SC

Dumbed Down Tests Still Too Much For SC

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT? NOT SO MUCH …  A few years ago the leaders of South Carolina’s government-run schools – and their apologists/ enablers in the S.C. General Assembly – decided that the state’s academic tests were too hard. So they dumbed them down, replacing them with tests…

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT? NOT SO MUCH … 

A few years ago the leaders of South Carolina’s government-run schools – and their apologists/ enablers in the S.C. General Assembly – decided that the state’s academic tests were too hard.

So they dumbed them down, replacing them with tests that would – in the words of the nation’s foremost testing authority – “would result in dramatic increases in the percentages of students meeting standards in South Carolina schools, even with no actual improvement in student performance.”

It’s called “fake it till you make it” (which is an ongoing “solution” in the Palmetto State, by the way).

Well guess what …

Even with the lowered standards, students in South Carolina’s government-run schools still  aren’t making the grade.  According to data released by the S.C. Department of Education this week, standardized test scores fell in all grade levels in 2014 – and 22 of the 30 categories.

Third through eighth graders take what’s called the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards – which assesses their progress in writing, reading, math, science and social studies.  On this year’s test, they bombed – especially sixth and seventh graders taking the reading tests (both groups saw 5.1 percent drops from the previous year).

Also, in four of five categories students saw their scores worsen the longer they were exposed to the state’s “one size fits all” system.  For example 78.1 percent of third graders met state standards for writing – compared to just 72.4 percent of eighth-graders.  Meanwhile 78.9 percent of third-graders scored proficient for reading – compared to only 67.4 percent of eighth-graders.  Similar gaps exist in math and social studies.

Oh, and the biggest year-to-year drops occurred in poor and minority schools – districts whose elected officials remain tools of the failed status quo.

Also let’s remember these scores are coming on top of several years of declining academic achievement … despite billions of dollars in new education funding.

Despite these abysmal results, the state’s two establishment gubernatorial candidates Vincent Sheheen (a Democrat) and Nikki Haley (the “Republican” incumbent) have refused to embrace market-based reforms – opting instead to propose pumping still more money into the same failed system.

For a write-up on Sheheen’s plan, CLICK HERE.  For a write-up on Haley’s, CLICK HERE.

By contrast, self-styled “Independent Republican” Tom Ervin and Libertarian nominee Steve French have both embraced parental choice as a central component of their education plans.

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61 comments

CNSYD August 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

“parental choice” is easy to embrace as it already exists.

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Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 10:21 am

“Parental choice” only exists for those who can afford it.

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Smirks August 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

“How dare those people buy steak and lobster with their EBT card!”

“Why can’t government pay for my child to go to that expensive private school?!”

“Car choice” only exists for those who can afford it. Government should help me make payments on an Audi because my old beat up Chevrolet is broken down and doesn’t perform well.

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Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

The education that the poor get is an old East German Trabant. Even our worst cars have improved over the years in safety, efficiency and durability. The government set a few standards and the private sector did the work. Over the last forty years, the number of cars on the roads and miles driven has increased, but the fuel efficiency and safety has improved. There last longer too.Competition and free markets do that with very little government interference.

Vouchers don’t give people equal education. It gives all better education. This isn’t theoretical. Studies have shown that public and private schools improve when choice is availiable.

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Jim August 7, 2014 at 11:44 am

Produce the studies. They are all by biased organizations, and not scientifically sound. There is no unbiased evidence of what you claim. This is a myth produced by the school voucher crowd. Giving taxpayer dollars to South Carolina’s worst in the nation private schools will not improve education in South Carolina.

Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 11:52 am

I don’t think a study is really necessary to prove that free market cars are better than the Trabant, Yogo and all the Soviet era cars.

Jim August 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Thank you for conceding there is no evidence of what you claim. More lies from the voucher crowd. The most highly educated countries in the world have excellent public education systems. The states that score the highest on SATs and ACTs have excellent public education systems. The top scoring states on the SAT and ACT do not have school voucher programs. That is unbiased information.

Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Private school students out perform public school students on SAT and ACT. That is unbiased information.

Jim August 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Your argument is BS. Private schools get to pick and choose which students they want, and Private School students generally come from wealthy educated families. There has been no testing comparing similarly situated students in public and private school because private schools are not tested. There is no evidence a private school student who scored x on the SAT would not score x on the SAT if he or she were in a good public school. The family situation cannot be ignored.
Also, I know this is about religious education. 79% of SC students in private school are in religious schools.

Todd August 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Why should people with children get the voucher benefit? How about the people without kids who are still stuck paying to educate them?

Jim August 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I am not arguing for the voucher. I am opposed to vouchers, so I do not get your point. Vouchers just take money from other taxpayers.

Smirks August 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Over the last forty years, the number of cars on the roads and miles driven has increased, but the fuel efficiency and safety has improved.

but the fuel efficiency and safety has improved.

You do realize that the federal government mandates safety features and fuel economy in pretty much all forms of vehicles, right? That isn’t a product of competition dude. That’s a product of “big gubmint” and “oppressive red tape regulations.”

Competition results in innovation, that much is true, but what makes an innovation a standard in safety is government mandate.

Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

“Competition results in innovation.”
Only if the successful are allowed to prosper and the failures can go out of business.

More of that type of competition is needed in education.

jack August 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

If all you want is competition, the limit the vouchers to low income children in failing public schools, and let the vouchers expire when the public school improves.

Chairman Mao FTW! August 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

Being allowed to keep more of your own money isn’t “government help” champ, not that I’d expect your semi-socialist world view to assimilate that fact.

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Tom August 7, 2014 at 11:50 am

And what is wrong with that? We provide schools for those who cannot afford or do not want private education.

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Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 11:57 am

Private and public school vouchers would save money and introduce competition that would improve both systems.

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Tom August 7, 2014 at 12:05 pm

There is zero evidence of that, and no one can explain how giving hundreds of millions of dollars to people who are not in public school will save money or improve education.

Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

“Zero evidence” I have gone down that rat hole before. We are allready giving hundreds of millions of dollars to a system that fails way to many. Haley offers status quo; Sheheen offers window dressing and rearranging the furniture.

Tom August 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Correct zero evidence. There are approximately 68,000 students in private school in sc. If we give them each $3000 that will cost the state $204,000,000 dollars a year. Where will that money come from? Keep in mind this is before we have removed one single student from public school.

Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm

There are 727,186 students in SC public schools. If you save only $2,000 on each by sending them to private schools the state saves $1,454,372,000.

Tom August 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Please stop! This is an absurd argument. That is not going to happen unless we shut down the public schools and force everyone to go to a private school. There is zero evidence that would make education better. No state in the country and no nation on earth would choose that route. Before public education the poor were not educated. That is what you are arguing for. Nothing has changed in that regard in the last 500 years.

Jim August 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Not to mention the fact that the cost of Private education would go through the roof, because of the demand and the construction of new private schools. And who would take care of all the children with special needs?
The argument is nuts. You would need to more than double the number of children in private school just to pay for one year of the cost of funding private education at $3000 per student. There are not that many people in SC who could afford private school even with $3000 in assistance, and that is with direct assistance and not tax vouchers. Tax vouchers only help the upper middle class and wealthy. Those below that do not pay enough in taxes to take advantage of a voucher or credit.

Smirks August 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

If we give them each $3000

…private school tuition will go up over time, by approximately $3000, more or less.

We already have an example of this with how student loans drove tuition rates through the roof to the point where states withdrew lots of funding towards them and they’re still expanding campus construction fast as hell.

But it’s going to save us all money guys!

Chairman Mao FTW! August 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Don’t even bother, lots of people have been round and round on this…by even arguing with him you give credence to this notion that the angels in gov’t know what is best for you and your children.

There are plenty of studies showing private schools turn out better students…but none of it matters because the issue is who gets your money first and foremost…hardly ever is it debated why you should get to keep your own money. Instead you’ll hear tales of woe about the underprivileged, handicapped, poor, etc., et al….rather than discuss the morality of taking your money from you and giving it to other people’s kids.

You’re arguing with an idiot anyway.

Jack August 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Lets discuss the morality of using my money to pave the road in front of your house.

idcydm August 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Great straw man.

Jack August 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

How is that a straw man?. Republicans want government to pay for what they want government to pay for an nothing else. That is the point. Its not that they want less government, its that they want government to do less of the things they don’t believe benefit them and more of the things that they think benefit them.

Is there a Republican instruction site somewhere that tells people to call arguments they don’t understand or don’t want to debate a straw man? Because that seems to be a common theme among the Republican and Tea Party types

idcydm August 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Damn Jack, the Republicans say the same thing about Democrats.

Democrats and Republicans…the only difference…guns and abortions.

Tom August 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

I’m guessing you don’t know what a straw man argument is. A straw man argument is an position taken by a person who wants to lose the argument. I.E. I take a position in a debate I intend to lose, to make a point.

idcydm August 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

How do you compare roads to schools, you can’t, argument lost.

Chairman Mao FTW! August 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Ok, let’s discuss it. Do you think I’m for that?

idcydm August 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Well, giving hundreds of million of dollars to public schools sure hasn’t improved education.

Tom August 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Says who? I can assure you education for poor people and particularly minorities in this state have improved dramatically over the last 75 years. For most of the history of this state minorities were barely educated at all, and the children of mill workers were educated in mill schools so they would know how to work in a mill. God knows we did not want to give the labor to much knowledge. They many not want to take over their father’s job in the mill.

idcydm August 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Dumbed Down Tests Still Too Much For SC.

Tom August 8, 2014 at 10:25 am

Another typical Republican non-answer. Use a quote from a BS article to defend an indefensible statement. When you say money has not improved education, you need to define the time frame and whose education you are talking about. Because for most of the people of this state education is way better than it was 75 years ago.

idcydm August 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm

How about this Tom, where does the US rank in the world.

American 15-year-olds continue to turn in flat results in a test that measures students’ proficiency in reading, math and science worldwide,failing to crack the global top 20.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/12/03/248329823/u-s-high-school-students-slide-in-math-reading-science

Manray August 7, 2014 at 10:09 am

Public money = public schools. Private money = private schools.

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Uh huh August 7, 2014 at 10:15 am

Public money= taken from people who earned it = Stolen money

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Smirks August 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

“Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.”

– Thomas Paine

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Chairman Mao FTW! August 7, 2014 at 11:23 am

The utilitarian arguments for theft don’t make theft right.

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Chairman Mao FTW! August 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

-Thomas Paine

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Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

A person who has earned wealth, has earned the value that society has placed on his contribution.

He owes back in taxes for the maintenance and development of the infrastructure and public resources that allow him/her to obtain and enjoy his wealth. He owes individuals nothing.

——Bible Thumper

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Chairman Mao FTW! August 7, 2014 at 11:52 am

“He owes back in taxes for the maintenance and development of the institutions, infrastructure and public resources that allow him to obtain and enjoy his wealth.”

There are several fundamental problems with this statement, showing it’s not true.

1st: No one can “owe” anything by which that did not agree in the first place to “owe”.
2nd: What if the wealth obtained by said individual you mention above was via corrupt institutions/infrastructures? Is that not a self perpetuating recipe for corruption?
3rd: “public resources”- Your statement implies that the individual DOES owe “collective” individuals something(known as the public), ergo is destructive against your own argument. The public is nothing more than a collection of individuals, and as such your argument suggests that if they all get together and decide to take your shit, it’s ‘ok’.

I can go on all day against your statement…but the bottom line is you are as confused as Smirks…it’s all degrees of collectivism with no clear stand against it. You just like a little less of it than him but have no actual argument as to where the line should be drawn.

Bible Thumper August 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm

It isn’t practice for an individual to purchase his own clean air, private highways, police force or military. His property

Chairman Mao FTW! August 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm

“It isn’t practice for an individual to purchase his own clean air, private highways, police force or military.”

At one time it was practice to pay for both police force & highways(toll), in fact it was de facto.

“His life and property is protected by courts and police.”

I think you and I both know that courts and police both currently do far more to hurt life/property than protect it, in fact, I won’t even argue the point it’s so obvious.

“Paying personally for each of these services as needed would corrupt them.”

First, no one pays for “air”(clean or not), second, there is always corruption due to the nature of man…the question is whether you feel the corruption will be worse under monopoly authority of gov’t or if the application of free markets is a better temper for said corruption.

Goobersmacker August 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Inheriting money is not “earning” it.

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Uh huh August 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

So you are in agreement with me except on the issue of inherited money?

If that’s the case, you and I are a lot closer in thought that I would have imagined.

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Bill August 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm

So if we cut the income tax you would be ok with a 100% inheritance and gift tax then.

Uh huh August 7, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Of course not, it’s all theft.

GrandTango August 7, 2014 at 10:24 am

Who pays the PUBLIC money, you F*#king idiot?

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Deo Vindice SC August 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm

The Koch brothers ?

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GrandTango August 7, 2014 at 10:28 am

I understand you goal, and I don’t disagree, but the constant impulse to attack and insult the people of the state, is a pretty F*#king stupid strategy.

When you express hatred toward a people, it’s usually a sign you need to move to somewhere else. You have very little chance of forwarding your position acting more stupid than you claim of the people you are accusing.

PS: The people dragging down the scores are a lot more like you, than those pulling the wagon. So you’re double F*#king ignorant, on that level.

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Smirks August 7, 2014 at 10:54 am

When you express hatred toward a people, it’s usually a sign you need to move to somewhere else.

Kinda like how you express hatred towards all of us and this site in general?

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LD August 7, 2014 at 10:34 am

It is possible to fix the education system, but no one in this state has the balls to do what needs to be done. It would require time, patience and resources– none of which are available in this state.

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Tom August 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

Republicans don’t believe that and don’t want to try because it might work and that is the last thing they want.

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Thomas August 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Problem solved! Give students a 10% bump in their final GPA for doing homework! Hey, I know, how about another 10% added on for participating in extracurricular after school programs? Ooops, they already do that. Never mind.

Now for some hard facts pertaining to scholastics. The main goal of high school was to prepare you to graduate from high school, not to prepare you for college. This is a significant difference that can take new students a semester or two to figure out (especially those fresh from high school who see a community college as a “fifth year” of high school). The important thing to realize is that most of you were taught well below the level at which you are capable of learning when you were in high school. This may not seem true to you, but the fact is many of the students who were in highschool classes had no college plans and the level of the classes had to suitall of you.

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lbeacham August 8, 2014 at 10:37 am

I can relate to your comparison between H.S. and college. I don’t remember studying in JR high through H.S. I was a good reader and nothing seemed hard. After several years out of H.S. I went to Clemson. Wow! My first Chemistry pop quiz 5 weeks in had to be turned in blank. I started taking notes, studying and graduated on time. I’ll never forget the embarrassment I felt on that Chem. test.

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Squishy123 August 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

The longer I live in SC, the more and more I understand why parents home school.

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Squishy123 August 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm

But look at those high school football and basketball teams!!! Public school kids today have two choices in life after school, the NBA/NFL or welfare.

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euwe max August 9, 2014 at 6:24 pm

They didn’t lower the standards enough.

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