In a personal note to educators on the SC Dept of Education website, Jim Rex lays out some “positive steps that we, as educators, can take to meet the challenge of passing fair, equitable funding reform next year.”
By this time most people recognize that there is a large disparity between what Jim Rex says, and what Jim Rex means. In order to help our readers better understand the intent of Rex’s message, we have included an interpretation of each of his “positive steps.”
Rex• “We need to gather signatures for Goodbye Minimally Adequate.com, the campaign to amend wording in the state’s constitution to ensure that South Carolina’s children receive more than a ‘minimally adequate’ education.”
Interpretation: A few words are at fault for years of humiliating academic failure, not our glorious system. Go sign the online petition and rest assured that as soon as those words are gone the situation will right itself. Any blame for failure should be placed on detractors who question the system.
Rex• “We need to reach out to business and community leaders and legislators so they can truly understand our critical needs.”
Interpretation: Our system needs more funding for hard working administrators, department workers, and concerned corporations that so willingly take up SDE contracts. All parties invested in the education complex need to be actively involved in exerting pressure to make sure that no one rocks the boat and ruins a good thing. Make sure your business partners, family members, and legislators know just how disappointed you would be if they supported a dangerous and seditious idea like school choice. By coming under the direction of the SDE, businesses can partner with us in creating a Great Leap Forward for education in South Carolina.
Rex• “We need to speak at meetings of Rotary clubs and other service and civic organizations to make them aware of our schools’ successes and challenges.”
Interpretation: People need to hear good news, not the truth. The SDE will make up meaningless awards and titles to give out to schools, but it’s your job to make sure that everyone in your social circle hears about them. Don’t give parents worrisome numbers on graduation and SAT scores. Let them know that their local school has earned a nice plaque from us. Never cease to point out that the biggest “challenge” our schools face is groups that want to wrest absolute control of education from the SDE’s flawless leadership.
Rex• “We need to reach out to people who might not agree with us yet on public school issues. Open, honest dialogue is a tradition in our nation’s democracy.”
Interpretation: By co-opting our opposition’s language, and recycling their messages as hollow platitudes and false promises, we can manipulate and redirect the public’s desire for change while not actually delivering and substantive reform. Dialogue that discusses anything but the numerous victories and successes of the current system is strictly forbidden!
Rex• “We need to see the upcoming November elections as an opportunity to get involved by supporting candidates who are pro-public education.”
Interpretation: It’s time to do whatever it takes to make sure that no one who supports school choice gets into office. I have led the way in illegally involving myself in races, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do likewise. Maintaining this system is what is important. Nothing must get in the way of that.
Rex• “We need to register to vote and to encourage our fellow educators to turn out at the polls on Election Day.”
Interpretation: If you get a pay check for teaching or working in a school, then you better be getting out to vote for whoever I tell you to. If you think one of your coworkers might not be in agreement me about what the best direction is for the state, then you need to remind them that there is only a place for totally devoted supporters of my agenda in our ranks.
Rex• “We need to reach out to the parents of students and to school volunteers, remind them what’s at stake, and make sure they go to the polls.”
Interpretation: Parents need to vote for who I think is best. If they seem to be out of sync with that, introduce the fear factor. If they hear that public schools will be ruined and that poor and minority students will be driven into the streets, then you can rest assured that they won’t vote for a choice candidate. Trust me; we’ve been using this tactic for years. In fact, I’m counting on this very method getting me into the governor’s mansion in 2010.