This blog is written by concerned parents who are striving to positively change the North Carolina Virtual Public School (“NCVPS“): the largest school by enrollment in the state of North Carolina, and the only school directly managed by our Department of Public Instruction (“DPI”). NCVPS should be a shining example of education done right, but instead is a dysfunctional collection of ineffective administrators, carelessly developed classes, and failing systems. Rather than strive for excellence – and teach our children to do the same – NCVPS staff condone unethical behavior by teachers, dishonesty toward parents and students, and evasion rather than problem solving.
Our local public schools enrolled our children in multiple NCVPS classes rather than in some face-to-face classes. In one instance, an incredibly talented and energetic teacher made the class a successful experience despite numerous challenges put in her path by NCVPS staff, systems, and policies. However, the two other NCVPS classes taken by our children were completely devoid of educational value. Our children ended up teaching themselves the subjects from a textbook while jumping through a bunch of frustrating, time wasting hoops to earn credit for these classes on their transcripts.
Worse still, our inquiries into the constant problems with one of these classes – the Advanced Placement United States History (“APUSH”) course – led to the discovery that the teachers hired to develop original content for this course instead chose to copy material available on the internet and turn it in as their own work. When we brought this plagiarism to the attention of NCVPS executives, they started a campaign of dishonesty, destruction of evidence, disparaging statements about a minor student, and wasteful use of state funds in an effort to hide the misconduct.
We are now approaching the two year anniversary of uncovering this misconduct at NCVPS. In the intervening time, we have written or spoken to our Governor Roy Cooper, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, State Auditor Beth Wood, numerous State Senators and Representatives, the press, the entire State Board of Education, two different Superintendents of Public Instruction, and numerous employees of DPI and NCVPS. Most will not even return our calls or letters, some claim that we are the problem and disparage our good names, and none have shown a willingness to have the misconduct at NCVPS investigated and remedied.
Our older children finished their NCVPS courses long ago, and we will not allow them or their younger siblings to ever be subjected to NCVPS again. We could simply walk away, tell our friends about the horrors we experienced at NCVPS, the dysfunction at DPI and in our state government, and leave the problem to someone else. But that is not the example we want to set for our children. We believe online learning offers great promise for the students of North Carolina, and we as taxpayers and parents should demand better from our elected and appointed public servants. So, we will continue to advocate for positive changes at NCVPS – here on this blog, through the media, and in court – until the full story is told and much needed changes are implemented.