UPDATE YOUR RSS: Voice for School Choice is Moving!

Voice For School Choice Update

The Voice” is moving to a new domain.

The new site is www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Note that we have removed the article “the” from the URL.

Please update your favorites, bookmarks, and RSS feeds.

Links on and off site will be mirrored at the new page.

Both theVoiceforSchoolChoice.com and .wordpress.com will soon redirect to www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

UPDATE YOUR LINKS: Voice for School Choice is Moving!

Voice for School Choice Update 2

The Voice” is moving to a new domain.

The new site is www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Note that we have removed the article “the” from the URL.

Please update your favorites, bookmarks, and RSS feeds.

Links on and off site will be mirrored at the new page.

Both theVoiceforSchoolChoice.com and .wordpress.com will soon redirect to www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

SITE UPDATE: Voice for School Choice is Moving!

Update Voice for School Choice 1

The Voice” is moving to a new domain.

The new site is www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Note that we have removed the article “the” from the URL.

Please update your favorites, bookmarks, and RSS feeds.

Links on and off site will be mirrored at the new page.

Both theVoiceforSchoolChoice.com and .wordpress.com will soon redirect to www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Public School Achievement Gap in South Carolina

Jim Rex Bridge Achievement Gap

The “Achievement Gap” is a name used to describe the persistent and unjust disparity between test scores among different  racial and economic groups enrolled in South Carolina’s government schools.

New data have been released, and some are hoping it constitutes a reversal of this troubling long term trend.

The political publicists at the State Department of Education spun it this way:

South Carolina’s “achievement gap” between white and African-American students mirrors the rest of the nation’s, according to a federal government report released today.  Although mathematics and reading test scores have improved for both ethnic groups, the gap between the two has decreased only in math.

But looking past the soundbites, the data do not seem to mesh with other, independently gauged, indicators. Continue reading

Jim Rex Calls for Major Sales Tax Hike

Jim Rex South Carolina Tax Hike

“I think that might be seen in South Carolina as defensible.”

-Superintendent “Dropout Jim” Rex on lifting the sales tax cap on cars, planes and boats

From the time that cuts to the state budget were first considered a necessity, Jim Rex has opposed any actions that would take money from the public education establishment. Despite the fact that South Carolinians in every income bracket are struggling to deal with a negative economic climate, Rex has continued to put on an aggrieved air, and acted as if education bureaucrats are bearing the entire weight of the state’s economic woes. Continue reading

Probe into PACT Cheating Scandal Comes Up Empty?

SandersClyde

A SLED investigation into MiShawna Moore, erstwhile darling of the South Carolina education establishment and suspected test “tailor,” has come up with nothing.

As principal of Sanders-Clyde Elementary, a chronically failing public school in Charleston County, Moore came under heavy suspicion when PACT scores at her school suddenly shot up above district and state levels. When tests were carefully monitored, scores dropped significantly in every subject; drops that were characterized as “unusual” and “much greater” than other schools. Equally troubling was the higher-than-usual number of erased and corrected answers.

Moore-and other school employees- insisted that the scores were legitimate, and that drops could be blamed on harsh test monitors denying students snacks.

The Associated Press reports that the SLED investigation into the situation has ended, with nothing to show for it.

It is everyone’s hope that there was no altering of test grades, and that somehow the numerous and incredibly sketchy indications of illicit conduct are pure happenstance, but it doesn’t seem likely.

Hopefully, the schools overseers in Charleston County and in the SC Department of Education will continue to look into this situation, and prevent more children from being similarly short-changed.

Department of Education gives Consultants $391,469 Stimulus Package

Molly Spearman SCASA

It’s that time again. The time when South Carolina taxpayers can see just how much money the “strapped” SC State Department of Education has paid out to education contractors and consultants during a recession.

This month, almost $400,000 was doled out to a variety of consultants, contractors and political advisers. Unfortunately, those aren’t the only people who got paid big bucks. Teachers may be on furlough, or without work, but SCASA managed to somehow squeeze $29,000 from taxpayers. Were some of these other payments made to folks who had booths set up at the recent SCASA oceanside retreat? Rex’s frequent excuse that contractors are brought in to “save the department money” certainly doesn’t hold water in this instance.

Here is a recap of consultant spending in 2009.

  • January-$296,526
  • February-$358,398
  • March-$366,996
  • April-$397,876
  • May-$333,791
  • June-$391,469
  • Year to Date- $2,145,056

Here is a complete list of contractors and consultants who received checks from the Department of Education in June 2009. See it for yourself here.

Continue reading