Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Kandrac Is No Toya Green, Gregg

Dissension on the Charleston County School Board? Who would'a thunk it? After all, didn't they get rid of those spoilsports like David Engelman in the last election? You know, the ones who want transparency in CCSD's spending, wanted to put it on-line, for heaven's sake?

Dissatisfied with a whopping 6-2 majority, long-time Board member Gregg Meyers, whose influence put puppet Toya Hampton-Green into place as chairman, feels the need to insult those who disagree with him and his carefully written agenda. [See Dissension a Challenge for Board.] He's found out that he can't cow Arthur Ravenel, Jr., with the usual Greggisms (think of a gnat trying to annoy an elephant), so he's decided to try them out on Elizabeth Kandrac.

Mistake. Maybe you'd like a do-over on that one, Gregg. We all sense your exasperation that a Board member actually knows what's really wrong on the front lines and that all your posturing about excellence as the goal of school redesign isn't going to fix it.

Anyone who's taught for, say, ten minutes tops, knows that the most learning takes place in a classroom where behavioral expectations are clear, enforced, and supported by the principal. Why, even academic studies have proved it! Imagine that.

Kandrac's remarks should be taken very seriously:

Kandrac said the school district has way too many schools that aren't improving, and she cited the increasing number of at-risk ratings on district schools' report cards, from 22 to 24 this year.

"I think they want to fool the public," she said. "I think it's intentional. I think they want people to think we're getting better" because they're spending nearly a half-billion dollars. She said some board members refuse to admit the real problem in schools, which is discipline. Staff members are afraid of children, and that's the reason students are not excelling, she said.

So Meyers thinks this is a personal agenda? More fool he.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meyers and Green are the ones with the personal agenda.
Way to go, Kandrac! She clearly believes in checks and balances, unlike George Tempel and his democratic party who just wanted to elect members who would support the administration. We might as well have the mayor as superintendent. Who is Tempel anyway? Does he have kids in our public schools?

Babbie said...

A 30-year resident of James Island who ran against Paul Thurmond for County Council. Maybe his kids went to CCSD schools; maybe not. Here's what the City Paper published about him. Note he graduated from UC-Berkeley in about 1968. For me, that says it all about his politics.
George Tempel
Age: 62 Family: Married, two children, three grandchildren Residence: James Island Education: Bachelor's at University of California at Berkeley; PhD, Indiana University, and Post Doctoral Fellowship, University of Missouri. Job: Professor and research scientist at Medical University of South Carolina

Babbie said...

I forgot to mention that his wife, Carol Tempel, has been an employee at 75 Calhoun for several years and was interim principal of the Academic Magnet last year. Smells, doesn't it? There's nothing nonpartisan here.

Anonymous said...

Gregg has one agenda and one agenda only. To be the King of CCSD. He didn't need a job thanks to his winning law suits against public schools, so the only thing left is to be the King. Well, thanks to folks like Tempel, he really is. He and Joe Riley have been running the district for years!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be more effective if George Temple concentrated on getting Democrats elected to the legislature instead of taking party politics down a dead end road in support of candidates in a non-partisan election. He's making a case for turning back the clock by connecting very local issues to a national party agenda. Not a good idea, George.

As a Democrat maybe he should get this the program. Our new President and his Secretary of Education, both Democrats, support good charter schools but our local superintendent and school board are against them. What's wrong with this picture? George Temple is heading down the wrong track and he's taking local Democrats with him. Once again, too many personal agendas are making things unworkable for the rest of us.

George needs a reality check with his party.

Anonymous said...

Ewww. George's wife is Carol Tempel? She was aching for a principal position in District 20 a few years ago. George is a "status quo kind of guy". I'm glad his wife isn't downtown. Funny to think she's only the interim principal at Academic Magnet. I'm sure there's a story there as well, but we can't blame the constituent boards anymore, now can we?
Remember George was very proud of himself and that ridiculous flier the democratic party put out on election day stating there were "5 steps to elect Obama." Of course, voting for Toya Green was step 2.

Anonymous said...

When I think of Toya Green, I'm reminded of the story of the artificial Negro. The political power structure here must be so uncomfortable with the few Blacks they know and trust fewer still to follow instructions, they have to invent a fake Negro to do their bidding. What a shame. We have many people, Black and White, far more qualified than Toya Green. Unfortunately, most of them are too busy teaching in Berkeley County schools.

There's nothing quite like the bigotry of low expectations. Good people leave and the rest only get left behind. Who better to champion such bigotry toward our city's public schools than Toya Green?

Too bad George Temple, as a private citizen, couldn't just back someone who was genuinely qualified. It's not a very good idea for the local Democratic Party to be identified with someone as cold as Toya Green. She can't be bothered to represent all the people, all the time. George has never come close to experiencing the unfairness and inequity that Toya supports.

The public shouldn't believe good school leadership will emerge only when it's identified by party labels any more than skin color tests will determine who possesses common sense. Charleston's public schools desperately need both good leadership and common sense right now. Enough of George Temple's self congratulating political correctness. The politics of race and the extremes of both parties have all but destroyed our public schools. Maybe he'd like to take credit for that, too.

Look at it this way, George. If the whole National Democratic Party had followed your lead (it's so 9-10) in supporting the team of Toya "Stay the Course" Green and Gregg "No Change" Meyers, Washington might be a very different place right now. Our country very likely wouldn't have elected the president we now have.

Even if you don't like Barak Obama or agree with his proposals, you have to admit; he's a skillful leader and has ideas worth hearing. Toya Green is just an offensive jackass.

Anonymous said...

Carol Temple recently spent about two years at Buist as an interim assistant principal. She is a kind and thoughtful lady. I don't think she is part of the political mess.

The wives of Robert New and Robert Barber also taught at Buist for many years and the political connections in the Democratic party had nothing to do with their jobs at CCSD. They were fine teachers that worked hard for many years at Buist. The husband of Sally Ballard is also quite active in local politics and should be commended for his efforts.

Anonymous said...

What? You're kidding.

Anonymous said...

That's the whole point. This isn't about party politics. It's about who's getting what they want for themselves and to hell with everyone else. Party labels have become an easy excuse to demonize anyone who might stand in the way of the personal agenda of someone who's already getting what they want. It's winner take all. McGinley herself knows this. That's why she played the James Island meeting like a pep rally. The meeting notice was limited and I doubt if any JI Charter officials were mentioned. They weren't part of the dog and pony show. (Oh Gawd, what would CCSD do without PowerPoint!!)

The whole stinking mess we call CCSD is a cesspool of nepotism and graft. It's a farce that turns truth on its head and calls it reality.

Anonymous said...

The 11:00 am post named people who are known to be active in both parties. What wasn't said was they each have a vested interest in keeping most things in the Charleston County public school system as they are, because it gives them what they want.

Change is bad because it could upset what they know. What we don't have here is a higher level of leadership that knows how to steer a way through this conflict. The challenge is to calm the fears of those who “have got” while offering hope and fairness to those who “have not”.

Green and Meyers aren’t enlightened enough to do this. Even if they were, by their sarcastic and acerbic comments, no one could believe either one would be motivated to chart a course to resolve the issues and disarm the extremes. What an opportunity for someone to shine! That will only happen if the school leaders can take the board’s conduct to a level well above where it's been for too many years.

Grinding an old ax against Ravenel and Kandrac only makes Green and Meyers look petty. When Oplinger joins in, as she’s been known to do, she looks just as bad. They must be thinking it’s easier to bash the messenger than let anyone know they really didn’t understand the question. To the rest of us, it just looks like Green and Meyers (and ultimately McGinley) are just dodging questions for which they have no answers. So they change the focus to make it a personal conflict.