Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why Deerin's Gang of 4 Hates Charter Schools

The Gang of 4: Barter, Garrett, Lecque, and Ramich

The Super PAC controlled by Ginny Deerin and the Chamber of Commerce is plastering the names of the Gang of 4 all over Charleston County. These are supporters of Superintendent Nancy McGinley and her policies, handpicked for their ignorance of what really goes on in the district. Their qualifications? All will support the superintendent come hell or high water.

Anyone who believes in charter schools and in establishing new charter schools in the county should shun these candidates. Their goal is to tamp down wherever possible any spark to "go charter."

The reality is that the majority of Charleston County's voters want charter schools. Charter schools, unlike those run by the superintendent and school board, must meet certain standards or go out of business. Parents like competition. Superintendents do not.

We have nine charter schools in Charleston County in spite of virulent opposition from this superintendent and her predecessors. The superintendent and her lackeys would rather see students stuck in failing schools than fhriving in charters that she cannot control. Opponents even suggest that charter schools are not really public and cherry-pick students. Nothing could be farther than the truth.

The success of the Charleston School for Math and Science is a case at hand. Despite the handwringing of the NAACP and CCSD, the school has thrived with a diverse student body achieving high standards. In fact, that school is the only one on the peninsula without admissions testing that has a diverse student body.

CSMS is making CCSD look bad. Deerin's Gang of 4 will make sure that charters field no more competition to CCSD's iron control.

There's one more public forum at the College of Charleston Wednesday night: ask the candidates.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Special Interest PAC Denied by CCSD's Gang of 4

Fireworks burst near the end of the East Cooper School Board candidate forum Wednesday night, but lack of time prevented the spectators from full enjoyment.

Some politically incorrect audience member questioned the independence of the four candidates--Barter, Ramich, Lecque, and Garrett--from Ginny Deerin's slate. Denials sputtered as the moderator called for closing remarks.

Where does the money for the Deerin slate come from? Much of it from the Chamber of Commerce, which has controlled the board for the last few years. With the election of these four, it will maintain control into the future.

Whose board is this, anyway?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

J. Sanford's Plan for SIES

Jenny Sanford (and her fellow signers of her P&C letter) does make a few good points about the acrimony surrounding the building of the new Sullivan's Island Elementary.
  • "For elected leaders of a community roughly the size of a high school to be engaged in serious legal battles on two important issues surely something is amiss."
  • "The school [at Stith Park] would be west of Middle Street in the center of town, keeping related traffic in the business district and out of the more residential areas."
  • "Because of the better flood zoning for Stith Park, the school would not have to be as elevated, thereby saving significant taxpayer monies and alleviating residential concerns on scale and aesthetics." Not to mention what might not happen when the next major hurricane hits.
  • "We would ask our elected officials specifically and friends on all sides of this debate, including the Charleston County School Board, to please thoroughly consider this alternative with an open mind before moving forward."
Poor Jenny. There she goes, being naive again. The CCSD Board isn't going to consider anything that goes against the superintendent "with an open mind."

Lawsuits it is.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kusmider on Small Schools Points to Buist Academy

Funny how the Charleston County School Board of Trustees can't see its own irony and hypocrisy as shown in the following letter from Ted Kusmider, a District 20 parent, that appeared in last week's P&C:
      "Charleston County School District says they can’t rebuild an elementary school at Sullivan’s Island with a capacity of less than 500 students.
      "Funny. CCSD is rebuilding Buist Academy, serving kindergarten through eighth grade, in my backyard with a maximum capacity of 410 students.
      "To date, it is still not filled to capacity, despite hundreds on the waiting list. Yet there’s still no plan for expansion. When are the parents of Charleston County going to unite and say “enough of this nonsense”?
Maybe a few more lawsuits will focus its attention.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Closed-Minded Meyers Pontificates for CCSD's McGinley

We need a little communication once in a while to realize why it's such a relief that Gregg Meyers no longer sits on the Charleston County School Board. Recently, Meyers boasted in the P&C that Superintendent McGinley's long tenure has provided "continuity," a "new idea" in the district

Yes, continuity, but at what cost? McGinley's has been the least transparent and most ineffective tenure of all time. Her skill consists of puffing herself up at the expense of principals, teachers, and students. She even brags about how a lower percentage of schools are failing when she artificially created the drop by closing neighborhood schools. McGinley promised to track the affected students and show how the change benefitted them.

Seen any data yet?

McGinley has new ideas all the time--remember the A+ academy at Burke? These dazzle the public briefly, just like a firecracker, and then fizzle with little fanfare.
Keep in mind that Meyers opposes charter schools, despite his comments in the P&C that "charter schools have added helpful options for parents." He was behind the moratorium the district. In fact, years ago Meyers used his clout on the Board to create Buist and the Academic Magnet for his own children; who cares about everyone else's--let the rest of the chips fall where they may.
Meyers thinks candidates running for the school board should be asked if they support Dr. McGinley. Actually, I agree. Anyone new to the Board who mindlessly says "yes" is a potted plant and should be voted down.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Addressing Sexting & Cyberbullying In Schools

Anyone who teaches in a school knows that cyberbullying is the new rumor mill, especially in middle and high schools. Combined with pictures, it can crush those both in and out of the "popular" crowd. Just as with cheating, students refuse to tell those in authority or ask for help. This attitude needs to change. Such treatment on an ongoing basis can, and has, pushed the vulnerable over the edge to suicide.

Do preteens and teens know that such messages fall under "Internet Crimes Against Children"? Only if they hear it from school presentations or parents. Google and Facebook aren't going to tell them.

However, as an article in last week's P&C reported, all students know such agression goes on in our community, and most have been touched by it in one way or another.

The problem of "sexting" becomes even more serious. It is appalling to suggest, as one recent article in the P&C did, that "they're going to do it, so let's show them how to do it safely." What planet does the author live on? There is no "safely" with pictures that can live forever and attract the attention of adult predators.

Ask yourself why a preteen boy would text a girl to send nude pictures of herself and why she wouldn't tell her parents about the request. Every parent or guardian should be vigilant in monitoring media use by his or her child. It's not a joke any more.

And don't think it doesn't happen here every day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CCSD Candidates in Person Wednesday Night

Here's your chance to ask the candidates some hard questions about the  Charleston County School District.
  • What about moving the site of the new Sullivan's Island Elementary School?
  • Is Nancy McGinley an effective superintendent for the community
  • Is Vision 2016 more than a public relations ploy?
  • Should financial deliberations of the school board be more transparent?
  • Why do CCSD schools continually change principals?
  • Oh, you can think of many more!

North Charleston City Hall

2500 City Hall Lane

7:00 p.m.

The event also will be streamed live at , and rebroadcast on Comcast Channel 60.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Disgrace at Ashley Ridge Assembly

Given what happened at Ashley Ridge High School last week during a junior assembly, people must be wondering if the school has any effective discipline.

Imagine jeering and critiquing (loudly and inappropriately) a speaker whose goal is to save lives! Not only that, the speaker speaks from personal experience with drunk driving, experience substantiated by her severed left arm and many scars.

Sarah Panzau travels the country for Anheuser-Busch telling teenagers about her near-fatal decision 10 years ago to drink and drive.

About 20 percent of the class was so disruptive that after 45 minutes, she finally quit speaking when one obnoxious student "mocked her appearance." Some students laughed at the joke.

Dorchester District 2 schools spokeswoman Pat Raynor reported that "one male student" is facing disciplinary action.

So where were the proctors? teachers? vice-principals? Afraid to step in?

Ask yourself: what mentality mocks those who are maimed? Chilling, isn't it?

Monday, October 01, 2012

P & C Editorial: On the One Hand, On the Other Hand

If voters are looking to the editors of the P & C for guidance concerning the school board election in November, FORGETABOUTIT.

Monday's editorial lays out the territory without making the case. What other multi-million dollar institution in Charleston County allows voters to determine to whom its CEO answers? Despite appearances to the contrary, the voters elect the Board of Trustees hold the Superintendent responsible for district administration, not to rubber stamp the superintendent's recommendations without having all of the facts.

The editorial writer forgot to mention that the CCSD Board of Trustees regularly violates the Open Meetings Act by deciding behind closed doors what its members should discuss in open session. Imagine the frustration of the minority of Board members over that and the manipulation of the Board's agenda to suit the superintendent's purposes.

At present Superintendent McGinley answers to no one, a dangerous situation for the voters and taxpayers of the county. She would like to keep it that way, and thus the "Gang of Four" comes forward.

And we wonder why the district has so many failures. Really.