Follow-Up File: Failure Has Consequences (Not)

“TRANSPARENCY,” S.C.-STYLE … By FITSNEWS  ||  Earlier this month we documented the latest incentivizing of failure in Jasper County, S.C. – home to the worst government-run education system in South Carolina (which itself happens to be home to the worst government-run system of education in America). Superintendent Vashti Washington has seen…


By FITSNEWS  ||  Earlier this month we documented the latest incentivizing of failure in Jasper County, S.C. – home to the worst government-run education system in South Carolina (which itself happens to be home to the worst government-run system of education in America).

Superintendent Vashti Washington has seen her $165,000 a year (not counting benefits) gig extended for another year … and gotten a $12,000 bonus to boot.

“Crap like this would never happen in a market-based system,” we wrote.  “In fact in a market-based system Washington’s district – which is currently under investigation regarding allegations of fraud, waste and mismanagement – would have gone out of business decades ago.”

Indeed …

So what did Washington do to “earn” her contract extension and bonus?  Good question.

Hell, even the liberal mainstream media wants to know the answer to that one …

“(Jasper) has not improved its ‘at risk’ rating on state report cards since 2009 and in October received its third consecutive ‘F’ grade on federal report cards,” an editorial in The (Hilton Head) Island Packet noted.

But the district’s poor performance in related to Washington’s “above average” effort isn’t the only thing the paper is upset about … it’s the district’s deliberate effort to evade accountability.

“The board conducted its performance review in a three-hour, closed session and refuses to produce a written evaluation, mocking the public,” the editorial continued.  “Written reviews ceased last year on the advice of the district’s lawyer because they are subject to disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.  That lawyer, Ken Childs, noted public bodies are not obligated to produce documents that don’t exist, so by documenting nothing, the district avoids information requests that are ’embarrassing for the superintendents.'”

And yes we covered last year’s debacle, too, by the way … 

Sadly, this isn’t a joke … this is “public education” in South Carolina.  Although it’s getting harder to tell the difference …

Remember this nonsense, though.  Especially when government-run schools brag about their “accountability” – and claim that letting children out of their increasingly expensive failure factories will somehow erode the “high standards” to which government-run schools are held.

It’s all B.S., people.


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WW December 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Haley, Obama, Clyburn are prime examples that failure has NO consequences!
You can fool all of the people some of the time
Some of the people all of the time
But, you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
Haley, Obama, have fooled a majority twice, Clyburn more than twice!
We have lived to regret Obama. We will eventually regret Haley!!

CNSYD December 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Sic Willie’s mortgage payment is due soon. Need to get that Howie check. Notice how he avoided mentioning his voucher scam? I guess he thought we had forgotten.

Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Will’s check from Howie? What’s it to you?
Superintendent Vashti Washington got $185,000 a year from taxpayers for an F.

FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Sharp eyes, Thump.

Burqa for Vashti please December 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I thought “Vashti” was a Persian name.

nitrat December 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I hope Jay Bender tears that ignorant Ken Childs a new one.
Does ‘Ken Childs’ sound familiar to anyone else?

RogueElephant December 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

How many more of our children and grand children are we going to flush down the toilet of government schools ? Letting the money follow the student is the only viable answer but SC is so sold out to the education establishment it won’t happen. Just throw more money at it. Works every time. NOT

Same ol' Same ol' December 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Is there no one that has oversight of school boards? I guess they’re on the take, too.

The Colonel December 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Um, yeah, there is, we call them registered voters. The people of Jasper County are getting what they deserve.

joan December 22, 2014 at 8:43 pm

But the school children can’t vote. They are the ones who deserve better.

Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 6:11 pm

S.C. Senator Clementa Pinckney Gerrymandering the school board didn’t help.

FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 9:35 pm

In Texas they have small commissions to take care of such things as school bus routes, types, privatization and expenses… so that the school boards can concentrate on such things as the quality of education. Interestingly, the school boards can follow the commission(s) advise, do it their own way, or replace the commissioners.

PAM December 23, 2014 at 10:30 am

No – there are only a few watchdogs that voters have been able to get elected. Atty Ken Childs is the kingpin “secret” evaluations and it’s happening all over the state. (Why not! It’s a great way to scalp more from the taxpayers to feed those poor starving district attorneys!) But one watchdog board member forced Lexington/Richland 5 to have a public evaluation. They don’t like negative press so funny to see superintendent slobber all over himself after he saw op-ed circulated throughout media outlets:

Since supt already knew he had “it in the bag”, why not have a public love-vest. Then use the board’s obvious sound bites for in a news release from a piss-poor evaluation that even a kindergartner would receive rave reviews.

Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Hey! Jackie,
Whose the lawyer, Ken Chil(d/e)s? Is he your brother of another mother?

E Norma Scok December 22, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I gotta get me a gubment gig.

FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Mmmmmm … Maybe as a grammar teacher?

jesse December 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Does Will Folks make his living off of this website? Or does he have another job?
And where did the name FITS News come from?

FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 9:52 pm

It appears that this hugely popular web news outlet, occasionally beating MSNBC snooze blogs in traffic, is his only source of income. And it does appear that this outfit does occasionally receive support from benefactors. But then so does the even less popular … From currency manipulator George Soros.

FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Now in my day, in my schools …

But that really does not have anything to do with today’s schools.

The simple fact is that the g’ment schools are doing a terrible job and not just in South Carolina.

There is no really incentives for teachers to do a good job, but there are incentives for the schools to grind out (hs or higher) graduates. There are even some incentives for schools to pass and diplomas whether these have any value or not.

There are only a few things that may be done to improve the situation. Certainly more money does not help, so maybe the electorate should try spending less …

In North America it would appear that tax money spent per student does not have a connection with the number of graduates. …. Better examples should be sought, but generally, the poorer the school district and the lower the tax costs per student, the better the students perform. (Texas comes to mind … Just saying.)

WSPPhD December 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm

“There are no real incentives for teachers to do a good job…”. WTF? Seriously, whatever happened to doing a good job because you are employed in that job? You do a good job because you are supposed to do a good job. You are educating children for Christ’s sake! Why in God’s holy name do you need to incentivize people to do a good job teaching children? Why don’t they do a good job because they care about the children and care about doing what is right? Is it because we have gone down that slippery slope of entitlement? Look around you at SC public schools and many of the “places of higher learning” here in SC. The state is creating a permanent underclass.
How about tipping your surgeon the next time you have your appendix or gallbladder removed so that they are “incentivized” to do a good job. Why are fireman not incentivized to do a good job when they are putting out a fire?

FastEddy23 December 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Tipping? Tipping your teachers? That’s a great idea.

I just tipped my regular UPS driver for Christmas … So why not tip the teachers? … Or just as good, give the really good teachers a dinner out … like an honorarium.

I already do, in effect, pay extra to my doctors and I give to the local fire departments’ benefits and social events …

(I also have a favorite charity: I help sponsor an art school and its teachers in another state.)

Lobeco December 23, 2014 at 10:09 am

If there really have been two FBI agents investigating the Jasper County School District, they should be fired immediately. EVERYBODY in the 7 county lower low country area knows of the corruption over there. This alleged investigation has been going on for 2 years. It’s pathetic.

Soft Sigh from Hell December 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Successful countries and states value education and work to make it work, for students but especially for the society and nation. A recent little note in Scientific American stated that the last region (state? province?) in Germany just made university tuition free there, as with the rest of that still-industrial nation. I’d be willing to bet that Lower Saxony is moving forward in better manner than post-industrial America or certainly third-worldish South Carolina. Wasn’t California’s excellent state university system in that state’s economic heyday virtually free for in-state students? Before Reagan changed and degraded things.

Some places value, invest in, and work at education. Not here: here we just bicker over it and allow abuse of it.

BIN News Editorial Staff December 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Vouchers, by Gumby-d@mmit, vouchers, vouchers, vouchers will fix everything.

According to Howie the Voucher Clown and sic(k) willie the bought and paid for voucher pimp…

…vouchers will fix education, vouchers will fix poverty and racism, vouchers will fix venereal disease and toe nail fungus.

…and, vouchers will get sic(k) willie a pardon by Trikki Nikki.

Okay, okay. That will never happen.

And, it’s just as unlikely vouchers will fix toenail fungus, V.D., poverty or racism.

At the same time, vouchers would never do anything to help education in S.C. except leave those who need help the most even further behind.

Vouchers are a scam; regardless of how often the voucher pimps change the lipstick on that pig, vouchers are still a scam.

BIN News Funding Editor
Flair and Balanced


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