Tuesday, May 29, 2007

CCSD: Goody Bags Full of Hope

Sunday's story in the P & C about goody bags given to about 22,000 elementary children in CCSD surely is cause for hope. Nancy McGinley took the initiative to follow through on a suggestion from a school volunteer!

"The bags contain a day-to-day calendar of suggested activities for children to do with the help of their parents, such as "think of all the words that describe your family and make a poster of family words" or "name a food that starts with each letter of the alphabet."
"The bags also include: a list of locations and phone numbers for the free summer meals programs, a brochure for the Charleston County Public Library summer program and library card application, summer journal writing ideas and educational Web sites. Individual schools are invited to add information to the bags such as media center hours and reading lists. . . . The district also plans to partner with the library to put together summer materials for middle and high school students."

The idea-person, "Willette Dennis-Wilkins, the North Charleston resident and school volunteer who gave McGinley the idea for the bags, said she's wanted the district to take on this project for nearly a decade."

That's right. Nearly 10 years. If she managed to get through the bureaucracy previously, I'm assuming she was told the funds weren't available.

This time McGinley found the money.

Maybe the logjam is about to break up. Now, if the powers-that-be would only pay attention to comments made on this blog [thanks to amc]:

"When was the last time county school board members and senior school district administrators allowed individual members of the public to ask them direct questions? Do they ever participate in open question and answer opportunities at public meetings? What about neighborhood meetings, civic clubs or even constituent board meetings?"


awc said...

Could Dr. McGinley be our answer? I have my fingers, toes, legs, and arms crossed. Please, Dr. McGinley, show us the money!
And show us you're noone's puppet!

Anonymous said...

I agree with AWC. I hope Nancy McGinley understands how important that she gain the trust and confidence of the people she is serving. Good ideas and solutions to many public school problems don't always have to originate with the experts and paid professionals. Simple solutions often rise from common sense used by ordinary people on the ground.

cwc said...

AWC I hope that you are right but give me a break. She has been under somone's control for so long. You maybe dreaming be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Have any of you met Dudley Gregorie, the new mayoral candidate? Maybe he'll be our "ray of hope!"
Go away, Joe!

awc said...

Yes, I've been called quite naive and hopelessly optimistic for many years. Our initials are so close, any chance we're related?
I'll tell you my father's first name if you give me your mother's maiden name...
Let's take the extra step and start identifying ourselves on this blog.

had enough said...

Goody bags! Yippee!! See, we take PACT the first 2 weeks in May and then we watch movies, play games, and have lots of parties the last three weeks of school! Oh, how I LOVE CCSD! So now you need to go home and teach your kids everything that wasn't on the PACT test.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the nasty e-mail circulating by Buist parent Jeff Thomas of Mt Pleasant? They are quite angry at the Post and Courier reporter about the Charleston Progressive article. It will be interesting to see if Buist parents can defend their position in public.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw Jeff Thomas' e-mail and I couldn't help noticing that so many of the people on the e-mail list that he and Mark Brandenburg have are fake address people from various years. They must be really concerned that the school board will finally kick all of them out of the school no matter how many years their children have been there. I wonder what list Thomas and Brandenburg's children got into Buist on.

memminger1945 said...

Some people claim these complaints coming from District 20 residents, parents and supporters are false, unsubstantiated, biased or simply individual opinions. I think many people would like to share the documents and data that have been gathered. Some of it may validate many of the concerns and charges about poor management and inequities within CCSD. Is there an e-mail address that we could use to forward these items to you for your objective consideration (incl. copies of circulating mass e-mail messages, FOIA requests, letters and other responses from CCSD, et c.)? You may find some very interesting twists and turns in this on-going debate. The paper trail of documents and CCSD responses covers a lot of territory.

I can't help but think that recent P&C articles are a belated (and still somewhat shallow) attempt to match what is happening here. The P&C can't continue to hide behind claims that concerns raised here are "too anonymous and unsubstantiated" to be meaningful. Thanks for the forum you are providing your readers.

memminger1945 said...

After additional thought, any e-mail address used for this purpose probably should be an anonymous mail drop that strips the sender’s address. I know this may sound overly paranoid but CCSD and those who benefit from its largesse have long arms which do not treat those who challenge their authority very kindly. Therein stands the main reason for anonymity. Are the P&C reporters and others too naive to understand this?

In response to some suggestions for using real names within this blog (and I know we are all welcome to do so), I would suggest an alternative, if only to eliminate some of the confusion within the dialogue. Rather than full disclosure, posters may want to use a handle to make it easier to follow their postings. Until trust and transparency is the norm at CCSD, I support individuals who want to speak honestly and sincerely but who also want to avoid retaliation. This is unfortunately a very real and valid concern.
Once again, thanks for all you are doing.

Babbie said...

Sound advice, memminger1945--I'm deliberately using my nickname (yes, it's really my nickname) to avoid such problems. I have thought for some time that it would be great if "anonymous" could be differentiated somehow, even if it's just 1, 2, 3, etc. And I have already created an email account that can be used for the purpose you have suggested--so fire away! School's out! It's

Again, thanks for all the wonderful and informative comments that have appeared here.

Clisby said...

I want to third what memminger1945 and Babbie have said:

Please, please, please - either use your real name, like I do - or make up a name. Call yourself Barbie, or Ken, or GIJoe, or Princess Leia, or whatever. Sometimes it's very hard to follow who's saying what. I don't really care who you are, but it's ridiculous to have to reply to "anonymous 9:35 p.m.".

Had enough said...

Good gravy, Clisby. If typing in Anonmymous 9:35 is ridiculous to you, I can only imagine what you must think of our downtown school situation. White, elite (full of fake address) school in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods on the peninsula surrounded by poor, unequal schools throughout the rest of the city. NOW THAT'S RIDICULOUS!