Parents, especially low-income parents, have a right to be confused about how President Obama really feels about education, especially when it comes to educational choices.
During the much-publicized hunt for a proper school for the Obama children, local public schools were clearly not even remotely considered to be adequate. Instead, an exclusive-and very costly-private school was selected to meet the educational needs of the first family. Subsequently, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made sure his own children had the pick of the best schools, stating that their education was too important to jeopardize with a bad educational environment.
Now the confusion starts. Continue reading
Posted in POLICY
Tagged Arne Duncan, Barack Obama, DC School Choice, education, educational choice, Equality of Opportunity, NEA, POLICY, President Obama, School Choice, South Carolina public schools, tax credits, Unions, US Secretary of Education, Washington DC
In December of 2008, the State Department of Education was well aware that budget cuts would be affecting public schools across the state. Teachers and other district employees feared for their jobs, while bean counters worried that money might be too tight to even put fuel in school buses.
Even during this time of uncertainty and restricted funding, consultants were confident that fat government contracts would keep rolling in.
According to the State Comptroller General’s “Spending Transparency” site, the SC Department of Education paid out-
• $130,500 to Insite, LLC: a “highly accomplished woman-owned assessment company, providing test development, training, and data-collection services.”
• $211,850 to TAPFIN Process Solutions: “With a focus on human capital management, TAPFIN deploys successful solutions delivered with our commitment to people, process and technology.
• $17,732 to Educational Resources Group: “ERG is your best resource for consultants who provide professional development services to teachers, administrators, and classroom support personnel.”
• $37,200 to South Carolina Association of School Administrators: tax funded lobbyists
• $15,000 to Education Builders
• $14,695 to The Assignment Agency
• $11,755.52 to Malachied Inc. Continue reading
Barnwell 19 Superintendent Teresa Pope hasn’t let the budget crunch stifle her luxurious traveling internerary.
Despite a looming budget crisis, and financial uncertainty wracking the nation, no mention has been made by Jim Rex of evaluating the excessive benefits granted to school district superintendents around the state.
Even with shamefully low academic achievement in their districts, superintendents continue to pull in unwarranted high salaries and numerous benefits.
Barnwell 19 provides a prime example of this kind of wasteful expense.
Take a look at Barnwell 19’s record on educating students-
- Since 2003, not a single one of the 3 schools in Barnwell 19 has met the federal Adequate Yearly Progress goals.
- The average SAT score for test takers in Barnwell 19 was only 826- a 36 point drop from 2007.
2008 PACT Scores
- 67.8% of 3rd graders in the district were “below basic” or “basic” in English/Language Arts!
- 84.2% of 3rd graders were “below basic” or “basic” in mathematics.
8th grade PACT scores show shockingly low achievement!
- Only 1.7% of 8th graders were proficient in English/Language Arts, none were “advanced.”
- Not one 8th grader in the district is proficient or advanced in mathematics! 70% are tested as “Below Basic.”
If the way to improve these abysmal scores was increased spending on administrators, the problem would be solved in no time!
Teresa Pope, superintendent of Barnwell 19, has not restrained her own spending to help the district ride out the financial storm. Continue reading
In a personal note to educators on the SC Dept of Education website, Jim Rex lays out some “positive steps that we, as educators, can take to meet the challenge of passing fair, equitable funding reform next year.”
By this time most people recognize that there is a large disparity between what Jim Rex says, and what Jim Rex means. In order to help our readers better understand the intent of Rex’s message, we have included an interpretation of each of his “positive steps.”