Sunday, July 15, 2007

Supt. McGinley's 90-Day Goals: What Ever Happened to Buist?

Goals or priorities? Whatever she calls them, on June 28 new Superintendent Nancy McGinley's 90-day priorities appeared on the CCSD website. See what you think:

• Improving Middle and High Schools Admirable goal, but is it even necessary to state? Improve in WHAT? Stated goals should have measurable outcomes; in other words, as I frequently tell students, be more specific!

• Strategically planning for growth, especially in the areas of John’s Island, Mt. Pleasant, and North Charleston
Okay, this one does make sense. But, at the end of 90 days, will the Board see some data on projected student numbers and corresponding seats available? Will plans be unveiled by McGinley?
• Responding to the demands from diverse constituencies, including The Peninsula Project and Charter Schools
I'd like to think that we were all one big constituency, but I guess not from McGinley's point of view. "Diverse" = code word? The "Peninsula Project"? Is that the District 20 plan for schools; if so, which one? There is no other reference to "PP" that I can find on the CCSD website. "Charter Schools," on the other hand, suggests that the charter math & science high school will get a response on use of the Rivers building--by September 28th.
• Dramatic increase in the time school leaders spend in the classroom
See previous posting for background. This goal should be measurable.
• Move toward making CCSD’s diversity a strength and an asset rather than a divisive element Excuse me? This is double-talk; actually, it suggests "Broad" talk. "Diversity" is "divisive" only when CCSD makes it so! Apart from clarifying this terminology, please explain how the outcome of this "move" will be measurable!

CCSD's June 28 press release continues, "McGinley stressed that these priorities are designed to ensure victory in the classroom. She also outlined her plans to provide new supports for teachers explaining, 'If we do a better job of taking care of our teachers, they will take care of our students.'" These "new supports" apparently are too esoteric to be of interest to the public; presumably the Board will know if they happen.

The Board of Trustees expressed agreement with Dr. McGinley’s priorities. Yes. Well, the priorities are so generally fuzzy, who could disagree?

Do you see any glimmering that McGinley might be contemplating a review of Buist's admissions processes, fake addresses, and vacancies? Maybe that's included in responding to "diverse constituencies," but I doubt it.

So far, looks like business as usual.


Anonymous said...

Why is CCSD loosing students disproportionately on the peninsula compared to CCSD as a whole? In 2001, CCSD records showed it had a total of 44,000 students enrolled county-wide. At the end of the 2006-07 school year CCSD records show it slightly less than 43,000 students enrolled. During the same five year period Dist. 20 went from 4,100 to 3,100 students (a nearly 25% enrollment loss), yet the peninsula's population for the period was stable. Is CCSD trying to empty downtown schools? What is it about CCSD's policies that are forcing parents to abandon most downtown schools? By seeking answers to this question who show that CCSD is being honest about correcting mistakes of its own making. I'm not holding my breath that our school board members will be eager to ask such questions.

D20 parent said...

Diette Courrege's article on CCSD's failure to implement its own policy for address verifications at Buist was buried inside Section B in today's P&C. In fairness to Ms. Courrege, it appears that her bosses also cut some important sections from the original piece. The only major point that survived is this one.

"District officials said they investigated the allegations and didn't find any problems. The address inconsistencies were never explained publicly."

Unless Dr. McGinley wants to be painted with the same "no ethics" and "lying, two timing, crook" brushes that painted the prior superintendent, she needs to address the Buist address cheats. If she doesn't, then shame on her. If she can't then shame on Toya Green and those on the county board who claim the superintendent is the Boss when she's really under their politically motivated thumbs.

What really should gall everyone is the comment in the article that said (despite all the crocodile tears from Hillery) this. "The new policy would apply to incoming kindergarten students at Buist Academy...the policy committee previously decided students in the school's other grades would not be affected by the policy." What good is this if the policy isn't even being applied at all?

Is Hillery just making noise about evicting the address cheats because he's up for re-election next year? Or is talk cheap? Then he is just proving he’s the Uncle Tom he’s always been. He makes noise but still bows and scrapes to those who control Buist and his political future. How does he reconcile ignoring the Buist address cheats when he mutters "white flight" under his breath as inter-district transfers are regularly approved by his fellow board members? Is that just posturing?

What about Ruth Jordan speaking out for some enforcement of this policy at Buist now, without further delay. If she would then maybe she wouldn't see so many Dist. 20 kids seeking to get out of downtown schools. You can't be inconsistent without playing into the hands of the very racists and racist practices they say they oppose.

Ultimately, we should hope that Dr. McGinley will prove that she has the professional integrity to overcome the stalling of her subordinates and the political courage to lead the county board to implement what is needed to stop the cheating at Buist NOW.

Oh, and as for the administration’s investigated allegations of address cheats this past year that turned up no problems…there they all are with their smiling faces in the most recent Buist yearbook…some of their parents even put their real addresses since their tracks were so generously covered by Sallie Ballard and the previous superintendent. Now that’s job security when you know that a published paper trail showing how the fraud was committed and officially tolerated presents absolutely no possibility for recrimination.

Sallie Ballard lied under oath. Maria Goodloe lied to the press. Gregg Meyers counseled it. Nancy Cook knew that the addresses weren’t valid. Ruth Jordan should ask why all these people are continuing to lie to her, too. As part of her 90-day goals, will Dr. McGinley at least set the record straight for Ruth Jordan and the rest of us, too?

Anonymous said...

Ruth Jordon is a racist idiot. She doesn't care about any of this. She was ordered by Goodloe to run and she did. They got the other black candidate to drop out so the vote wasn't spread out

Anonymous said...

What the hell is the Peninsula Project? Is that the same thing as the District 20 Configuration Plan that Harvey Gantt is being paid $77,000 make it look like the public has input? Then what was the District 20 Reconfiguration Plan we all came out for four years ago? Will these jackasses running our schools into the ground ever figure out what they're doing?

Babbie said...

Good question. I can't find any other references to it, so I guess that's McGinley's terminology for some "secret" plan!

Anonymous said...

Wow, District 20 parent, you're a bit long-winded, but boy did you say it well.

Anonymous said...

I am so tried of hearing about district 20 and Buist Academy. There is another great school in district 20 (Sanders C Elementary). How many district 20 parents are rushing to get their kids there? Let me guess none!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Jon Buttzone. He didn't rush to put his kids anywhere in Charleston County schools at all, much less Sanders-Clyde. Look, poster 9:35 pm, that's a red herring which has been left on the table for well past three days. There's no room at Sanders-Clyde. Don't you remember? In 2006 CCSD decided to cram those kids into a smaller "temporary" school at the formerly vacant Archer building last year. CCSD has already torn down the much more spacious original Sanders-Clyde near the foot of the new bridge. The success of that school also depends on its ability to address the specific needs of a very homogeneous student population which are not typical of traditional school settings. When Hillery Douglas isn't deriding these people for taking advantage of what he calls "free babysitting", they are providing kids mostly from public housing a nearly 11 hour school day starting with breakfast at 7AM that continues for some as late as 6PM and includes what amounts to supper. Though it lacks almost every aspect of the curriculum that defines Buist, Sanders-Clyde still manages to offer a comprehensive program of support for both the children and their parents that is site specific to this unusual neighborhood. Assistance for its extended programs comes from business partnerships and weekend educational events centering on the school and the unique community it has been designed to serve. If people like Mr. Douglas had their way, Sanders-Clyde wouldn't have such "extra" programs. It would have been stripped back to the bare bones he has put on all the other schools his children didn’t attend. His son had advantages at home, graduated from The Citadel and now sits on his college’s Board of Trustees. He appears to have no interest in giving the Sanders-Clyde kids a chance to reach the same goals. Hillery has no clue why such programs would be of benefit to the kids who live in this neighborhood of densely packed public housing projects on Charleston's Upper East Side. Just like his sarcasm in challenging white parents to send their children to a program that focuses on needs they don’t have. Hillery takes the enrichments that he provided his own family too much for granted. His child would be just as out of place at Sanders-Clyde as Joe Riley's, because this school provides what other kids usually get at home, but not readily available to kids growing up on Charleston's Upper East Side. So next time someone brushes off downtown parents' concerns by telling them they should shut up and send their children to Sanders-Clyde, that person should be taken to task for this hollow and disingenuous retort. Not just for mocking parents who are genuinely concerned for improving all downtown schools but for its insensitivity and callousness directed toward the Sanders-Clyde kids and parents who have it hard enough struggling against an already stacked deck. Just like Goodloe who said the same to 25 white parents from downtown, she knew they wouldn't take her offer seriously. If they had, she would have been in trouble because it would have turned Sanders-Clyde upside down trying to meet the needs of kids who didn't live on the Upper East Side. Anyone who makes this suggestion doesn't care about the kids at Sanders-Clyde; they only want to play games. It's about power over others and the kids at Sanders-Clyde are just being used...again.

Anonymous said...

Note CEN's Board of Directors affiliation with all things Spoleto. And CCSD's lease of Memminger Auditorium to Spoleto for a dollar a year. CEN is nothing more than yet another non-profit profiting from CCSD under the guise of public education. CEN and better than half of the school board benefit directly or indirectly from their affiliation with the school district (family members involved in the banking business or legal firms associated with CCSD's bond revenue or alternative financing).

Anonymous said...

Follow the money. All roads lead to Mayor Riley. Riley and CEN. Riley and his sister as Executive Director of Communities in Schools, a non-profit failing to move education forward since 1989.
Riley and the two recent superintendents. And yes, McGinley is cut from the same cloth as Goodloe. They are both Borad Fellows. Why would Riley want public schools on all that valuable peninsular property? Hillery Douglas? He's the biggest racist on the board. And Ruth Jorndan can't even match subjects to verbs. What a joke! Meyers uses his position on the board to advertise himself so he can sue schools and school districts in the name of civil rights. He's just there for the money. And where do you think Cook gets her counseling clients?