Lt. Governor creates task force to address fairness and accountability in the classroom

Pictured (L-R) are Sen. Kevin Corbin, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Rep. David Willis. Corbin and Willis are the only two legislators on the newly formed FACTS task force. Other members represent all levels of K-12 including teachers, administrators and university professors.

Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson announced that he has created a new task force titled “Fairness and Accountability in the Classroom for Teachers and Students” (F.A.C.T.S.) to give students, teachers and parents a “voice to speak out about cases of bias, inappropriate material, or indoctrination they see or experience in public schools.” 

“It [the task force] will seek to compile and assess legitimate reports from across the state, assist those who need help navigating the bureaucratic process surrounding education, and provide a platform to disseminate information regarding indoctrination in public schools,” Robinson said.

The FACTS Task Force advisory board is composed of education professionals representing all levels of K-12 including teachers, administrators, and university professors.

Purpose of the Task Force:

• To assist in holding local and county-level education officials accountable for what occurs in their schools;

• To provide a safe and secure setting where education professionals can transmit concerns regarding their school without fear of retaliation;

• To provide a central state-wide mechanism for gathering and sharing data related to parent concerns regarding public education, and to provide a mechanism for elevating awareness of concerns so that they can be addressed;

• To provide underrepresented parents and students a voice and an open line of communication with professional educator advocates for student experiences and outcomes;

• To assist concerned parents in navigating the bureaucracy within our public school system.

Senator Kevin Corbin is one of the two legislators appointed to the task force. With 20 years of experience serving on the Macon County Board of Education, many of which Corbin served the board as chair, as well as six years serving on the Macon County Board of Commissioners, also serving as chairman, Corbin brings a unique perspective to the task force. 

“I think all too often state task forces are comprised of people in Raleigh or other urban areas,” said Senator Kevin Corbin. “It is rare that someone from the western part of the state gets to be a voice on these state boards, so I am excited for this opportunity.” 

Corbin said he is looking forward to the opportunity to work alongside Lt. Governor Mark Robinson and other stakeholders in North Carolina to have their voices heard. 

“As far as I know, this is the first task force of its kind for North Carolina and I am proud to be a small part of it,” said Corbin. “I applaud Lt. Governor Robinson for taking the initiative to make sure parents, teachers, and students across the state are heard about what is best for their education.”

In addition to Senator Corbin, members of the task force include Melissa Oakley-Onslow County BOE Member; Melissa Merrell – Union County BOE Member; Rep. David Willis-District 68; Terry Stoops, K-12 Policy Expert; Oliva Oxindine -, State Board of Education Member, UNCO Associate Profession; Dr. Gregory Cizek, UNC Chapel Hill Professor; Lindalyn Kakadelis, executive director at NC Coalition for Charter Schools; Judy Henion, Classroom Teachers Association NC Director; Baker Mitchell, Founder of The Roger Bacon Academy; Terrance McCotter, Wake County Principal; and Dr. Rick Watkins, 30 year K-12 Educator, Wingate Adjunct Professor and Educational Consultant.