Saturday, August 29, 2015

How CCSD Failed Burke

Despite the liberal agenda that every student should go to college (and rack up tens of thousands in student loans), common sense dictates otherwise. Burke High School is a case in point. Well-meaning Charleston County School District administration and school boards accelerated its decline.  Burke supporters have called for vocational programs at Burke for years, calls that have fallen on deaf ears. Perhaps Adam Parker in his article on Burke did not realize the significance of  the following:
Lillie Smith, 73, is a Burke graduate who taught there from 1982-1994. Two years after she arrived, enrollment reached its peak of about 1,700 students due to the consolidation of C.A. Brown and Charleston high schools. Burke had a robust athletic program, six periods each day, and at least 30 students in each class, Smith said.
What's more, it boasted a work ethic that most students subscribed to; they were expected to do well, to graduate and to seek employment, she said. And they did.
In the mid-1990s the school began to deteriorate: enrollment declined little by little, the dropout rate increased, programs were cut and the curriculum, which once included an emphasis on vocational training, was “generalized.” Students began to flee.
“The curriculum focus shifted away from trades” — such as home economics, masonry and auto mechanics — in favor of academics, even though “a large number of high school kids would not go to college,” Smith said.
Now that NO high school in the district offers masonry or carpentry courses, perhaps CCSD can come back down to earth.

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