Failure? Nothing! I see NOTHING!!!
Today the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee is scheduled to discuss where South Carolina public schools stand ten years after the institution of the Education Accountability Act.
Unfortunately many South Carolina families already have to see first hand how poorly their local public schools perform when it comes to meeting educational goals. This year, four out of five public schools failed to meet the mark for Adequate Yearly Progress. Equally disheartening were South Carolina SAT results, which showed only 7 of 85 districts with average scores above the national average. Even the SAT scores of the state’s highest performing school district were hundreds of points behind similar districts in North Carolina.
Inadequate achievement test scores are just one aspect of the failed education establishment in the Palmetto State. The number of children dropping out of public school every year is in the tens of thousands, and the problem is not diminishing.
Perhaps most disconcerting is the increasing achievement gap between white and black, and rich and poor students in South Carolina. While other states have managed to reduce these gaps, South Carolina is the only state in the nation where these problems are increasing.
Despite these jaw-dropping failures, “education advocates” in South Carolina refuse to acknowledge the gravity of the situation. Ten years have passed, hundreds of thousands of students have been the victims of bureaucratic inadequacy, and still the South Carolina Department of Education and the Education Oversight Committee refuse to recognize that parents are the ultimate accountability and achievement organization.
Parental choice can do what all the bureaucracy, conferences, new programs, and money have failed to do: make sure children are in a school where they can learn the skills they need to reach their full potential as students and as citizens.
Instead of laboring to achieve their mission through every means at their disposal, education bureaucrats have worked diligently to make sure that all parents cannot have control over where their child attends school. Zip code and income still have the final say in whether or not a child will be exposed to a quality education.
So why do the tax dollars of South Carolina families go to fund the monumental incapacity of the Education Oversight Committee? This committee exists to sound off when children are not being educated. Instead, the EOC has gobbled up $1.8 billion dollars of funding all while rubber-stamping every excuse and prevarication that Jim Rex has to offer.
Randy Page, President of South Carolinians for Responsible Government, commented on the EOC’s findings, “The EOC continues to play the part of Sergeant Schultz and say ‘I see nothing.’ This is not accountability. It is time for legislators to put the power of choice in education where it belongs: with parents.”