One of the most outspoken and arrogant defenders of South Carolina’s failed public schools is Carl Gullick. so-called “Republican” House member from York.
Gullick, a career politician, is convinced that his public schools in York are great. He has no interest in extending equality to those people in other parts of the state that might not enjoy the social economic privileges found in the suburban Upstate of South Carolina.
Of course, the facts are clear: South Carolina’s best public schools (like those in York) are only good in a relative sense. Compared to rural schools on the I-95 “Corridor of Shame” York Districts 1 through 4 are like the Lyceum and Symposium of modern day South Carolina. But a comparison with middle class suburban school districts in neighboring Georgia and North Carolina shows that South Carolina’s “best” schools are totally uncompetitive.
For example, in 2007 the four York school districts had an average SAT score of 1002. This was 260 points above the scores in Allendale and Hampton. Gullick doesn’t care much for Allendale, since those folks don’t vote in his District 48 primary, and the gap reinforces the belief that York is the pride of South Carolina.
That same year the entire state of North Carolina had an average score of 1004, two points above York. And public school students in Moore, Orange and Wake Counties (the heart of the Research Triangle) in North Carolina averaged 1050! These three counties have the same social and economic demographics as York, but their public schools students outperformed their York SC peers by fifty points.
Carl Gullick doesn’t concern himself with hard facts. He is a big picture strategist. As long his people in York think their public schools are good, and ought to be protected from achievement facilitating competition, Gullick can narrowly fight off primary challengers for his House seat.
Gullick’s smoke and mirrors are not limited to his calculated defense of failing public schools. Among Gullick’s legislative highlights this year was a controversial bill that would guarantee property taxes automatically rise, and never decline, even if population and income levels drop.
Gullick’s no-competition, no-transparency, anti-choice vision for big government reaches wherever his big dollar corporate donors steer him. In just the first few months of 2008, Gullick took over $8,000 in donations from rent-seeking and incumbent-protecting Political Action Committees (PACs). Then, with corporate checks in hand, Gullick actually went on to criticize his opponent for taking support from political philanthropists!
The people of York need to wake up and smell the stale Carl Gullick coffee. The Philosopher King‘s just-good-enough style of local government schools, scorched earth for the rest of the state attitude, and deep pocketed special interests make him a sad caricature of the noxious narcissism and condescension that permeates the Statehouse corridors.