In the latest public relations gimmick aimed at “helping” South Carolina’s ever-expanding roster of failing schools, State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex has announced the appointment of a “Failure Czar” for the Palmetto State.
No really … we’re not kidding.
There’s just one problem … like our state’s “dropout factories” (Rex’s term), South Carolina’s “Failure Czar(ina)” is something of a failure herself.
According to an article posted today on The Voice, Rex’s new “Failure Czarina” Amanda Burnette has overseen not one – but two – failing S.C. schools.
We know, we know … you’re probably waiting for us to tell you that she turned both schools around. That’s what we were waiting for, too …
But like a bad joke with no punch line, The Voice story highlights how Burnette’s record is one of taking bad (or average) schools and … get this … making them worse. In fact, no school she has overseen has ever elevated its rating on South Carolina’s school report cards.
At her most recent school – J.V. Martin Junior High in Dillon, S.C. – Burnette continued the same failed approaches as her predecessor. In fact, according to school report cards, J.V. Martin remained in the “at risk” (formerly “unsatisfactory,” formerly “failing”) category in both of her years at the school.
This despite the fact that the school was touched (twice) with the healing hand of “The One.”
“Amanda Burnette perpetuated the same failing policies at JV Martin that were crafted and implemented by former principal Danny R. Price in 2005 and 2006,” the Voice story reveals.
But wait, it only gets worse from there.
Before arriving at J.V. Martin, Burnette “guided” John E. Ewing Middle School in Gaffney, S.C. from an “Average” rating in 2004 to a “Below Average” rating in 2005 and 2006.
Prior to that, she took Blacksburg Elementary in Cherokee County from a “Good” rating in 2001 down to “Average” ratings from 2002-04.
And this is the woman that Rex says is the “ideal person” to turn around failing schools across South Carolina?
Also interesting is how Burnette was pleased to accept $250,000 in furniture donations to J.V. Martin in the wake of President Barack Obama’s high-profile advocacy for the school, but opposes private companies providing scholarships to children in failing schools.