In the latest evidence that South Carolina’s public education system is hands-down the nation’s worst, a recently-released list of America’s 100 worst public schools was dominated by the Palmetto state.
According to the list, published by NeighborhoodScout.com, South Carolina is home to a whopping thirty-seven of these 100 failing schools.
That’s right – more than one third of America’s worst public schools are located in the Palmetto state.
Sadly this news isn’t all that surprising. According to the latest data, our state’s overall graduation rate remains among the worst in the nation – improving by a meager 1.5 percent over the last decade (one of the worst percentage improvements in the entire country). That’s consistent with our rural graduation rate (which currently ranks dead last in the country) as well as our declining SAT and stagnating ACT scores.
In spite of record funding increases in recent years, our monopolistic system has continued to produce nothing but incremental gains among white students while relegating yet another generation of black students to second-class status – even as black “leaders” continue embracing the failed status quo.
In fact, at this very moment there are 109,000 South Carolina school children trapped in persistently failing schools.
In an effort to hide these miserable outcomes from parents, House Speaker Bobby Harrell (aided by liberal lobbyist J. Warren Tompkins) has been working hard to dumb down the state’s costly and inefficient academic assessments. Also, South Carolina remains the only state in America that does not release graduation rates for minority students – yet another effort to conceal the generational failure of our current system.
So … what should be done to turn things around?
This website has made no secret of our support for a universal parental choice plan that would provide either tax credits or academic scholarships to all South Carolina parents. In fact a plan to do just that received the support of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint last week.
“We need to make school choice a reality for students here in South Carolina, as well as across our nation,” DeMint said in endorsing the proposal.
Yet while DeMint has stepped up his advocacy in support of parental choice, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – once a strong supporter of this legislation – has recently backtracked on her commitment.
Good luck creating jobs if that status quo is maintained …