Tag Archives: South Carolina Department of Education

Department of Education Increases Spending on Consultants (again)

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Parents and teachers will be gratified to know that consultants and contractors are still getting their fair share of the SC Department of Education’s spending.

In fact, the $397,876 spent on”Non-State Education and Training Services” in April was a significant increase from previous months!

Even economic stress and uncertainty did not keep the SC Department of Education from spending $30,000 more on consultants  in April  than was spent in March, and $39,000 more than was spent in February! Continue reading

Chastised Rex Waffles on Staff Cuts

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According to this article from the WIS News 10 website, Jim Rex came under pressure from leadership in his own party after State Department of Education plans to lay off mechanics, and cut pay for bus drivers, came to light.

Democrat Harry Ott wanted Rex to answer the same question that school district mechanics and bus drivers across the state no doubt have in their minds: Why should low-pay district employees take pay cuts, or lose their jobs, while scores of education bureaucrats continue to rake in huge, taxpayer-funded salaries?

In the face of these queries from members of his own party, Rex waffled and decided not to cut mechanics and bus drivers because it would cause “too many problems.” Continue reading

Rex should take his own advice

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The Anderson Independent-Mail posted an article detailing a speech by Jim Rex to the Oconee Alliance. In his speech, Rex bemoaned the possibility of more state budget cuts, and urged public schools to adopt a “culture of innovation” to help deal with decreasing resources.

“We’re all going to have to be more innovative; a lot of the solutions of the past just won’t work anymore,” Rex said. “We need a culture of innovation.”

In addition to calling for fiscal responsibility, Rex called the current zip code based system for school attendance an “antiquated notion,” a statement with which most families would eagerly agree. Continue reading

Inez Tenenbaum: High Standards, Low Expectations

President-elect Obama has still not named his appointee to be the next US Secretary of Education.

This upcoming decision is of particular interest to South Carolinians, as former State Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum is considered to be in the running for the nation’s top education post.

In addition to the notoriety of overseeing the nation’s worst performing public education system for eight years, Tenenbaum is well-remembered for her constant pleading to “stay the course” no matter how bad things got in local public schools. Based on South Carolina’s massive $11,480.00 per student spending, it seemed to work.

What didn’t work were the schools themselves. Continue reading

Ten Years Later: EOC Still Rubber-Stamping SDE Failures

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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. Continue reading

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

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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

Teacher Renewal Center: Taxpayers may pay for “private donation”

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Iron Law of Unintended Consequences rears its ugly head.

Plans for “Camp Rex” are moving forward, and funding for the project is about to become another expensive burden for South Carolina taxpayers.

The new Teacher Renewal Center was originally touted as being “privately financed,”  but now the Upstate’s News Channel 4 reports that that the center “will be paid for through grants, a modest registration fee and possibly state dollars.”

It’s good to see that the “law of unintended consequences” is a good enough reason for education bureaucrats to charge South Carolina taxpayers even more money.

While training and merit-based awards for teachers sound like a great idea, in practice the State Education Department has a sordid history of failing to effectively deliver on it’s hype. Continue reading