Self-described “public servants” envision basic reading skills as possibly important for some of tomorrow’s “high tech” jobs.
The Post and Courier’s ongoing coverage of widespread illiteracy (and under-literacy) in the Charleston public school district is very self-interested.
That’s because South Carolina’s most widely read daily newspaper may not be able to survive much longer.
Surprisingly, its not due to a reader migration from ink and paper to blogs and webpages.
The problem is the actual ability to potential subscribers to read the paper.
The Post and Courier has already found that “20 percent of rising 9th-graders read at or below 4th-grade level.”
Now the “Policy Committee” of the Charleston County School Board is engaged in a “spirited discussion” about implementing a new policy.
From the Post and Courier article:
The proposed policy would require the superintendent to identify third- through ninth-graders not reading on grade level and propose individualized ways to raise their reading skills. The policy stated that the board’s goal was that none of its children would be functionally illiterate, defined as reading below an eighth-grade level, and that the superintendent would be required to annually report the percentage of ninth-, sixth- and third-grade students reading below grade level.
Those familiar with the 46% on-time graduation rate, the systemic staff-orchestrated test cheating, and the high dollar bonuses for “leaders” at failing public schools in Charleston might be excused for their skepticism about the lack of immediate serious action by the Board.
They know all too well that a “spirited discussion” and promise of hopes that “none of its [sic] children would be functionally illiterate” are just another round of smoke and mirrors that will further insulate failing public schools from well-deserved criticisms by parents who want real choices for their children’s education.