Friday, December 28, 2007

Blog Commenters' Top 20 Quotes of the Year

  1. Politicians are stupid, generally speaking, but they make for good conversations.
  2. Investigative reporting is obviously not the P&C’s strong suit.
  3. [In the Buist lottery] An antiquated bingo ball machine would at least allay fears of malfeasance or manipulation.
  4. Give Sallie [Ballard] a break. She recruited and did test prep at 4K programs on James Island and not downtown for a number of good reasons. For one she didn't want to steal from the downtown elementary schools that need numbers for Maria Goodloe-Johnson's points system.
  5. In my day these downtown people would have minded their own business and appreciated public servants like Gregg Meyers.
  6. It might be appropriate to ask how many [. . . ] real estate deals have determined the direction of our downtown schools?
  7. Oh, this has to be a bad movie. Hollywood couldn't write this stuff if they tried.
  8. What's the real mission of CCSD under its present leadership? Is it to operate successful public schools for all, or is it to manipulate the half billion dollars a year in public education dollars to benefit other interests, including graft from within?
  9. Will someone from the Broad Institute, which trained and recommended G-J for this position, please either take credit for this style of leadership or disavow it altogether.
  11. No one [in circles of power in 1963] considered that in its death throes, Dist. 20 might actually fight back. Certainly no one ever thought that white and black residents of the peninsula might actually form alliances in a common effort to reestablish quality schools open to all within the inner city.
  12. Before McGinley tries to cast herself as doing missionary work in the Deep and Un-Reconstructed South or confronting the ills of abject poverty among minorities relegated to vast urban ghettos, she should first calibrate her aim relative to real conditions . . . .
  13. For those of you who aren't familiar with CCSD, some refer to our rural districts as the last ditch before you're dumped.
  14. That very bright child at Memminger is too valuable to hand over to Buist. If a school such as Memminger loses 2 or 3 of those high PACT scorers it could mean their school report card drops to failing.
  15. When was the last time county school board members and senior school district administrators allowed individual members of the public to ask them direct questions?
  16. If Dr. McGinley isn't committed to changing what Dr. Goodloe wouldn't, then she should be gone in a year. This is her one and only chance to demonstrate professional integrity by reaching out to restore trust.
  17. I thought the P&C was doing a "feel good" article on the local NAACP organization to be featured in the "Faith and Values" portion of an upcoming Sunday edition. I guess when someone checked the data on the local NAACP chapter led by Dot Scott and her comrade in arms, Joe Darby, they realized the article might have to be placed on the obit pages instead.
  18. 75 Calhoun is a cheap, poorly designed and expensive to operate building. It's falling apart. Look closely at the public garage, too. It's cracking. It's all part of a sweetheart deal involving the city, CCSD and the chosen contractors that were paid off with the padded overpriced contracts. We're paying now for a building that is less than 20 years old but is still falling apart.
  19. Nothing will change unless they are forced to change through the court system.
  20. There should be very little tolerance for failure when people start mucking with the education of children. We’ve allowed CCSD and its questionable experts to do this for nearly 40 years without holding anyone accountable.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Why the Difference, CCSD?

In mid-December, CCSD proudly announced that 32 more teachers had achieved National Board Certification. Great, isn't it? Dorchester District 2 also announced that 20 of its teachers had reached that status. Great for those teachers and their students and the districts that employ them.


DD2 announced the 20 names with the names of the schools where they teach.

Don't you wonder why
CCSD simply announced 32 names without saying where they teach? Wouldn't you like to know if any of the district's failing schools gained NBCTs? In fact, wouldn't it be interesting to see where all of the NBCTs in CCSD teach? I do happen to know that one on the new list teaches at Stall.

Is this simply another case of "them that has, gets"?

Space for YouthBuild? That's Easy

So reports the P & C:
  • Still no facility for Sea Islands YouthBuild Charter School on Johns Island.
  • McGinley supports continued attempts to find space.
  • The Superintendent is totally sympathetic to the needs of these "children."
  • Instead of beginning the new semester on a school campus, the students will undergo leadership training at a Boy Scout camp on Wadmalaw Island. . . .
  • Yada, Yada, Yada

If McGinley is so sympathetic to the school, why not give it space in St. John's High School? Let's have a school within a school. It's been done elsewhere, and I understand there's plenty of room. She is quoted as saying,

"We don't want to see children out on the streets or in jeopardy. We will try to support them, on behalf of children, with getting a stable facility. I don't know what that means yet. I don't want to see the students shipped around or scattered and not having some place safe."

Especially since the 17-year-olds (a good portion of the student body) are now barred from Murray Hill Academy under this year's contract.

She owes them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Idiocy of the Day: Riley to Head League's Youth Council

According to Thursday's P & C,

"The National League of Cities has announced that Charleston Mayor Joe Riley has been appointed to chair the league's 2008 Council on Youth, Education, and Families.

"The council works to assist municipal leaders in identifying and developing effective programs for strengthening families and improving outcomes for the children and youth.

Riley should really be helpful regarding programs to strengthen education. Look what's happened to the penninsula schools during his tenure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

CCSD's Musical Chairs with Principals

Here we go again. More mid-year shuffling of principals, ostensibly in reaction to failing to meet AYP. This time it's the principal at Mitchell Elementary, Anne Dicenzo, wife of the principal of Orange Grove Charter. Just a coincidence, no doubt. Maybe it's just the first salvo in Superintendent McGinley's latest threatened reshuffling to address failing schools.

Dare we ask if this is the best course for a failing school? To remove its principal in midyear? Midyear removal suggests that somehow Mrs. Dicenzo must be expunged post-haste to avoid further damaging her students. Somehow, I doubt that is the case here.

Look what happened at Fraser last year at this time--the principal was removed and sent to McClellanville. Obviously, Ms. Whaley wasn't a threat to the well-being of Fraser; if she had been, she wouldn't have received another post. Furthermore, does anyone think that Fraser was improved by having its principal removed midyear?

Then there's the strange case of Blondel Gadsden, removed from her job as Dean at Burke and sent to Brentwood with the order not to even set foot in her office to clean off her desk! What did CCSD think--that she would steal the carpeting? Heaven forbid that she should touch the files on her desk.

What do other principals think about this shabby treatment? It's hard to believe it helps morale.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lame-Duck Bleecker: I Know It When I See It

The famous quote, "I know it when I see it," from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart applied to pornography. Nevertheless, Anne Frances Bleecker, lame-duck member of the Charleston City Council has now proposed an ordinance that would allow Mayor Riley to set up a committee to peruse all campaign shenanigans in the Lowcountry deemed by Bleecker "not what we do in Charleston" for slander.

As quoted in the P & C:

Former mayoral candidate Mark Knapp: "about as totalitarian as you can get"

Present Council member Larry Shirley: "the thing would be jury-rigged from the very beginning" and "this is not kindergarten"

Surely they still remember Free Speech at at USC Law School these days! Just maybe not on the City Council.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Deja Vu in Seattle: Supt. G-J's Vague Ideas

For the full story, check out the blog, Can't Connect the Dots from Save Seattle's Schools.

Isn't it time that we see something more concrete from the Superintendent? For a person who talks about clear, objective, measureable goals, we've only got a lot of vague ideas so far.
* Isn't she supposed to spill out a whole package of plans for improvement in January?
* She has put the word accountability into just about everything, but I've yet to see anyone held accountable for anything.
* She says that accountability means that Seattle Public Schools understands our data and we use it to set performance targets for the district, school and classrooms.
So where are these performance targets? Are they secret?

Top 10 Education Problems: Sound Familiar?

Washington Post Education writer Jay Mathews was interviewed in Friday's paper. He was asked, "What do you see as the top ten concerns in education?"

Here is his response:
  1. Low standards and expectations in low-income schools.
  2. Very inadequate teacher training in our education schools.
  3. Failure to challenge average students in nearly all high schools with AP and IB courses.
  4. Corrupt and change-adverse bureaucracies in big city districts.
  5. A tendency to judge schools by how many low income kids they have, the more there are the worse the school in the public mind.
  6. A widespread feeling on the part of teachers, because of their inherent humanity, that it is wrong to put a child in a challenging situation where they may fail, when that risk of failure is just what they need to learn and grow.
  7. The widespread belief among middle class parents that their child must get into a well known college or they won't be as successful in life.
  8. A failure to realize that inner city and rural schools need to give students more time to learn, and should have longer school days and school years.
  9. A failure to realize that the best schools--like the KIPP charter schools in the inner cities---are small and run by well-recruited and trained principals who have the power to hire all their teachers, and quickly fire the ones that do not work out.
  10. The resistance to the expansion of charter schools in most school district offices.

Interesting list, isn't it?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

CCSD Superintendent's White Wash Not Inspiring

Let's face it. Superintendent Nancy McGinley has decided which side her bread is buttered on. Those responsible for her selection as superintendent want to protect the cheat system in place at Buist come hell or high water, regardless of the needs of the rest of her constituents. She's made her choice and is steering clear of any decisions that would annoy her majority on the school board.

Now comes the plan for "partial-magnet" schools. [See
Struggling schools might get to 're-create' themselves in Saturday's P & C.]

Read carefully. A seasoned veteran of the CCSD wars has:

Charleston Superintendent Nancy McGinley has placed her "plan" for reorganizing failing schools on the penninsula, in North Charleston, and on Johns Island on the CCSD web-site. It is full of education jargon, some that sound good and many that just make sounds. It reflects an attempt to "play catch up" and “me too” with other communities around the country that have tailored successful programs rooted in unique communities. To be fair, some locally generated ideas are included within McGinley's new plan, but most of these have been borrowed, too, (more like plagiarized) with little or no acknowledgement to sources found among Charleston’s rich, built-in cultural resources or to the help of those active within the city's many integrated communities.

Certainly the plan has its problems, which may be unintentional, but this is the worst part: there is a thinly cloaked attempt to close the barn door on CCSD's embarrassingly weak position on "county-wide" magnet schools. With one exception these only exist at the high school level. McGinley gives the "county-wide" magnet concept legal standing for the first time, without ever acknowledging that the concept was illegitimate to begin with, as it has been applied to Buist Academy. In one section of the document under the heading "A 'Partial Magnet School' Constituent District" she says, "If the constituent district has county-wide magnet schools, they will continue to operate utilizing their enrollment criteria."

What does she mean “schools”? There’s only one K-8 magnet that fits that description: it’s Buist. And, unless she meant to limit only "academic" criteria remaining unchanged, this is a naked attempt to close the back door on the scandal that has surrounded CCSD's loose-as-a-goose "enrollment criteria" at Buist.

Complaints against the address cheats and admissions scams at Buist have little to do with academic qualifications. If cover-up is her purpose, McGinley is not correcting a problem; she’s white washing it. She is attempting to plug the gaping hole in CCSD’s defense of having run the Buist scam as long as it has. She gives it cover. No one will ever be held accountable.

If this bad apple is still stored with the rest, how long will it take for other parts of her plan to become spoiled by this exception to consistancy and fairness? If the other points in her reorganization plan are so good, then shouldn’t Buist conform to them as well?

McGinley needs to be questioned directly on this and not allowed to wiggle out of it . . . or be permitted to slip out the door before questions are answered. The truth is that Buist should be allowed to keep its "academic criteria," but it should also be required to conform to the enrollment and opportunity zone aspects of this new "partial magnet" concept that is being proposed for the other schools in the community. Buist might see its integrity restored in the process.

If McGinley refuses to budge on this exception for Buist, then her stonewalling the issue has to be seen for what it is. We all know that Buist organizers greatly fear racial inclusion. Those behind keeping Buist just as it is still share this fear, even if their fears are based on a downtown that existed 25 years ago, but no longer. Because of the academic criteria at Buist and CCSD’s failure to provide substantial early childhood education to minorities and low income children before now, the argument (and fear) that Buist will become “all black” no longer applies.

Too bad the original NAACP suit didn't use its position to change the inequity of early childhood education instead of just the appearance of "diversity" at the upper levels. [Note from Babbie: Oh, that's right. Isn't that the part that Gregg Meyers is responsible for?]

Where’s the policy that says Buist is a "county-wide" magnet? Where are other comparable K-8 "county-wide" magnet schools? Unless Buist has peers, it should not continue unless CCSD acknowledges it was established on the principal of racial minority exclusion and still functions that way.

Who came up with that "partial magnet" phrase, anyway? I thought St. Andrews was what a real magnet school was supposed to be. It’s Buist that is the crazy hybrid. We should say that Buist is at the same table, exactly like the other "partial magnets," or the county should be prepared to name about six more "county-wide" magnet schools, designed to be just like Buist and strategically located in other parts of the county. CCSD might start with converting Jennie Moore. Then watch the storm of protests go up when local residents are required to participate in a county-wide lottery just like Buist. Will they follow with forcing this on Ashley River Creative Arts? Not likely.

So she's throwing a few crumbs at those vociferous community members who disagree with CCSD policies on Buist in hopes that will quiet them down for a while.

By the time it becomes clear that the "partial magnet" system is another sleight-of hand, McGinley will have moved on to greener (as in $$$) pastures and those students who are now in CCSD's failing elementary schools will be in CCSD's failing middle and high schools.

Ahh, Just Wait till It Catches Fire

According to Saturday's P & C, "The engine compartment on a 1995 Thomas school bus caught fire Friday afternoon as it rolled down Interstate 26 westbound" on its way to pick up students from Stall High School.

"Last year, the state temporarily sidelined all 2,000 of its 1995 model buses because of a fire risk after a loose battery cable started a blaze that engulfed a Richland 2 school bus. An analysis by The Post and Courier for a March series "School Bus Breakdown" found entries for dozens of fires on 1995-model buses."

"Maintenance records show that the bus that caught fire Friday has been sidelined numerous times for mechanical problems, including twice for smoking [italics mine]."

Any further questions?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Buist Vacancies: Don't Hold Your Breath & Update

See UPDATE below

The following letter was sent by an interested party in District 20 as an email to CCSD Superintendent Nancy McGinley on November 15th. It, and the accompanying table of vacancies, is also in the hands of the P & C. So far, McGinley has not responded and the P & C has treated the information as non-newsworthy.

Dear Nancy:
After reviewing the report on the Buist vacancies/openings which you forwarded last Tuesday, I have recognized several discrepancies which should be of concern to you. To better explain what I've learned, I’ve taken the liberty of expanding the original report sent out by Portia Stoney. This report was based on the information Robin King gathered at your request from Sallie Ballard. Numbers associated with the other three waiting lists were unavailable to me at this writing so I've left those tables blank. This modified report includes the original vacancy/opening information with the addition of tables showing the 10-day attendance report for this year and the 135-day attendance reports for Buist for the two previous years. A very disturbing fact has emerged.

There appears to have been vacancies at Buist in the upper grades for at least the past three years. Furthermore, the same openings in certain classes appear to have effectively remained unfilled for two or more years. This information will be very disheartening to any parent whose child was on a sixth grade waiting list in the summer of 2005. These people were never told that a seat at Buist might have been available for them after all.

This screw up could not have happened unless there was an overt and conscious effort on the part of some of those in charge of the Buist admissions process. They could have prevented this situation but chose not to. I can't imagine if you had known about this, you would have let it continue unabated. I'm very confident that if the District 20 parents had known this they would have raised a lot more ruckus than they did last year. This revelation also implies that CCSD employees were aware that seats that could have gone to qualified students at Burke (or Rivers) over the last three school years were deliberately withheld from those students and their parents.

It would appear that CCSD employees knowingly obstructed legal efforts to discover these vacancies since efforts to make the process more transparent were actively opposed by high ranking CCSD officials. In turn CCSD employees appear to have prevented, or at least neglected, reasonable efforts to make those vacancies available to qualified students. More qualified students might have wanted to fill those vacancies at Buist had they known these openings were available in the first place.

The other immediate issue hard to miss is the fact that Principal Ballard appears to be unmotivated to fill the eleven seats that currently remain open. Why have only 4 positions been filled out of 15 vacancies that have been open since the beginning of this school year? Buist reportedly has over 2,000 applicants on its four waiting lists, though no one has ever been allowed to see the lists to confirm their accuracy. It would have much been better if annually these lists had been independently verified as a true and accurate reflection of those who still wanted admission to the school.

The public message from this reputation of extraordinarily high demand for admission to Buist has been to convey the idea that it's no use to apply since the waiting lists are probably too long. But as you can see the District 20 list is shown as empty for some grades. This new information, only now being made available, says a chance for admission was much better than was previously believed. Again, CCSD employees previously withheld this information and I'm not aware of any efforts being made by Buist to make this knowledge public.

Some serious damage has probably been done that can't be easily repaired. The eight seats still vacant in the 8th grade can only make the Buist experience available to those students who might fill them for a single semester. This is because Principal Ballard held back this information for more than two months. In the case of some of those same seats, she withheld the knowledge for more than 2 years.

For your information, the District 20 Board discussed this at its meeting on Wednesday evening and other District 20 parents have been informed since then. I’ve chosen to act with this letter to you. Others may wish to do the same or they may follow a different course. You are already aware of several OCR complaints against what has been documented at Buist so far. This information will probably be added to one or more of those complaints.

Again, I thank you for helping downtown parents to finally get the truth out about how the Buist admissions process works. Behind the scenes and under the cover that kept them hidden, the waiting lists and applications appear to have been grossly mishandled for many years. Most of us hope that you will step forward with the courage necessary to fix what is so badly broken. To repair our trust in the process will not be the least of your accomplishments if you do. (signed)

Buist Academy
Student Openings
November 9, 2007

8th grade - 8 slots – no letters have been sent in 3 weeks. She is working her way through waiting list.

6th grade – 2 openings – sending letters, predicts slots will be filled by Christmas.

5th grade – 1 opening – May become a legal issue because of divorce. If this is a currently enrolled Buist student, the opening shouldn’t be up for consideration. If this is a person still on a waiting list, the person needs to decide now so the process can move on.

Notes: From these records [not duplicated here] it would appear that as of Nov. 9, 2007, at least 6 seats in the Buist Academy Class of ‘08 (the current 8th grade) have been vacant for 2 school calendar years. If the same reasoning is used when considering the 2006 Buist attendance report, then 3 of those seats may actually have been vacant for that class since 2005 (more than 2 years ago) when that same group began 6th grade.

* Of the 3 vacant seats in the current 6th grade at the start of the 2007-08 school year, the only seat filled as of Nov. 9, was by a student returning to Buist after an out-bound transfer to Memminger was reversed on appeal.

McGinley's Response Finally Arrives, December 12th
Subject: Re: Buist Open House & Unanswered Questions> > Good Evening xxxxxxx,> > In response to your questions regarding Buist Academy:> > * Dr. Doug Gepford, Associate Superintendent, and an identified team of> district administrators will provide the oversight and monitoring of the> BA student admissions process, to be inclusive of admissions during the> regular process as well as students who may be admitted during the> school year as vacancies occur. > >

* On the issue of the vacant seats, in fact on today Dr. Nelson spent> some time talking with Ms. Ballard about this issue. The majority of the> current vacant seats are at the 8th grade level. I believe that there is> one vacant seat at the 6th grade. The following are barriers to filling> these seats in an expeditious manner. > >

- The school must notify all families on the waiting list. I think> there is an excess of some 140 students on the waiting list for 8th> grade. The school contacts 8-10 families to advise them of the vacant> seats. The school gives the families 10 days to respond prior to> beginning contacts for the next group of families. This means that the> school is actually having to make contacts at two week intervals. Thus,> if contacts began early September, Ms. Ballard and her staff have> probably only been able to contact approximately 60 families, this is a> liberal estimate. > > - Additionally, what we know and I am certain that you are most aware> of, there is not an incentive and many would argue the merits in having> an 8th grade student leave the school setting where he/she has spent the> last two years and maybe even more years, i.e. k-8, where relationships> have been developed, there are memberships in school> clubs/organizations, there is a connectedness...a sense of belonging,> etc.. All that we know about adolescents and middle school students,> this could actually be a disservice to a student - to transfer him/her> into a new setting for one semester, and then another transition to high> school. >

- Finally, with student admissions/enrollment occurring at the> beginning of the year and the beginning of the 2nd semester, if there> are no new 8th grade students identified for admissions in January (at> the beginning of the 2nd semester), the reality is that these seats will> remain vacant for the school year.> > I trust that this provides additional clarity. Thanks.> > Dr. Nancy J. McGinley

Is anyone else reminded of the tortoise commercial?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ok at Stall, but Not Elsewhere?

Judging from Diette Courrege's article on Stall's principal in Friday's P & C, she may now have a glimmer of how hardworking and caring many of CCSD's principals and teachers are. Judging from her report shadowing him on "Principal for a Day," Dan Connor seems to fall into that largely unsung group.

However, the anecdote about the 17-year-old with two felony arrests not only reinforces stereotypes about Stall but also shows ignorance of military standards.

According to Courrege, last fall a young man asked Principal Connor to allow him to enroll at Stall even though he was already 17 years old, had no high school credits, had two felony arrests, and had already been turned down by two other high schools. Connor, learning that his close relatives were in jail and he had no permanent home, took pity on him and took him in. Fast forward to December 6th, when Courrege reports, "Conner spent part of his day [Thursday] trying to work out a deal with an attorney that would keep this student out of jail and allow him to enlist in the military next summer [italics mine]." Unexplained is why going to jail has suddenly become an issue. Conviction? Plea bargaining? Pleading guilty?

No branch of the military takes 18 year olds with virtually no education and two felony arrests. Normally a recruit has a high school diploma with maybe a misdemeanor or two overlooked. Does Courrege think the standards for enlistees are so low? Do readers of the newspaper think so too? I guarantee that Connor, as a high school principal, knows perfectly well that the young man's chances of enlisting in the military this summer are somewhere between slim and none.

Sorry to be a party-pooper, but there remains the question of the effect of Connor's action on the rest of Stall's students and on the school's overall reputation. Two felony arrests for what? Guns? Drugs? Stealing cars? Are we to believe that he fit right in with the rest of the student body? Can you imagine the uproar from well-connected parents at a school like Wando if its principal acted similarly? She wouldn't dare.

Oh, I forgot. Stall's parents aren't well connected or wealthy. So it's ok.

Yes, there should be an educational environment for this young man, but why at Stall High School? What did Connor know would happen if he didn't say yes?Does CCSD have provision for such desperate cases? Murray Hill Academy? YouthBuild Sea Islands Charter? Anybody out there?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mission Statements Galore

A student-led revolt recently overhauled the mission statement of St. John's High School because it used the word "adequately" to describe the school's goals in preparing students for life. "Adequately," among other changes, has become "exceptionally." Kudos to students Shekinah Robinson, Rodney Burnell, and Meaghan Maxwell for having more common sense than the previous School Improvement Committee that originated that wording.

I'm guessing that mission statements came into common use in schools in the 1980s. Certainly prior to that decade everyone knew what the "mission" of a school was--education. Then the language of business crept in. Now education is a commodity or service in the same way as toothpaste or clothing. The school community no longer has teachers, students, parents, and administrators. It is made up of "stakeholders," as though it were some kind of joint stock company.

At St. John's "[the old] mission statement posters hung in every classroom, and officials read it aloud daily to students." Presumably the new posters will be hung soon. Maybe they will inspire, but maybe reading "it aloud daily" will also be mind-numbing.

Certainly the mission statement for C.E. Williams [published in the P & C]should be read aloud every day as punishment until someone gets the idea that it is made up up VERBIAGE:

"The mission of CE Williams Middle School for Creative and Scientific Arts is to create a safe and nurturing learning environment and to provide students with an effective, relevant, and meaningful program of instruction integrating the creative arts and sciences. Within this environment, we believe that students can learn when provided with diverse and enriched opportunities and resources. We accept fully the responsibility to maximize these opportunities for academic achievement for students while embracing cultural identities and ethnicities. The CE Williams community will thereby prepare our students for both academic and personal success in global society. " Yikes!

Perhaps you detect that I think time might be better spent on improving the education itself--too many captive hours spent building mind-numbing mission statements, I'm afraid.

On the other hand, for fun, try the mission statement generator on the Dilbert Comic Strip Archive. Here's a sample: "It's our responsibility to professionally restore quality intellectual capital as well as to competently simplify long-term high-impact infrastructures because that is what the customer expects ."

Now you can try it too.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Douglas & CCSD: Segregation Is OK

CCSD Board Chairman Hillery Douglas and CCSD Superintendent Nancy McGinley made some very revealing comments last week when the State Department of Education released its findings on segregation in South Carolina's schools. Strangely enough, as far as I can tell, the entire story appeared only on TV outlets and not in the P & C.

Needless to say, the report showed that most of District 20's schools are segregated. Douglas's interesting comment about the findings was that he didn't have a problem with that. McGinley's comments included the thought that such segregation is caused by housing patterns and, therefore, nothing can be done about it.

First of all, Supt. McGinley, you're not in Philadelphia any more. Please take a good look at the Census figures for black and white residents on the penninsula; then tell us why the schools are segregated. It's not because of housing patterns. Check out the Census for Johns Island while you're at it. Just maybe this school segregation has been caused by CCSD policies over the last 40 years.

As for Mr. Douglas's attitude, I find it hard to know where to begin. Certainly his remarks reveal why CCSD has made no progress in desegregation under his watch. He doesn't care!

I'm not one of those idiots who believe that black students must sit in the same classroom with white ones in order to learn to read and write better. I do believe that black and white students need to be in the same classroom to LEARN ABOUT EACH OTHER. Hasn't such understanding always been one of the goals of public education?

Otherwise, students in white enclaves can continue to believe that all black students their age are druggies and dropouts, while students in black enclaves can continue to believe that all white students are spoiled and prejudiced slackers.