Yesterday, I wrote a story about the House Education Committee’s debate over SB 337, a bill that includes language allowing public charter schools to employ a higher percentage of uncertified teachers than current law allows.
In that story, I quoted Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) as having said, “In my county, public schools are doing a lousy job.”
Rep. Pittman emailed me to point out the fact that I misquoted him in my story. Upon review of audio made available late yesterday on voterradio.com, I realized that in fact I did not hear Rep. Pittman correctly and I misquoted him in my story. What Rep. Pittman actually said was:
“And I know in the case of my family, the public school’s doing a lousy job of teaching my kids.”
I apologized to Rep. Pittman and corrected my story to accurately reflect what he said.
I do believe it is useful to reprint, for the record, the entirety of Rep. Pittman’s statement that he made in committee during the debate on SB 337, in which he speaks to his view on the legitimacy of teacher certification.
“I object to this objection about teacher certification.
You know, a lot of the impetus I think for having charter schools is because some parents who have the real responsibility and authority for their children’s education are not buying what a lot of the traditional public schools are selling.
And I know in the case of my family, the public school’s doing a lousy job of teaching my kids. My son, who is in the third grade, couldn’t read at the first grade level. You know, he couldn’t read as well in the third grade as I could in the first grade because he was not taught phonics like I was. And he was falling further and further behind.
So we decided to home school him, and in the course of events we ended up home schooling all three of our kids, because we weren’t buying what the public school was selling. And neither my wife nor I were certified teachers, my wife did mainly the teaching and she only went to a community college and her training was as a medical secretary.”
Pittman went on to say that ultimately all three of his children, who were home schooled by uncertified teachers (he and his wife), made it onto the dean’s list in college. (I am paraphrasing this one sentence because there is a hiccup in the audio.) Pittman then concluded with the following:
“So, certification doesn’t mean all that much to me, and I think that’s an objection that doesn’t carry any weight. And I am hopeful that having charter schools and home schools and private schools and competition will help the traditional public schools improve what they’re doing. And I think this bill is along those lines and so I support it.”