Who Runs South Carolina State Government?

POLITICIANS YOU DIDN’T VOTE FOR. THAT’S WHO. From education to road funding, from the judicial system to your electric bill, the important decisions are made by state lawmakers who represent only their districts. Most South Carolinians don’t vote for them – or even know their names. So when your power bill goes up again, or […]

School Choice Isn’t the Problem — It’s the Solution

By SHANE McNAMEE CHOICE GETS THE BLAME FOR THE STATE’S EDUCATIONAL ILLS. YET CHOICE HASN’T BEEN TRIED. The Post and Courier’s recent five-part series, “Left Behind: The unintended consequences of school choice,” leads one to believe that the hardships experienced by some students at a North Charleston high school are the effects of school choice […]

The Five Worst Arguments against School Choice

WHEN THE ARGUMENT IS ABOUT EVIDENCE, SCHOOL CHOICE WINS. EVERY TIME. Over the last thirty years or more, well-meaning reformers have tried valiantly to improve educational results within public education systems. Prominent among their reforms have been increasing education funding and expanded pre-school programs, but these efforts have failed to live up to their promise. The one reform that has […]

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ANALYSIS: Imposing a Statewide Property Tax

SAME BAD ARGUMENT, DIFFERENT TAX It is a long held view among many elected officials that the only thing preventing exemplary achievements for students in state run schools is insufficient funding. If funding goes up without any apparent results, it simply means funding has not gone up enough. Recently, individuals of this mindset in South […]

The S.C. Supreme Court’s New Role: Education Czar

THE ABBEVILLE DECISION IS JUDICIAL IMPERIALISM IN SUPPORT OF DISCREDITED POLICY The South Carolina Supreme Court issued a momentous decision on November 12. In a case that’s been going on for years, three out of five justices ruled that the state has failed to meet its constitutionally required obligation to provide a “minimally adequate” education […]

Does the Education Superintendent Matter?

NOT AS MUCH AS IT SHOULD A recent debate between the two major party candidates vying to become South Carolina’s next Superintendent of Education failed to reveal many substantive policy differences. Both candidates agreed the state’s educational funding system was “outdated,” both expressed support for a limited level of “public school choice,” and neither candidate […]

Common Core: It’s Bigger Than You Think

COMMON CORE IS EVERYWHERE – BY DESIGN. REJECTING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN A BILL. Across the country, parents and teachers are waking up and forcing their states to reject the nationalized standards system, Common Core. This year in South Carolina, a large grassroots effort forced the General Assembly to pass legislation forcing new standards to […]

Why Common Core Fails Special Needs Students

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL IS GREAT, UNLESS YOU’RE THE WRONG SIZE Common Core, whatever else may be said about it, is a one-size-fits-all standards regime. Parents of special needs children therefore have every reason to oppose its implementation, whether by name or in some other “Common Core-aligned” form. Although the standards provide for some accommodations for special needs students, […]

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Why Teachers Should Hate Common Core

IN A WORD: INFLEXIBILITY “Common Core has nothing to do with curriculum, instruction, or testing.” No matter how many times Common Core’s most prominent supporters make that claim, it’s still false. Like any set of strict academic standards, Common Core standards directly affect these areas – and thus remove the ability of teachers to use […]

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The Problem(s) with Common Core

WILL COMMON CORE PREPARE YOUR KID FOR SUCCESS? UNFORTUNATELY, NO. Over the last year, we’ve seen a number of pro-Common Core publications that ask and purport to answer some variation of this question: “Will the Common Core State Standards best prepare students for success in college, career, and life?” The answer is No. Standards themselves can’t […]

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