Tag Archives: Failure

56,000 drop outs later, Jim Rex holds “prevention summit”


Failure Express: every school day 158 students drop-out of South Carolina’s public schools. That’s enough kids to fill a 737 airline each day.

It is not news to anybody that South Carolina public schools have a huge problem with students dropping out.

Earlier this year Education Week‘s “Diplomas Count” survey estimated that South Carolina public high schools graduate only about 55% of all students.

This number works out to an astounding 158 drop outs a day from public high schools. That means every day enough children drop out of school to fill up a Boeing 737 jet!

Despite the magnitude of the drop-out problem, South Carolina education bureaucrats have been reluctant to embrace any truly innovative policies to help reverse the situation. After two years of being in office, Jim Rex finally made a feeble attempt to address the drop out problem by announcing an “Attendance Awareness Month” back in October.

At the rate of 158 drop outs per school day, that translates into over 56,000 drop outs over the course of the two school years that Jim Rex has served as superintendent of education. Continue reading


Sanders-Clyde scandal points to larger problem

Controversy over potentially fraudulent PACT scores at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School is still growing.

After SLED began investigating whether the school’s massive and inexplicable jump in academic achievement was the result of increased student performance or simple fraud, teachers and and administrators jumped to defend the legitimacy of the scores.

First, Mishawnda Moore- the principal responsible for the schools celebrated success- indicated that she was emotionally distraught about the accusations, and therefore could not be guilty. Now, teachers from the school have proposed that this year’s unbelievably low PACT scores are merely the result of test monitors creating a “hostile testing atmosphere” by watching the testing process and denying the students snacks.

Obviously Sanders-Clyde staff would be defensive whether they cheated or not. For these individuals to protest testing fraud accusations with totally non-empirical (or even probable) explanations does nothing to prove the allegations wrong. The Charleston Post and Courier offered a logical solution to the problem: let SLED conduct student achievement testing. Continue reading

SAT: Public Schools Down, Private Schools Up

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Where are your kids?

Every year it is the same sad story: SAT tests scores are down, stagnant, or inch forward for some tiny subset of public school students.

Then the PR machine at the State Department of Education works to massage the data into a glimmer of hope, and sends Inez Tenenbaum Jim Rex out to share the “good news” about the “great leap forward.”

Sadly, this year is no different.

Like last week’s ACT scores, the SAT scores show that South Carolina public schools are stagnant.

They also show that low-income and minority children are falling further behind, widening one of the nation’s largest achievement gaps.

But there is good news too: students attending private schools continue to excel. Continue reading