Thursday, October 20, 2016

SC's Proposed New Textbooks to Review Locally or On Line

As part of its textbook adoption process, the South Carolina Department of Education has made available copies for review at two Charleston County sites--at the libraries of the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University. Starting October 21 publisher-provided links can be reached at ,

Among others, texts for AP English, algebra, and several sciences are up for review.Image result for magnifying glass

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Scarey Headlines Will Not Solve Berkeley School District Problems

"ARE STUDENTS SAFE IN BERKELEY SCHOOLS?" screams the above-the-fold front-page headline. Are you kidding me? They're as safe there as anywhere else and maybe more so.

Anything to sell dying newspapers.

Each of two teachers at Cane Bay High were spending time alone with a student behind closed doors. 

What planet does its principal live on? Any teacher of either sex who spends time alone in a room with a student of either sex begs for trouble. The only question the reporter should have asked is why the high school doesn't have an "open door" policy drummed into the heads of its personnel.

These are sad stories about incidents that should not have happened.The remaining question is what qualified ex-Mt. Pleasant police officer and Assistant Principal Paul Jette Herman for his job.

See berkeley-county-schools-face-scrutiny-for-handling-of-sex-abuse-cases   

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Education Not Timely Topic for Presidential Candidates, Focus Locally!

How do the editors of our local rag select letters to be published? Timely? Controversial? Well-written? Expressing the editors' opinions? Surely they're not selected on the basis of general platitudes!

The lead letter in Sunday's edition fits the latter description. A "retired school administrator" wants the presidential candidates to provide vision that will erase the country's educational deficiencies. We can assume that Brooks Moore did not specialize in political science or even history. Education has never been the bailiwick of the federal government. Oh, yes. We know that there exists a U.S. Department of Education that tries to prove otherwise, but as recently as the 1980s its existence was under fire. 

What could either Trump or Clinton provide besides the usual expected shibboleths? Education must improve. It must be better funded. It must "enhance equal educational opportunities" (whatever that means). You can read the following letter and not disagree with a single sentence, but what then? 

Moore calls for making education a top priority in local elections as well. Perhaps the editors should pay heed. Here we are weeks away from local elections for district school board positions and constituent school board elections. 


It's a secret apart from their filing information. The P&C would never actually demean itself to focusing on local candidates. Voters are left in the dark.

That's a more promising place to begin.
Letter: Education is the most important issueOct 16 2016 One of the key issues of the 2016 presidential campaign should be public education. From the start of the primaries to the general election neither candidate has publicly shared a vision for how to improve, fund and enhance equal educational opportunities for all our citizens.
At the foundation of a strong nation is a strong public educational system. Everything from our quality of life to our national defense is predicated on how we educate our children. Education has been and still is the main catalyst for improving one’s economic status and broadening one’s understanding of how our political and democratic processes work.
Education provides the broadening of one’s mind and generates an understanding of other cultures. At the core of tolerance lies education. As a retired school administrator, I have seen firsthand how public education has enhanced the lives of young people. If we want to improve our economy, reduce crime, provide better health care and reduce poverty then it’s time to make public education a top priority, not only in presidential contests but in the state and local elections as well.

Brooks P. Moore
Blue House Road

Sunday, October 02, 2016

HaLevi's Letter Shows Inconsistency in CCSD Policies

Remember all of the hoo-ha over Clark Academy's ex-Principal Andrew HaLevi's treatment of the dress code at that school? Some unstated factor must underlie the recent disparity in treatment received by Principal Ryan Cumback under similar circumstances--disparity in treatment by both the Charleston County School District and the editors of the P & C.

But HaLevi himself should explain the situation, as he does in this Letter to the Editor:
Letter: Varying support
Oct 2 2016  
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Charleston County School District (CCSD) has supported Principal Ryan Cumback after a recent dress code controversy at Moultrie Middle School.
Not only did district representatives release a statement supporting Mr. Cumback, but a spokesperson also appeared on radio and other media outlets to defend him. It must be nice to receive such support. 
As the former leader of Clark Academy, the CCSD’s program for overage and at-risk high school students, I faced a similar dress code controversy in April. 
Instead of receiving support, the district was silent, opting to replace me despite internal district documents that supported my account of the episode and an unblemished eight-year record of leadership in one of the district’s most challenging schools. 
While genuinely happy for Mr. Cutback, I am utterly perplexed by the district’s inconsistent and incoherent responses to such similar episodes. 
I am further perplexed that The Post and Courier covered the recent Moultrie Middle School controversy with an online article only (Facebook Post about Moultrie Middle School student’s skirt goes viral, Reignited dress code debate, Sept. 23), while the Clark episode has been covered in four front-page articles over the span of four months 
Apparently The Post and Courier news division and the CCSD media relations department got the same memo: Mount Pleasant school principals deserve more support than administrators from other parts of the district.
Andrew HaLevi, Ph.D.
Wesson Avenue
Hello! The student HaLevi supposedly mistreated is black. When race enters the equation, equal treatment flies out the window in CCSD. Our local rag just follows its lead.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Vetting Candidates for Charleston County School District's Board of Trustees

Image result for voting blindly cartoon

Once upon a time school board candidates were known to the whole community of voters. Before the consolidated Charleston County School District emerged, pre-existing school districts voted for their own trustees, also known to those smaller constituencies. When CCSD forced candidates to run district wide (that is, county wide), constituencies lost their knowledge of the candidates: what voter living in Awendaw could vote intelligently on a candidate from North Charleston's Park Circle? 

The nonpartisan status of the positions meant that local political parties would encourage their adherents to run but did not necessarily mean those candidates went through any vetting. The abysmal weakness of our local rag to provide information on school board candidates has only exacerbated the problem. Apparently its editors see no reason to provide voters with information.

Most voters are left with names, pictures, incomplete biographies, and rumors. 

If CCSD were a small business, perhaps voting blindly wouldn't matter so much. Yet it is one of the largest employers in the county and provides jobs for thousands more maintaining, repairing, and building its infrastructure. 

More importantly still, CCSD must educate all of the county's children. Some will suggest that it is doing the best it can under difficult circumstances. 

Look around you. Should a county thriving as Charleston is have some of the worst schools in the state? There's no excuse.

Lack of knowledge about school board candidates makes problems worse. There must be a better way.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

CCSD's Ducker Too Dumb to Remain on School Board

Image result for tom ducker charleston sc

We know we set the bar low to qualify citizens for the Charleston County School Board of Trustees, but member Tom Ducker's actions have made the others look brilliant. Perhaps he confused the low standard for being eligible for Buist's lists (owning property in the district) for his own standard to remain on the school board.

See school-board-members-eligibility-questioned-as-governance-vote-looms

He could have continued to live in two houses, one inside the district, and remained eligible if he had kept his voter registration at the old address. Then he would legally be a registered voter in the district. It's not like he was pressured into changing his voting address. Now he's a registered voter in another county.


What to do now? Please resign and save us from this embarrassment.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

CCSD's Stono Park Finally Gets Its Just Deserts

Image result for stono park elementary charleston sc

In the six years since the Charleston County School District announced its list of winners in the "We Get a New Building" contest, Stono Park hung on patiently till the end--until the district said, "Oops, we didn't really mean that." 

The 65-year-old building suffered the same fate as that of Lincoln High--since enrollment declined, the district chose not to upgrade. Soon parents weren't sending their children because of classroom conditions--bugs, mold, all the usual suspects in a subtropical climate. 

Fortunately, the uproar of parents and community leaders, as well as lobbying by school board members, finally gained traction this month. Stono Park Elementary will get a new building as long as it redraws its sending boundaries to include more students. Couldn't boundaries have been changed years ago to stem the decline? 

Here's a thought. 

The district changed its mind due to pressure. Once the school board gives up its powers, will pressure to fulfill the community's desires even be possible?