Monday, November 28, 2016

Who Lectures to CCSD Elementary Students Anyway?

Image result for straw man meme

Every time the Charleston County School District tries a new teaching method, it trots out the same old strawman as an example. For those of you not conversant with logical fallacies, the strawman involves ". . . exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, . . . to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate," as one website puts it.

Such is the case with the presentation of new methods in springfield-elementary-tries-out-gifted-and-talented-teaching-for-all/.
"When we first started the training, it was an eye-opener," Nell said. "As teachers, we realize that we’re just facilitators of learning, so we’re not just up there giving lectures and giving all the answers to students and telling them that there’s only one way to find the answer to a question."
Wow. The rest of CCSD's elementary schools use the methods of 100 years ago. Who knew?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

All Agreed: SC Needs Appointed Secretary of Education

How much power will the South Carolina State Senate really give up to the governor if he or she has the power (as in 37 other states) to appoint the Secretary of Education? Even our local newspaper editors think appointing, not electing by popular vote, is a move that is long overdue. 

Ask yourself if you hold the state's governor responsible for improving education in South Carolina. Every candidate running for governor promises to improve what is an abysmal record that leaves South Carolina at or near the bottom of most educational statistics. Yet the governor essentially has no power over that cabinet position and often represents the opposing political party. 

The state senate will retain its power over the education budget if voters make the change. Come on, guys. You will still have more power than the governor!

We could have voted for this reasonable change years ago, but the senators have blocked a vote. It's time for a change. 

Time to put some pressure on your state senator. Here they are. Go for it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

CCSD School Board Votes by Secret Ballot?

After its most non-informative coverage in recent memory of candidates running for the Charleston County School Board, our "award-winning" newspaper has decided to hide the votes of present school board members on important issues. What next? A blackout of school board meetings?

At its meeting recently the Board voted down the proposal for a TIF (tax increment financing) covering part of West Ashley. Mayor Tecklenberg heartily endorsed such a TIF to help revitalize the area. For the TIF, the district would give up 25 years of taxes. Gee, why might that proposal not be received warmly in a district just adjusting to an $18 million shortfall?

After member Michael Miller spoke against the proposal, the Board voted 6-0-2 (that's two abstentions) against the proposal. Presumably Ducker was not in attendance, but who knows, since the absent member remained anonymous. 

Who were the two abstentions? Doesn't the public have a right to know how its elected representatives vote? Evidently, not if reporter Paul Bowers has anything to do with it.

Reporting sinks lower every day. Even the website has become unfriendly.

Friday, November 04, 2016

P&C Editors Desire Defeat of CCSD's Chris Collins

For what it's worth (and it's not much), the editors of our local paper finally decided to stop ignoring Charleston County's school board races. Is it really too much to ask that information about candidates be reported completely and candidates be questioned on their ideas about hot-button topics such as taxes and Common Core? 

For our local sleuths, the answer is "yes."

Four days out from election day the paper endorsed five of the candidates. Notably absent was any mention of incumbent Chris Collins, who is running for a third term. Cowards. They can't even say why they didn't endorse him. The other two incumbents running--Garrett and Miller--both received the favor. 

Just like the Obamacare fiasco, we'll have to wait to see what's in their minds and what real abilities they possess.

Here's a link to the endorsements:

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Quality Education Project Charleston's Opinions of CCSD School Board Candidates

For what it's worth. Sorry I can't make this larger.