Sunday, May 31, 2009

CCSD Ignores Policy Regarding Buist Admissions

Policies that CCSD staff appear to have disregarded govern the admissions process to the magnet schools, including Buist Academy. Thanks to the yearly turbulence over those "winning" entrance to Buist Academy, especially those falsely representing themselves as living downtown in District 20, in January of 2007 CCSD codified a policy:
"Applicants must certify as follows: 'Under penalty of perjury I certify that, as primary caregiver of my applicant child: A) the residence, which is the subject of this application is my legal residence and my domicile, the place where I and the student actually live at the time of this application and that I do not claim to be a legal resident of a jurisdiction other than Charleston County...'"
[To read the full PDF document as adopted, go to Policy Assessing Legal Residence and Domicile on CCSD's website.]

If ever there were clear evidence that CCSD ignores its own policies, we have it this year. What part of the policy allows a Berkeley County resident participation in the application process to enter the kindergarten class at Buist for the 2009-10 year?

When contacted, CCSD's attorney John Emerson admitted no knowledge of such a policy: as he put it when contacted, "Dr. Gepford tells me you contend that policy requires that residence has to be established at the time of application to magnet schools. Can you tell me which policy you rely on?"

Pathetic, or what?

The response of the querying District 20 resident was as follows:
"It is unfortunate that community volunteers are required to show well-paid professionals in public administrative offices how to find copies of public policies that have been central to such a high profile issue. Or is this just another example of official obfuscation?"

"CCSD's unofficial policy seems to be designed just to stonewall the public with the hope they will simply go away. The magnet school admissions policies are clear." [see above]

"There is no excuse for what can only be described at best as administrative incompetence on CCSD's part. If this error is proven, considering the potential damage committed against the rights of others who depend on the admissions process involving Buist Academy and all other CCSD schools being administered fairly and equitably,
reprimands are in order."

"As for the school-based administrator who chose to shepherd this application,
considering this is the latest in an extensively documented pattern of abuse, termination is overdue."
Blame for this fiasco must remain squarely on the shoulders of Nancy McGinley and the administrators at Buist Academy that she supports.


Anonymous said...

Ooops! Let's see how they explain their way out of this one.

Anonymous said...

Sure do wish I was not having to be anonymous, but can't do otherwise. The shame is that the School District won't have to talk its way out of this one because no one is asking the questions. The District has gone back into the bunker it lived in before and after Maria (or is it a closet?) The media cannot get answers so it quit asking, I guess. not sure about P&C, but Buist used to be a big deal for them.