carolina, and for a state that first showed a human could fly, that's no small feat. The good news, I guess, is now that I've seen everything, I can just relax and enjoy tomorrow. But Sunday AM McCrory is going to go on the interview show circuit to explain how his hateful, oppressive, intolerant, probably-illegal new discrimination law (which also represents the opposite of conservative small government philosophy) is just a matter of "common courtesy." That promises to be hugely amazing indeed.