Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CCSD's Rural Schools Win--for Now

Congratulations to those community members from Edisto Island and Hollywood who made their desires known to Superintendent Nancy McGinley and the Charleston County School Board. Middle-school-age students will remain in their respective schools for the next school year.

These concerned taxpayers must know that the fight is not over and vigilance will be required. Will the time ever come when the superintendent stops thinking in the "Broad" urban mentality of one-size-fits-all? Probably not. Do not believe her weak protestations that she has no intention of closing rural high schools. It's only a matter of time until the next go-round of school "redesign."

No doubt McGinley will structure more "community" input with stacked committees in these communities in the future. Forewarned is forearmed!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HaLevi Drinks the CCSD Kool-Aid

Anyone perusing the Letters to the Editor in Wednesday's newspaper probably is trying to decide if Superintendent McGinley ghosted Andrew HaLevi's glowing report of progress in the Charleston County School District over the last 10 years. His statistics should send all readers back for a refresher course on How To Lie With Statistics, definitely a neglected treasure!

One irritating statement particularly sticks out in his defense against outside agitators such as StudentsFirst: HaLevi points out that only 8 of the original 15 failing schools in CCSD are still in that category.

Yes, Andrew. How many of the original 15 still exist? And what happened to the promised progress reports on the students who were moved out?

So typical of the P&C to publish press releases from the district.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

StudentsFirst Ideals Not CCSD's

According to Amanda Hobson's op-ed in Thursday's edition, Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst advocacy group relies on "three major ideals":
  • "First, it believes in empowering parents with good choices and ample information about their school options.
  • "Second, it advocates for transparency in school funding and governance so that taxpayers can see clearly what money is going into the classroom.
  • "Lastly, it believes teachers ought to be treated like professionals, which means they should be rewarded when they perform for their students, but also be accountable when they don’t.
While Superintendent McGinley and the Charleston County School Board of Trustees give lip service to the trendy third goal, the jury is still out on whether CCSD will treat its teachers as professionals. Perhaps teachers will be when their students perform, not "when they perform for their students." (Acting lessons, anyone?)

However, CCSD flunks badly on the first two goals. First, Superintendent McGinley and her mindless supporters on the Board oppose school choice by setting up phony "partial-magnet" schools that fool no one and by refusing to consider charter school requests from the community. McGinley also stacks Neighborhood Planning Teams with her minions and ignores communal desires.

As for "transparency in school funding and governance," excuse me while I fall off my chair laughing.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

CCSD Frets over Hundreds; Thousands Go to Waste

Board of Trustees member Chris Collina, also a pastor of a church renting the old Charlestowne Academy building from the district, has made no secret of his independence from Superintendent McGinley and her minions. Now the School Board has voted for Collins's church to cough up another $600 plus for use of the building over the hours specified.

No one seems to ask the obvious questions, so I will.

Why is this vacant building wasting away in the first place? Why hasn't the district diligently searched for some organization to rent the facilities? In other words, why isn't the district concerned about using its capital resources to pruduce income? It's not like the school's sitting vacant doesn't cost money; it does.

This case in point is yet another example of how the district runs its finances poorly. We can only guess at the problems that we can't see sitting so prominently by the side of the road.