Sunday, September 17, 2006

Is There a Pattern Here?

Random (or, perhaps, not so random) thoughts regarding last week's "news" from the Newsless Courier. Maybe this could be a quiz for readers who believe that the paper actually reports news of the Lowcountry.

  1. Whatever happened to the Wando High School students who were charged with multiple crimes?
  2. What was the "good" news about the PACT scores?
  3. Why is the Myrtle Beach Pavilion so important to the Lowcountry that it garners the front page of the Sunday paper?

Answers: 1. (a) suspended pending outcome of explusion hearing; (b) expelled; (c) sent to Burke to beef up their football team; (d) not important enough to report.

Okay, for those of you breathlessly waiting to hear how the recommended expulsions of the Wando football players and their cronies in crime came out--I hope you're able to hold your breath for a long time. The answer is (d).

In typical Newsless Courier fashion we first have raging headlines; then we have silence. . . . Oh, I'm sorry! We must be sensitive to the needs of adolescents. Forget those who had guns held in their faces.

2. (a) the majority of elementary and middle schools have now raised their scores to more than half scoring above basic; (b) the majority have now raised their scores to less than half scoring above basic; (d) the majority have now lowered their scores to more than half scoring below basic; (e) no analysis beyond basic score reporting; crunch the numbers yourself, if you're so d---d curious!

Then, the "good" news about PACT scores? Yes???? I suppose it is that those students who were in schools where the majority of students passed the test in the past continued to be in schools where the majority of students passed in the past.

Consistency of results. That would be (e).

I'm afraid that's the best I can do in the way of "good" news. Certainly, it isn't great news for parents of students in failing schools, but who cares about them anyway? They don't care, right? They expect their schools to be that way; in fact, they deserve for their schools to fail, right? Pity the well-brought-up child at Alice Birney or Brentwood Middle who's been told that teachers and administrators (in this very school district) believe that using obscenities is part of his or her culture. 'Nuff said on that.

3. (a) all Charlestonians spent their childhoods there; (b) all Charlestonians wish they had spent their childhoods there; (c) Myrtle Beach has moved closer to the Lowcountry than it used to be; (d) Myrtle Beach is full of ex-Charlestonians who just couldn't take the trashy ways of Charleston any more; (e) it's a favorite vacation spot of the editors.

As for Myrtle Beach, please! Isn't that where people from New Jersey and Pennsylvania come when they get tired of Atlantic City? Some of us are old enough to remember that it was the place to go for illegal high-roller gambling and expensive call girls in the good old days. It was NOT a magnet for Charlestonians (unless they had such proclivities). Shagging at the beach was at FOLLY, for all of you interlopers. Why should we care what happens to their Pavilion? Put it in the Business section, if you must. There's little enough there! The answer must be (e).

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