Thursday, May 17, 2007

District 20 "Stakeholder" Meetings: $77,000

In the midst of other hot topics from last Monday's CCSD Board meeting came the vote authorizing an expenditure of $77,000 for Harvey Gantt to facilitate meetings in District 20 on the future of the Rivers Middle School building.

That's the one empty right now after several million dollars' worth of renovations; the one that the proposed downtown charter high school organization has asked to use; the one that the district counter-proposed for use in vo-tech programs; the one requested by Hillery Douglas's sister for Youthbuild Charter (now in North Charleston).

In the midst of the daunting budget process this year, $10 million shortfall and all, does CCSD REALLY need to spend $77,000 for another series of meetings to determine what is to be done with a building?
Did anyone on the Board dare ask, as others have, what has happened to the previous plan facilitated by Gantt with District 20 meetings in 2004?

Oh, while we're at it, may we ask how much that series of meetings cost?
I'm convinced that the district is simply trying to find some cover to refuse use of the building to the proposed charter high school. It doesn't want an INTEGRATED high school downtown.
I know to sensible people that attitude doesn't make sense, but in District 20 it's an Alice-in-Wonderland world. If the reverse situation were true (that District 20 was all white), can you imagine the storm that would ensue with the refusal of a truly integrated high school? The mind boggles.
CCSD wants control. After all, look what a great job it's done with Burke Middle/High School.


memminger1945 said...

Great questions. Keep it stoked. Dist. 20 may yet get out from under all of this. Dr. McGinley has an opportunity to build trust between her administration and among the many different downtown communities who generally want her to succeed. This trust will be based on positive experiences will be the currency this relationship needs.

Anonymous said...

There is a rumour floating around that despite the big bucks to pay Harvey Gantt to moderate this event, Maria Goodloe isn't leaving anything to chance. She's planning to be "co-moderator". She promised her friends she would deliver this meeting to them and it would appear she doesn't trust Harvey Gantt to be able to steer this meeting in the direction she wants.

Anonymous said...

For $77,000 you would think they could at least get their scheduling times staight. Is this just a coincidence or did CCSD really plan to confuse the public about this meeting? The first public notice went out to their list of special "invitees" as a full color letter announcing the date as "Thursday, May 22" with a 6 pm registration start. Then there was a glossy full color post card "reminder", but not a correction to the faulty letter, giving the date as "Tuesday, May 22". Now, thanks to the City Paper, we see that CCSD's Media Line posting shows the Tuesday, May 22 date but with a start time of "5:00 PM" instead of "6:00 PM. Keep 'em confused and maybe they won't show, right?

Anonymous said...

In another note from today's P&C, they are celebrating Academic Magnet coming in at 10th place again among the nation's best public high schools. Since education officials and administrators like to say they are "data driven", try this on for size after looking at the data found on Newsweek's Top Schools list showing the best 1200 public schools in the US. Nine Charlotte, NC high schools made the list. Nine Greenville-Spartanburg area high schools also made the list. Three Columbia area high schools are on the list, too. Only one Charleston area high school is on the list of 1200 high schools. It's nice that 500 or so kids at AMHS are so fortunate, but what does this say about the rest of Charleston County and how we stack the deck to get the data we want. I think Columbia, Greenville-Spartanburg and Charlotte have done a far better job than the "data driven" educators in Charleston. Read the data, Charleston, and weep.

Babbie said...

I don't even understand why Academic Magnet made the list. Supposedly schools that are magnet or charter cannot have SAT scores much higher than 1300 to be considered. That's why some of the best US public high schools are NOT on the list. Surely Academic Magnet's students score above 1300?

Clisby said...

Surely? Not at all. School by school SAT averages for 2005 and 2006 can be seen at:

According to this list, the Governor's School for Science is the only one with > 1300.