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THE LAST, CONFLICTED GASPS OF THE LEGACY PRESS …

We’ve written extensively in recent weeks about the South Carolina education establishment’s unilateral opposition to a scaled-down version of school choice (read more about that here and here). Now it’s time to explore the ongoing accommodation of this establishment’s chronic failure by the mainstream media – and specifically the editorial board at what used to be the Palmetto State’s largest, most influential newspaper.

Having been approved at both the subcommittee and full committee levels, members of the S.C. House of Representatives are set to vote soon on this scaled-down choice plan – which has prompted the legacy media to ramp up its attacks on the bill.

In a pair of recent editorials, Cindi Ross Scoppe and Warren Bolten of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – a.k.a. “La Socialista” – took an odd new tack when it comes to slamming choice.

After years of ignoring reality (and the success of choice programs in other states), Scoppe finally acknowledged in her piece that “students don’t all learn in the same way.” Not only that she even entertains the notion that “forcing schools to compete more for students might push some to do a better job.”

Ya don’t say …

The State : "Same as it ever was ..."

These are painfully self-evident observations, of course … but The State has proven shockingly averse to their acknowledgment for nearly a decade.

Bizarrely, though, after belatedly admitting that each individual child has unique needs – and recognizing the essential role that competition plays in meeting those needs – The State reaches the bizarre conclusion that all choices and “competition” must remain under the exclusive purview of our dumbed-down government system.

Their rationale?

That so-called governmental “accountability” must be preserved … oh, and the fact that they don’t want the public schools to get their feelings hurt.

“As with the previous proposals, the worst part about the so-called compromise is the effect it would have on our collective psyche,” Scoppe and Bolton write in their joint hit piece.

Astounding …

In other words, they’re praising the effects of school choice – yet endorsing the failed monopoly that continues to shut real choice out of the equation.

Fortunately, Scoppe and Bolton’s opinions don’t hold as much sway as they once did … in large part because the “Mo Money” (LOTS ‘Mo Money) approach that they have steadfastly advocated all these years has proven to be nothing more than an increasingly-expensive failure.

Meanwhile our support for individualized, market-based choices has been proven to work in state after state.

Eight years ago, The State‘s editorial board would have simply dictated the debate over parental choice while its reporters assured the public that our government-run school system was making “real progress.”

Today we shred those myths … daily … which is why the S.C. House finally appears poised to take the first small steps toward creating an education system that is centered around children’s needs and actual results, not bureaucratic perks and moving goalposts.

Let’s hope they keep moving forward … instead of taking a step backward as The State suggests.

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