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Dec. 19, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Francis De Luca (919) 834-2099 Francis.DeLuca@nccivitas.org
RALEIGH – A purportedly nonpartisan group formed to push business executives’ education agenda has hired a partisan activist once embroiled in groups that boycotted a North Carolina employer.
BEST NC (Business for Educational Success and Transformation in North Carolina) includes at least 54 executives as members. The group supports Common Core, the controversial plan to impose uniform educational standards on schools in North Carolina and other states.
BEST NC announced this week it has hired Brenda Berg, a self-described activist, to head up its efforts. She was involved with Great Schools in Wake (GSIW), which attacked Republican members of the Wake County School Board after they gained a majority on the board. She also actively supported Democratic candidates for the board in 2011.
In addition, GSIW was a project of WakeUp Wake County, a group linked to Blueprint NC — the liberal umbrella organization which gained notoriety from its memo calling on activists to “eviscerate” conservative leadership. GSIW and WakeUp also promoted a boycott of Variety Wholesalers stores to target one of those conservative leaders, businessman and philanthropist Art Pope.
“BEST NC has tainted its efforts by hiring Berg,” Civitas President Francis X. De Luca said. “It is surprising that a business-oriented group hires someone connected with organizations that promoted boycotts of a North Carolina business.”
He noted that she has been quoted as saying: “BEST NC puts politics to the side and unites a diverse group of business leaders who believe public education must be the first priority in policy and budget decisions.”
“Ms. Berg’s full history raises grave questions as to whether she can put politics aside and unite the business community, rather than singling out elected officials and enterprises for attacks and boycotts,” De Luca said. “While she heads BEST NC, everything it does deserves a skeptical look.”
The Civitas Institute is a policy institute based in Raleigh, N.C. More information is available at www.nccivitas.org, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.