Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CCSD's Sham Redesigns in District 20: Sue

Some people are so accustomed to deception they don't know any other way. This statement clearly is true for Charleston County Schools Superintendent Nancy McGinley and her henchmen.

The removal of Wilmot Fraser fils from Tuesday night's School Redesign meeting at Burke High School only proves the point. He wanted to change the preapproved agenda. How dare actual members of the community challenge the fly-by-night plans of outsiders (McGinley--Philadelphia; Meyers--New Orleans; Green--Germany & various army posts, etc.) telling them what's best for their community! [See 350 Jam Schools Meeting, Demand to Be Heard.] Fortunately, they didn't just fall off the turnip truck, as the School Redesigners seem to believe.

What McGinley and School Board members have received is the frustrated, pent-up anger of those who have been prevented from engaging in true dialogue for too long. True, these sham community imput meetings weren't started by McGinley, but she has been only too content to follow in her predecessors' footsteps.

Say, what ever happened to the OLD plans for downtown schools? You know, the ones gathering dust on some CCSD shelf, for which a facilitator was paid $70,000 not too long ago?

The proper derision met talk of "seismic upgrades"(TV coverage reported laughter and catcalls; the P & C quoted Sandra Perry, a supporter of Fraser, as saying, "'I've been there 50 years, and I haven't seen an earthquake knock down Fraser yet,' . . . in response to the district's position.") The community knows full well that these are an excuse to close some schools and destroy others.

Too much disinformation passed by CCSD and the media goes unchallenged. On Channel 5 Wednesday morning, viewers were blithely told that Charleston "lies on a major fault line."
No, it doesn't.
No one yet knows with any certainty why the area suffered a major earthquake about 120 years ago: not announcers, not geologists, not even Bill Lewis of CCSD! Charleston is no San Francisco; it's not even a New Madrid. No one has found a fault line; the county is in an intraplate area. To quote the experts:
Nobody is exactly sure what causes these earthquakes [in intraplate areas]. In many cases, the causative fault is deeply buried, and sometimes cannot even be found. Under these circumstances it is difficult to calculate the exact seismic hazard for a given city, especially if there was only one earthquake in historical times.
So what's the big rush now? The bond issues for these upgrades haven't even been voted on yet, have they? If we've waited 50 years, why not a couple more?

We know the answer. Those in control of CCSD have seized the opportunity of weak school funding (brought on by our state legislature, I might add) combined with so-called necessary upgrades for earthquakes and a now reeling economy plus new School Board members who don't yet realize what's going on in the dog-and-pony show to ensure that no integrated school other than Buist exists downtown and to show the Feds next time they look at NCLB results that CCSD has no failing schools. They'll simply move the schools across the street, create sham mini-magnets, and give them new names, get rid of that pesky CPA magnet that keeps asking for a magnet's assets (that might take resources away from Buist) and squash CSMS in the embryo stage so that everyone can see that an integrated school downtown is impossible. Oh, yes, and sell off Fraser and Archer to developers.

Now that's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in a nutshell.

Apart from lobbying School Board members to, at the very least, postpone voting on these very complex proposals in January, and, at most, to vote against the whole package at any time it comes up, residents of District 20 need to band together, pool resources, and hire a lawyer. Sue in federal court. Point out that CCSD plans to resegregate the district.

We may not be able to stop them, but at least we can slow them down. And time is valuable.


Clisby said...

My, what is that deafening silence? Oh, it's the NAACP and the Ministerial Alliance.

Babbie said...

Too true!

Golf said...

Now is the time to put a counter plan on the table. Get away from CCSD's process that pits school groups against each other. If the McGinley-Meyers-Green team really has no understanding and holds little value for the richness of our communities, then let us educate them and win over the other board members with a much better plan. There is waste aplenty in CCSD, only McGinley's plan doesn't address it. I'm sure if given a chance, people who know these communities can come up with a much better road map for the school board to follow.