Government Inaction

As discussed in previous posts, we have been advocating for an investigation into the misconduct and broken culture at NCVPS for nearly two years.  Our requests for action started with the executives of NCVPS, and resulted in some inadequate changes to the APUSH course and in limited training initiatives on copyright laws for the entire NCVPS organization.  Unfortunately, none of these changes amount to more than cosmetic improvements to a subset of the problems we identified with the APUSH course much less with NCVPS overall.

We have also contacted numerous North Carolina government officials who have the ability to ensure both an investigation of NCVPS and remedial action to benefit NCVPS students.  We have been appalled at how little our government officials are willing to help address significant misconduct in the largest school in our state.  A summary of our appeals for help from NC government officials is as follows:

Superintendent of Public Instruction Atkinson:

  • considered our whistle-blowing activities to be “harassment” of DPI and SBE personnel
  • did nothing to address the issues we raised
  • denied us access to state employees that is enjoyed by every other citizen of the state
  • continued to characterize the problem with the APUSH course as a “missing citation” despite all evidence to the contrary

Superintendent of Public Instruction Johnson:

  • no comment or reply to any communication with him beginning in August 2016 while he was a candidate or with his office since the election other than auto-reply emails

Deputy State Superintendent, Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin:

  • DPI executive responsible for NCVPS
  • on the 472nd day after we made what she called “serious allegations against agency personnel” she sent us a letter informing us (and a TV reporter airing an investigative report that evening) of an internal audit underway into the misconduct at NCVPS
  • no response to any other communication before or since

State Board of Education:

  • no comment or reply to any communication whether sent before or after we filed a suit against DPI
  • took a litigation posture with respect to our issues long before we filed a public record suit against DPI (of which SBE was not a party), according to SBE attorney Katie Cornetto

Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest (also a member of the SBE):

  • refused to respond to any communication sent to him prior to the filing of our public record suit
  • refuses to engage in NCVPS issues due to pending litigation (even though he continues to interact with the Superintendent of Public Instruction who he is suing as a part of the SBE)

Former Governor McRory:

  • zero response to any communication

Current Governor Cooper:

  • zero response to any communication while Governor
  • zero response to any communication while Attorney General

State Auditor, Beth Wood:

  • strong support for an audit of NCVPS received from multiple members of her staff
  • refuses to audit NCVPS due to pending litigation and/or a supposed internal audit already underway at NCVPS
  • as of late September 2016, assured our elected Representative Joe John that she “would consider the matter carefully” but would “need our patience”

Speaker of the House, Tim Moore:

  • helpful staffer expressed concern for the situation at NCVPS, until reassigned
  • refused to get personally involved
  • refused to use the power of his office to initiate an audit of NCVPS

President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate, Phil Berger:

  • helpful staffer expressed strong concern for the situation at NCVPS and made multiple inquiries within state government but received the same lack of response we did, then she left government
  • refused to get personally involved
  • refused to use the power of his office to initiate an audit of NCVPS

NC House and Senate Committees of Education:

  • responses from 2 or 3 of the 20-30 members contacted, typically asking us to keep them informed

Department of Justice:

  • informed us they do not have jurisdiction over potentially illegal activity by state agencies
  • Assistant Attorney General Tiffany Lucas defending and helping to hide misconduct at NCVPS

We also met separately with our elected State Senator John Alexander and Representative Joe John which we will describe more fully in our next post.