Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Kovach Indictment Cramps CCSD's Style on Not-a-Penny Tax Extension

When the Charleston County School District last kicked off its Yes4Schools campaign in 2010, the initial press conference was held at Sanders-Clyde Elementary. What a difference a little fear can make!

This time the press conference's appearance in a vacant lot opposite Dunston Elementary School on Remount Road shed any perceived impropriety that the tax is being pushed by CCSD. The Chamber of Commerce spokesman carefully pointed out that "no school employees were at the campaign kickoff."

Crimping Nancy McGinley's style. Too bad.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Opportunity for "Critical Thinking" Missed by Hard-Line Educrat Darwinists

Perhaps retired Bishop Allison's measured letter can contribute to the debate over evolution versus intelligent design. Note the irony of the anecdote at the end.

Sep 30 2014 12:01 am
                                                            Not so random
Frank Wooten's Sept. 27 column on "Natural selection: Keep faith in science" is based on popular misunderstandings regarding issues of 100 years ago. The issue confronting us today is whether random chance can account for the created order or whether there is scientific evidence for intelligent design in nature.

Biologist Michael Behe has more recently shown that cilium, a microscopic hair-like organism that keeps foreign objects out of our lungs, is so irreducibly complex that it takes an act of credulity to believe it just happened by chance given the limited time of the planet's existence.

Of course, this does not prevent such credulity on the part of scientists already committed to a natural self-explanatory world.

But Wooten seems unaware of Behe, Stephen Meyer, Jonathan Wells, William Dembski, all (and many more) credentialed scientists that, on the basis of science, perceive intelligent design in creation and not mere random chance.

Last year's "Mere Anglicanism" conference featured famous scientists who believe nature discloses more than random chance. (CDs of these addresses are available through the office of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina on Coming Street.)

Especially interesting and even delightful are the addresses by Dr. John C. Lennox, professor of mathematics at Cambridge University. Dr. Stephen Meyer related a telling anecdote:

A Chinese paleontologist was lecturing at the University of Washington on the astonishing findings in China from the pre-Cambrian era, turning Darwin's bottom-up assumptions to top-down developments.

One American asked if he were not uncomfortable speaking skeptically of Darwinism coming "as you do from an authoritarian country."

The Chinese scholar smiled and replied, "In China we can question Darwin, but not the government. In America you can question the government but not Darwin."

C. FitzSimons Allison
Retired Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina
Indigo Avenue

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Berkeley CSD's Thompson About to "Get Outta Dodge"?

Perhaps the moment of clarity came when they issued a search warrant for Berkeley County Superintendent Rodney Thompson's computer. Or maybe when Amy Kovach, his communications director, received a second indictment.

At some point Thompson realized that the remaining two years on his contract with the county's school district would not be fun. Whether ultimately indicted or not, Thompson will leave a district that seems largely improved under his guidance.

This latest news punches another hole in all school districts' personnel meddling in referendums. It should send a clear signal to Charleston County School District Superintendent McGinley to be more careful in the upcoming tax renewal.

Oh, I forgot. She's safe because Board member and Chamber of Commerce officer Chris Fraser will do the dirty work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finally: Sensible Plan from CCSD Board

Charleston County School Board approves controversial plan to move tech program
by Amanda Kerr

"Despite urging from black community leaders to keep Lowcountry Tech Academy at its location in downtown Charleston, the School Board voted Monday to move the program to three other high schools and allow a charter school to take over the space.

"The Charleston County School Board voted 5-4 to approve a plan to move Lowcountry Tech Academy to West Ashley and Burke high schools as well as a third location in North Charleston. School Board members Cindy Bohn Coats, Todd Garrett, Tom Ducker, Elizabeth Moffly and Tripp Wiles voted for the expansion, while Rev. Chris Collins, Craig Ascue, Michael Miller and Chris Fraser voted against it. The board modified the plan to have flexibility in choosing which school the tech program moves to in North Charleston over concerns over space limitations at North Charleston High School.

For the rest, see

The NAACP is not happy. Perhaps it's losing control of the school board.

Monday, September 22, 2014

CCSD Has Only One Sensible Option for Rivers Building

Edward Jones tells it like it is in Monday's paper/

Wise Rivers plan
The proposal to expand Lowcountry Tech into multiple high schools and move Charleston Charter School for Math and Science (CCSMS) middle schoolers into the Rivers school building has the unanimous support of the District 20 Constituent Board.

When the Charleston County School District pushed to close and sell the Rivers campus, the movement to save the building was led by CCSMS. In 2008, this board voted unanimously to place CCSMS in the building. There was then, and remains today, a need for more middle and high school courses in math and science, which are prerequisites for entry into our best state colleges and universities.

The middle school has a waiting list of 226. Enabling it to move out of trailers into the school building will create approximately 60 additional seats. CCSMS is one of the few fully integrated downtown schools, with 50 percent minority students.

After the tragedy of Sandy Hook, and after years of enormous investment in our school buildings to make them safe and secure, we cannot deny that leaving 260 students in trailers is to put them in harm's way. The safety of our children must prevail over politics. There can be no justification for dividing this building between CCSMS and Lowcountry Tech, leaving 260 students outside where we cannot protect them.

A logical next step is to involve the principals of Burke, West Ashley and North Charleston high schools in the logistics of accommodating Lowcountry Tech on their campuses. Burke has a full wing not in use. A proper plan should place the needs of students above all else and strengthen our middle and high schools.

Chairman, District 20
Constituent School Board
President Street

Saturday, September 20, 2014

CCSD Should Pay Attention to More Than Squeaky Wheel of NAACP

Would you believe that the Rev. Joseph Darby surmises that the Charleston County School District's Charter School for Math and Science will be entirely white by 2025?

Really, CSMS has been an embarrassment to the district from its beginnings by a group of diverse parents, to its fight with CCSD administration for trailer space at the old Rivers campus, to its present status of the MOST INTEGRATED SCHOOL IN THE ENTIRE SCHOOL DISTRICT.

Shame on Darby. His ritualistic op-ed columns provide the equivalent of "waving the bloody shirt" of earlier times.

Here's the skinny: Charleston County Schools administration (i.e., Nancy McGinley) made a foolish promise to the NAACP and Ministerial Alliance in order to get their undying support. The aforementioned have no problems with having all-black schools in the district. For a group of grass roots parents to create a well-integrated school on the peninsula without their blessing added insult to injury.

Lowcountry Tech at the Rivers building has never made any sense given that Burke is half-empty and many Burke alumni and parents want the tech classes there. It has never made any sense to bus in students from around the county when their participation precludes participation in sports and other activities or adds two hours to the school day.

The sole purpose of LTA at Rivers at this point is to preclude CSMS from using the rest of the building and to keep the NAACP's support of McGinley.

It's not about the children.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Brian Hicks Imposes Stereotypes Where None Exist over "Not a Penny" Tax

When did we guess that Brian Hicks was merely a liberal flack? Probably when his first column appeared in the P&C--was that only seven years ago? Seems like an eternity.

Case in point: The Charleston County Republican Party questions the need for a six-year extension of the "not a penny" tax to fill the coffers of the Charleston County School District for its contractor friends. It dares to suggest that the "not a penny" tax is overkill when new schools are necessary only in the places where population is burgeoning and overfilling present schools.

Of course, Hicks' being the conspiracy theorist he is (must be a friend of co-conspiracy theorist Dot Scott) thinks the anti-tax sentiment reveals that Republicans want new schools only for whites.

Um, duh.

Mostly whites are moving where the student population is bulging at the seams. Must be a Republican plot perpetrated in New Jersey and Ohio.

Hicks also claims to believe that the Metro Chamber of Commerce is conservative! He neglects to mention in his anti-Republican rant that Chris Fraser, whom he quotes for the School Board, is the guiding force of the Chamber of Commerce on the School Board and an officer of the Chamber, a bit like ignoring that Hillary Clinton is the wife of an ex-President.

To top off his ignorant rant, Hicks suggests that tourists will pay 40 percent of money raised with the extension. Apparently, he's been drinking CCSD's Kool-Aid. Heaven forfend that property owners should foot the bill!

Hicks wants to lay this oh-so-regressive sales tax on the backs of the poor instead.

What a guy!

Remember: it's not a penny. How often do you purchase items for a dime?