Dismal results for 2008 SAT, ACT, and PACT scores are weighing heavily on the minds of parents. Couple those scores with explosive stories about public school administrators cheating on test scores, and the latest news that 4-in-5 public schools failed to meet federal Adequate Yearly Progress goals, and any shred of credibility the Rex administration has clung to is completely torn away.
Despite this string of costly failures, Superintendent Jim Rex is ready to ask the taxpayers to dig deep – deeper than the enormous $11,480 in per pupil spending our public schools already enjoy.
According to this press release from the State Department of Education, Rex is going to be headlining a talk, sponsored by his sidekicks at the SC School Boards Association, in which he will address “changing our antiquated approach to funding.”
Judging from previous remarks made by Rex ( and his apparent disinterest in broaching the issue in the first 2 years of his superintendency) this is shaping up to be just another guilt-manipulated, bureaucratic money grab.
According to the logic of the “more money, more time” advocates, the state’s best funded districts should be top performers.
A glance at some of these districts’ academic record is sufficient to dispel this oft-repeated lie.
Let’s take a look at Clarendon County School District 1 , which receives more per-pupil funding than any other school district in the state.
Clarendon School District 1
Per Pupil Spending: $18,081
2008 PACT Scores
- 45.2% of 3rd graders in the district were proficient or advanced in English/ Language Arts
- 20.6% of 8th graders in the district were proficient or advanced in English/Language Arts
- 19.5% of 3rd graders in the district were proficient or advanced in Mathematics
- 5.2% of 8th graders in the district were proficient in Mathematics; none tested in the ‘Advanced’ category.
2008 SAT Scores
- Average SAT Score- 775 (35% of seniors took the test in 2008)
- In 2008, 2 of the 3 public elementary and middle schools failed to meet AYP.
- Based on the Federal ranking system, Clarendon 1 was been ranked “unsatisfactory” or “below average” since 2003.
This is just one example of the widespread failure of children in South Carolina.
When taxpayers are asked to pay more to “support public education,” it is doubtful that they have this kind of abuse in mind.
Instead of blindly pouring more money into districts that have proven for years to be incapable of effectively using it to educate the children in their charge, the state should institute a system of “smart funding,” or “backpacking.”
When Jim Rex talks about “supporting” public education or “changing our approach” he is merely looking for higher taxes to give his administrators and bureaucrats more money. It is part of his plan to change the state constitution and invite liberal judges to force higher taxes through another education funding lawsuit.
The facts are clear : from SAT, to ACT and AYP, Jim Rex has failed to reform (or even improve) our public schools. He has no credibility as a reformer and his outrageous calls for higher taxes will fall on deaf ears.