South Carolina’s Education Oversight Committee (EOC) is one of the three state agencies tasked with implementing accountability and assessment in South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation public schools. Each year the EOC conducts a survey designed to measure parents’ satisfaction with their local schools and gauge perception of the school’s ability to adequately serve their students.
In early June the EOC quietly released the dismal results of its most recent survey. Among the findings:
- Only 56% of parents of high school students feel their schools involve them in important decision making.
- Only 44% of those parents report the schools consider their input when making changes or reforms.
- Less than half of parents report any type of contact initiated by their children’s teachers.
Not surprisingly, the report found that parents with older children (who have been at public schools longer) are much less satisfied than parents with younger children. Similarly, the satisfaction levels reported by families with children attending “average,” “below average” and “unsatisfactory” ranked schools are far below those with children at the small number of “good” and “excellent” schools.
Sadly, these results aren’t particularly surprising. With a total lack of competition in middle and low income communities, government monopoly schools have no incentive to respond to the needs of parents, or to involve them in school decision making.
These bleak results are just the latest in a decades long string of failures by education officials and career politicians. Statistics like these are published one after the other, but the power brokers in Columbia never deem them bad enough to merit real reform. The current education system continues its downward spiral with bureaucrats praising it the whole time.
Only when South Carolina extends the opportunities of school choice to all families will public schools rise to the challenge and provide parents the accountability and services they deserve.