Tag Archives: Failing Schools

Families Rally for School Choice in D.C.

Washington politicians kow-towing to powerful teacher unions may have successfully choked out school choice in Washington, D.C., but parents are not standing by without making their displeasure known.

Yesterday 1,000 parents and students rallied at Freedom Plaza in D.C. to protest the killing off of the choice program that gave many hundreds of children the chance to get out of dangerous, failing schools, and into private schools where they could excel.

Despite a recent study showing that children who participated in this program read at half a grade level better than students in public schools, unions and their sycophantic political puppets have smugly told parents that their dream of something better for their children is over. Now, students who have been able to get a taste of safe, high quality learning environments are left with no option but to return to some of the worst public schools in the nation; schools that President Obama and his administration have praised, and then avoided for their own families. Continue reading

73,000 students trapped in failing SC schools

trapped in failing public schools south carolina.jpg

This school year 185 public schools across South Carolina were ranked as “failing.”

These types of under-performing schools were once called “F-schools” but they were later renamed “unsatisfactory.” Now, in the new politically correct edu-speak of Jim Rex, they are merely called “at-risk” by the State Department of Education.

No matter what you call them, these schools are primarily attended by low-income and minority children. In fact, 92% of the 73,722 students at failing schools come from low-income families and 77% are African-American.

Not only are these groups of students the most under-served in the public schools system, they are also the least likely to be able to make a real choice to attend a school other than their local public school. Their parents simply lack the money to move to a different attendance zone or enroll their children in private school. These kids are trapped (and the problem is not lack of government resources). Continue reading

South Carolina’s worst public schools (2008-09 list)

Each year the Education Oversight Committee (EOC) releases report cards for the public schools and public school districts in South Carolina. Based on the 2008-09 cards we have already observed:

Sadly this is more of the same news we have been receiving from the other indicators in the last two years – if you are poor or black, you are further behind your wealthy or white peers in South Carolina, and if you are lucky enough to live in one of the “good” districts you are still not regionally or nationally competitive

Now, here is a full list of all the public schools which received failing (or, to put it politically, “at-risk”) ratings. The list format is:

District Name:
SCHOOL NAME  (# of students)   (Elem, Middle or High )    (“Persistent” for schools
with 2 or more years on list)

Abbeville:

CALHOUN FALLS HIGH 238 M Persistent

Aiken:

RIDGE SPRING-MONETTA ELEMENTARY 673 M Persistent

LLOYD-KENNEDY CHARTER SCHOOL 31 M Persistent

MIDLAND VALLEY PREPARATORY SCHOOL 166 M

RIDGE SPRING-MONETTA ELEMENTARY 673 E Persistent

A L CORBETT MIDDLE 248 M Continue reading

Failing Charleston schools slated for closure

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An article in The Post and Courier describes the Charleston County School District’s efforts to cut expenditures during a time of projected shortfalls.

In the article, various Charleston County residents lament potential school closings and affirm their commitment to keeping the schools open.

While some of these schools may be a long-time part of local communities and provide fond memories for certain graduates, many are not fulfilling their purpose of effectively educating students.

One Wadmalaw Island resident said of Frierson Elementary School-

‘It’s everything to us,’ she said. ‘Taking the school away from us is like taking a member of a family away. It’s like dismantling a community. That’s what keeps us together.’”

This is an understandable sentiment, but is not supported by an objective look at the school’s educational quality. Continue reading

Worst Public Schools in South Carolina (list)

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Have a child or grandchild in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade? You need to check this list!

Yesterday’s revelation that a mere 1-in-5 public school has met federal AYP performance standards was a huge blow to Jim Rex and his monolithic big government education machine.

Now we have more details about the 715 of 875 elementary and middle schools that failed, and about those schools for which failure is a long term trend.

Below is a detailed list of the K-8 public schools which not only failed to meet their standards this year, but which have a history of sustained annual failure.

While all public schools in South Carolina are under-performing by national and international standards, these 256 schools are the absolute bottom of the barrel:

ABBEVILLE WESTWOOD ELEMENTARY

AIKEN JEFFERSON ELEMENTARY Continue reading

Edu-Failure Machine Rolls Forward in Allendale

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The public schools in Allendale and Lee Counties may be the absolute worst schools in all of the United States. They are certainly the lowest performing in South Carolina, where the statewide average SAT scores and graduation rate linger at or around 50th each year in national rankings.

Now, we hear that Jim Rex’s State Department of Education is unwilling to take direct over control of these failing schools, despite having run failing schools in the past as an attempt to “reform” them in accordance with state and national accountability laws.

From 1999 to 2007 the entire district of Allendale was managed by the state, but frankly, that didn’t seem to help.

Thursday’s State News Paper explains:

Two failing schools were called before the state Board of Education Wednesday. Fairfax Elementary in Allendale and Mount Pleasant Middle in Lee County avoided state takeover. But if they do not improve within coming months, the state still could take control, Rex added.

“There were enough extenuating circumstances that we decided to put (these schools) on a short leash but give them another chance,” Rex said.

At Fairfax Elementary school in Allendale hopes are being pinned on a new principal:

New Fairfax principal Dewey Carey, who has been charged before with reviving similar rural, low-income schools in Georgia, said he can turn the school around.

By no means will I tolerate incompetence in the classroom,” Carey said. “You hurt too many children in the classroom if you do that.”

These two comments speak volumes about public education in South Carolina.

1. After years of sustained failure the State Superintendent analogizes the schools to misbehaving dogs. And 2. Following eight years of state intervention and $11 million in additional funding a high dollar out-of-state administrator has finally been recruited to enforce a “no incompetence” policy.

State government will NOT succeed where local government has failed. In fact, greater centralization of K-12 education through the State Department of Education has actually led to growing performance gaps between both black and white students, as well as between rich and poor students.

Nor is money the problem. In 2006, Allendale public schools served 1,704 students and spent $23,680,637.00 to educate them. That works out to $13,897.09 per pupil! The problem is the no-transparency, no-accountability, no-competition model of government schooling itself.

No one can seriously expect a state government which oversees the nation’s highest violent crime rate and the country’s third highest illiteracy rate to design and administer an effective and equitable system of schools. Rather than continue to fail these children by denying them educational opportunity, lawmakers ought to take a portion of the $13,800 per pupil allotment, and give it to parents for their children. Even just one-third of that money would be enough for a private school tuition (the national average is less than $5,000). This would mean more money for those who remain in public schools, improvements for all students through introduction of competition, and the ability of parents to control their children’s educational future.

But, thanks to politicalized bureaucrats, special interest money, and “Know Nothing” lawmakers looking to protect their turf, the greater likelihood is that public schools in Allendale and Lee will be given more public money to waste as they systematically destroy any hope of future academic, professional, or personal success in the lives of their students. All the while, Rex and others will continue to apologize for these “third world” educational conditions.