Thursday, June 21, 2007

Veto! Veto the High School Coaches' Dream Bill!

Do it!

The P & C reports today that Governor Sanford is considering vetoing the "school choice" bill passed by the state legislature. On its face, the bill sounds reasonable; it's the predictable effect that is monstrous.

This bill is a coach's dream. No longer will Summerville High School's coaches need to figure out surreptious ways to get players from other districts eligible to play on its football team (and we know that practice has been going on for decades). Multiply that effect all over the state.

The bill masquerades as school improvement. Yes, it will improve certain athletic teams but not academics. Does anyone believe that, say, the ordinary student from Burke or North Charleston High will be any more able to transfer in to Wando? Wando will say it's full. Will the ordinary student at Wando desire to transfer to Burke or North Charleston other than to play on their athletic teams or escape expulsion? Show me.

The bill is a cockeyed answer to growing pressure for allowing true school choice. It gets pressure off politicians but creates even more problems for students. It is also likely to encourage re-segregation of schools, just as CCSD's liberal intra-district transfer policies have done in the past.

Why would new Superintendent Jim Rex advocate its passage? When has any state school superintendent advocated REAL change?

Please, Governor, do all South Carolina's students a favor!

UPDATE: Yessss! He did it! Thanks to Gov. Sanford and, one hopes, not enough votes to override the veto, South Carolina will be spared this bill that would illustrate the law of unintended consequences!


Anonymous said...

As most of the people making decisions regarding "improving" education in our state, Jim Rex is out of touch with the needs of our students and parents.
Gotta love those "educators" and "law breakers"...oops... I meant "law MAKERS" in South Carolina!

Anonymous said...

You once referred to the law of unintended consequences somewhere else on this blog. I hadn't considered this result until now. I was only looking at what appeared to be a good idea behind this law. I thought it could at least offer some hope for parents to get around the administrative obstructionists who have rendered NCLB ineffective to the point where it is now a cruel joke in Charleston. We should be reminded, as is often the case with those in the “education business”, appearances and reality are seldom the same. Since public school coaches were so effective in putting a stop to private schools like Bishop England placing otherwise qualified "transfer" students on sports rosters without a year of sitting out, perhaps the law should have included a similar provision for athletes who are thinking about jumping to Summerville or Wando. Delayed gratification by a year or more for these teenaged hotdogs might cool the interests of both the high school jocks and their would-be coaches. Academics and athletics are fine but only in that order and the law should have reflected that. Those sincerely motivated by academic opportunities wouldn't mind having to sit out for a year, but those who supported this legislation for the wrong reasons would probably find it no longer to their liking it were chanced to reflect that. If what you say is the effective result including the potential for its abuse by more than just coaches, and it seems to be, then I’ve changed my mind. Yes, the governor should veto it!

Anonymous said...

On the subject of sports and out of district students, did you know that CCSD magnet school students can’t play sports for any high school team unless it’s the school in their attendance zone? For example if a group of Buist and/or Charleston Progressive eighth graders who played tennis (or any other team sport) wanted to join under a single high school banner with, say, the one and only Burke HS kid that played the sport to form a new and probably very competitive Burke HS tennis (you can substitute swimming, soccer, baseball or whatever)…and thus stimulate renewed interest among others at the school in the chosen sport…not to mention provide a an opportunity for some eighth graders to shine on center stage as real “varsity high school athletes”…the SC Coaches Association would shut them down in a skinny minute. If that’s not enough humiliation, they would threaten to place official state-wide sanctions against the individual students involved. That would effectively prevent them from playing interscholastic sports in the future at all public and most private schools in SC. Dist. 20’s schools loose again.

Anonymous said...

We want all of our schools to be competative, in academics and on the play fields. Good people also want downtown schools and students to the rewards. The NAACP seems to have lost its way here.

Now if CCSD had given priority to Dist. 20 residents who were academically qualified to attend these magnet schools, then what is described above wouldn’t have been a problem. Burke would have re-started some of the sports teams it once had (and an A+ program promise for athletic programs made in 2005 by the superintendent would have finally been kept). But that’s not the case and as it's now headed this isn't likely to happen. Somebody really doesn’t want downtown schools, especially Buist, to mix it up, even when it’s a good thing. In the mean time, the SC Coaches Association maintains its lock on setting standards and values for human flesh (high school athletes) and defines the market place where profitable exchanges involving student athletes can take place. Burke has been dealt yet another bad hand, with more promises broken, and CCSD says it’s not their problem.

dropped my membership said...

Among the last things Dot Scott wants to see are white and black kids on the same Burke HS matter what she says about charter school parents choosing Sanders-Clyde and Burke over a new math and science school. She needs racial discord. Her livelihood depends on it. She’d be unemployed if it looked like we were able to solve the issues, mostly economic, which continue to separate the races. Really, why isn't Dot Scott addressing these issues which continue to hold back all of our downtown schools? Is she also aware that a state-wide black ministers group based in Columbia is not just supporting public school choice and charter schools, which the national NAACP also supports, but this other "ministerial alliance" is going all the way by supporting public vouchers for private schools? She is aware of it. She’s just not telling.

Anonymous said...

Well, the governor vetoed it. With so slight a margin in the legislature that passed it in the first place, it seems unlikely they would be able to overide his veto. They need 2/3 of the votes to do that and they had just more than half when it was sent to the governor. It was just a band aid anyway and for the Buist parents who live on Daniel Island, with or without this law, they cross county lines without regard for the law anyway. The legislature isn't leading the way toward meaningful reform in education, but neither is anyone else in public office.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Johnson's biggest blunder might have been the crazy money she spent on that Edison project I read about in the paper today...why haven't folks cared about what she did with our tax dollars? That money could have been spent on paying teachers more.

Anonymous said...

If McGinley was behind checking Edison's report card, then she's showing signs of having a backbone. I doubt that Janet Rose initiated this without her boss directing her to do it. The recent review of Murray Hill was a small step in the right direction. Now will Dr. McGinley look at Chas. Progressive (doing too much with too little) and Buist (encouraging those who would cheat) for similar corrections to those systems that have been broken for years.