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State superintendent candidate shares ideas
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State superintendent candidate shares ideas




N.C. State Superintendent candidate John Tedesco said education is the key to upward social mobility in America.

"You have to have that education,” Tedesco said in a recent visit to The Wilson Times.

Tedesco, a Republican, faces incumbent Democrat June Atkinson, who has held the superintendent position for eight years, in November.

"We have a serious problem in education in North Carolina,” he said. "There is a problem when one in five children do not graduate annually. You’ve got to vote different.”

Tedesco, a Wake County school board member, said he brings a unique perspective when it comes to education. He said he successfully led the Wake County system, which has 165 schools, 153,000 children, 18,000 employees and a $1.4 billion budget.

"I think you’ve got to get the bureaucracy of Raleigh and Washington out of the classroom,” he said. "They make more and more rules for our schools. We have to let our teachers teach. We have to empower our parents.”

He said he wants to change the culture of Department of Public Instruction from what he contends is a "body of bureaucratic oversight” and give local school districts more control.

"I want to turn the model around ... help you achieve your vision in your community,” he said. "You may have different needs in your community. We should be there to help you to implement that local vision so that you and your children are successful.”

Tedesco said that each child learns differently. While some choose to attend four-year colleges, others choose to attend vocational training programs at local community colleges. He said part of his plan for North Carolina’s education system includes expanding vocational programs, apprenticeships and early college opportunities.

"I think we need to get out of the one size fits all education model,” he said. "I just believe so much in my heart that you have to have a variety of models that serve a variety of students. I know all the answers can not come out of Raleigh for education. I would bring a very unique perspective.”

He said it is vital that children can proficiently read, write and perform math.

"We’ve got to get back to the basics,” he said. "If a kid can’t read at third grade, then you don’t need to keep passing them through the system. You can’t keep pushing these kids through the system if they are not ready.”

Tedesco said nearly one-third of all children in North Carolina can’t read on grade level.

 

BACKGROUND

Tedesco, who grew up in the Pittsburg area, is the oldest of six siblings — two of which are hearing impaired and attend Wake Tech Community College, he said.

He believes residential schools, for both blind and deaf, should continue to remain open.

He said he grew up poor and credits his faith and education as a way to get out of poverty.

"I was one of these free lunch kids,” he said. "I’m passionate about education.”

He said many teachers showed him there was a way out and different path to travel.

Tedesco moved to Garner after his mother died to help raise three of his younger siblings, he said. He currently lives in Garner with his wife and son. He is currently president of the N.C. Center for Education Reform. His work history includes serving as chief development office for Big Brothers Big Sisters, where he was credited for developing the N.C. Mentoring Prisoners Initiative, according to his website. He also served thousands of abused, abandoned and homeless children annually while in a director of development position for an organization in New Jersey, according to his website.

Tedesco was a part of Wake County’s student assignment plan which emphasized parental choice. That plan drew backlash from some, including the state NAACP. Many protested the plan.

 

olivia@wilsontimes.com | 265-7879
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twindad said...

"I'm not racist. I had a black girlfriend once!" Okay then, that's proof. You're definitely not racist.
"I'm not racist. My maid is black, and she comes over to clean my house twice a week!"
Okay then, that's proof. You're definitely not racist.

Sunday, October 07, 2012 at 9:11 PM
PirateFan said...

To twindad... If I remember correctly - when Tedesco was first elected to the Wake County School Board and this "race" card was played over the new assignment plan - he actually mentioned having a black girl friend at some point in his life. If that's true - and I have no reason to think the man would lie about that, especially if he "is" racist - then how can he be a racist and date someone of a different race?! Just asking...

Friday, October 05, 2012 at 12:50 PM
twindad said...

If this Tea Party idiot gets elected State Superintendent of Schools, we will go back to segregated schools and Jim Crow mentality. We have heard and seen his ideas when he was on the Wake County Board of Education. He doesn't need to come to Wilson to tell us he is racist. The entire world already knows that.

Friday, October 05, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Disgusted said...

My son was in Wilson County Schools system for 4 years, out of the 4 years he had 1 good teacher and 3 of the laziest people with no morals or work ethics that I have ever seen! Start paying these people on their performance and the bad apples will fall outof the tree!!!

Friday, October 05, 2012 at 6:48 AM
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