According to this article from The Charleston Post and Courier, the failed education establishment is trying to drum up support for a wording change in the state constitution. Rather than deal with the host of real problems that are further wrecking SC public schools, education “leaders” want to quibble about editing the document to interpret South Carolina’s educational standard as “high quality” rather than “minimally adequate.”
In a burst of editorial fervor, P&C reporter Diette Courrege writes of the issue,
“It’s a debate about the state’s education system and whether the Legislature is providing enough money for it. It’s a discussion about the priority that South Carolinians are willing to put on education and back it up with their tax dollars.”
Unfortunately this statement is completely ungrounded in reality.
If the sheer amount of tax dollars poured into public education was the sole judge of how South Carolinians prioritize education, there would be little room to wonder about the people’s commitment. South Carolinians annually dedicate the equivalent of a Eritrea’s GDP to public education alone. In fact, South Carolina public schools spend well over $11,000 per student, more than any of our neighboring states.
The problems of high drop out rate, widening achievement gap, and low test scores that plague SC public schools are hardly the result of schools not having enough money, or South Carolinians not wanting quality schools for their kids.
These problems are the result of an expanding education bureaucracy that obsessively prioritizes its own funding and influence, not educating children.
Tinkering with wording in South Carolina’s State Constitution will do nothing to change , and Jim Rex knows it.
From the article.
Although it’s a somewhat symbolic change, the phrase “minimally adequate” sends a message of low expectations and that needs to change, Rex said. Other aspects of the state’s system also have to improve, but this change can be the catalyst and reminder of “why we’re doing these things.”
A much more convincing effort at improving public schools would be to end the message of low expectations by taking total control of education out of the hands of bureaucrats and putting it in the hands of parents. Adding parental choice and competition to the way public education works in SC could be a real catalyst toward a high quality education for all children in the state. Unfortunately, Rex seems more eager to try to boost his own political stock through silly PR games than to bring about any kind of meaningful reform.