Thursday, September 28, 2006

Change Comes to a Carolina

It's great to see that much-needed change may finally be coming to the wretched South Carolina public school system.

The good news is that the Palmetto State may be reaching a tipping point that could upend the public education establishment. Reform advocates have been building grassroots support for vouchers, tax credits, charter schools -- almost anything that will give parents more options on where to send their children. Governor Mark Sanford, a Republican, is already a supporter of broad-based school choice. The problem has been the Republican-controlled legislature. A handful of GOP members (many from districts with good schools) have lined up with Democrats to oppose anything that might empower parents over the system's bureaucrats.

That is starting to change.


Change Comes to a Carolina
September 27, 2006; Page A18

South Carolina civil-rights advocate Dewey Tullis explained to reporters a few weeks ago why he's supporting a Republican running for the state's top education job, Karen Floyd: "Frankly, I'm tired of seeing our young black men graduate high school without knowing how to read and write."

Mr. Tullis is joining more than a dozen African-American Democrats in the effort. Also crossing party lines to support Ms. Floyd is State Representative Harold Mitchell Jr., from urban Spartanburg. Referring to a documentary made about the state's failing schools along the interstate, Representative Mitchell tells us, "It really is a 'corridor of shame.'"

What's going on here? Fed-up South Carolina Democrats are blowing the whistle on the state's public-school system, one of the nation's worst. .

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