SC legislators meet York County Educators

Thanks to Storify for organizing my tweets from the meeting.

by Ginny Moe

a few seconds ago

SC Legislators meet York County Ed Assoc

SC legislative delagates were invited to meet with the York County Educators. Rep. Raye Felder, Rep. Tommy Pope, Sen. Wes Hayes attended. Best attendance in last four years from Educators, School Board members, interested public.

Ginny Moe

#RHSD3 Tweeting from So Caro Ed Assoc York Co Legislators and Ed mtg

#RHSD3 State Rep Raye Felder vice-chair ed committee speaking-praising Joanie Lawson, SCEA rep to legislature

#RHSD3 Rep Felder says funding ed a major issue-learning process-looking at ways diff states fund ed-want to improve public ed

#RHSD3 Rep Felder now praising Rep Rita Allison, chair of ed committee-good advocate for ed-first woman chair in SC

#RHSD3 Rep Felder says she relies on help from Joanie and from Mike Fanning and Olde English Consortium to make ed decisions

#RHSD3 Rep Felder praising Read to Succeed program-how many proceed to 4th grade and read well-proudest of requirement for tracking

#RHSD3 Sherie East, York Co SCEA chair speaking-Laura Milam in RHSD3 got a book for every kid in RH3 this year

#RHSD3 Senator Wes Hayes and Rep Tommy Pope up next

#RHSD3 Joanie Lawsonb says thanks to Felder for getting that accountability in the legislation with her hard questions

#RHSD3 Sen Wes Hayes, rep half of York Co incl all Rock Hill, most of York and Tega Cay

Rep Felder 2nd on Ed Committee-quite an honor in only 2 terms #RHSD3

#RHSD3 Sen Hayes praising Jackie Hicks, recent SCEA Pres, said she really fought good fight and rep education well-got a lot done.

#RHSD3 4K now in every district with 70% poverty. Hope soon to make 4K for all Ss in poverty in state. Logical connect with Read to succeed.

#RHSD3 State standards in ELA and math coming along. New State Supt Ed Molly Spearman great to have her in mtg last year.

#RHSD3 Finally someone giving credit where credit is due-we are not at bottom or anywhere near.

#RHSD3 Supt Spearman already begun mtg monthly with district supts.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Sen Hayes: Biggest challenge this yr is State supreme ct directive re education-corridor of shame lawsuit.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Now Rep Tommy Pope, new speaker pro tempore of house, speaking.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Rep Pope says we complain DC gives us too many directives, but often state legislature does same to local boards.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Rep Pope for example-politicians mad at their local school bd or supt push through rules which affecxt entire state

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Rep Pope: wants to bring decision making back tohome as much as poss

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Rep Pope working on ethics, need to get it done “ethics isn’t the game, education, infrastructure, that’s the game”

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Rep Pope: Rep Simrill has been working on infrastructure funding for years-Gov finally admits tax chgs needed

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Rep Pope: this means tax reform eventually-praising Mike Fanning’s exemption study-get rid of those, fund everything

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Rep Pope: says legislature needs common sense and basic math, just a sausage factory down there.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Jane Sharp q: Read to Succeed, K4, are these going to help equity & Supreme Court decision. Hayes: Yes + explanation

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope laments time and energy spent arguing against Common Core instead of helping teach kids

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope we can say what needs to be done, just throwing $ not always answer, need real help

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Sheri East says here in York County better off, poorer counties struggle, but don’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope: support for local control of school calendar seems to be there

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope mentioning a bill that talks about hours required for school, rather than days or certain dates

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat In attendacne Supt Kelly Pew, Several District Office people, teachers, principals

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat in attendance RHSD Sch Bd members Jim Vining, Jane Sharp, Mildred Douglas, Ann Reid, York, Ft Mill and Clover folks

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Hayes definitely calendar should be a local decision, but may not have votes in Senate esp from Horry County

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Ms Douglas says kids miss so much and get behind in summer

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Test score emphasis causes teachers to want to start school sooner says East

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Hayes says Molly will help there. No do away with testing, but not tie teachers hands.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Hayes “encouraged about [Molly’s] attitude toward testing”

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Students failing are those in poverty. Are other state groups which address poverty working with schools to address?

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope says that seems to be addressed by local groups working together-state not very effective from a distance.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Hayes says no state agency deals with poverty directly. Most budget is for K-12 and Medicaid, some for Commerce

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Hayes hopes new DSS head is right person to help that agency

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope asks q-are we making sure that all kids have same respect whether going to college or not?

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Joanie Lawson says career cluster requirement supposed to help therehard to get kids to come look at

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Supt Pew says they tour career center, work with Chamber to get apprenticeships, more than shadowing

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pew says we need to work with parents to understand, also community needs to help

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pew: workforce development important to businesses coming in

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Judy Mobley in Rock Hill parents and kids both get counseling in 8th grade-trying to get kids & parents to understand

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope wants business people to come in and convince parents and kids. Too much college debt.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Mildred Douglas says Rock Hill ATC is doing a great job, kids getting jobs and succeeding.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Marty Mobley says every person in trades needs more training, all using iPads, all need to get tech training

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Sheri East points out some kids have unrealistic goals-don’t know they have already missed their chance for that goal

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Pope repeats, have some skilled business people come in and proselytize kids to trades.

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Jane Sharp mentions Pew’s phrase “College, Career, Citizenship ready”

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat A teacher says kids get public recognition for some things (esp sports) but not for others-eg not for plumber certify

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat Sheri East points out in 2012 SC spent 15K per prison inmate-better to spend that at schools and avoid incarceration

#RHSD3 #sced #sdedchat East also pointing out the zillion dollars spent on testing-is that being pushed by testing companies who profit?


Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Failing Grade to School Report Cards

NEPC Analysis Gives a Failing Grade to School Report Cards

Statewide school accountability systems that measure school performance on an A-F scale are invalid, inaccurate, and undemocratic, a new policy brief concludes.

William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058,
Kenneth R. Howe, (303) 492-7229,

URL for this press release:

BOULDER, CO (January 26, 2015) – Sixteen states purport to measure how effective schools are by assigning “report cards” that grade individual public schools on a scale of “A” to “F”.

Such systems deserve a failing grade, according to a new policy brief published today by the National Education Policy Center. The authors of the brief set forth three overarching reasons for this failure: The report card systems don’t validly measure school quality; they don’t fulfill their stated policy objective; and they don’t contribute to two fundamental goals of public education. These two goals are to educate students for democratic citizenship, and to incorporate parents and community members in the democratic deliberation about their public schools’ policies.

Why School Report Cards Merit a Failing Grade was written by Kenneth R. Howe and Kevin Murray. Howe is a professor of education at the University of Colorado Boulder, where the National Education Policy Center is housed. Murray is a Ph.D. candidate at CU Boulder.

Howe and Murray explain that the adoption of these grading systems is not based on research. They point out substantial problems with the school report card approach. “A single grade is too sweeping to synthesize a broad array of evaluation criteria—achievement, attendance, dropout rates, the offering of advanced classes, and more,” says Howe. “The categorical A-F scale is crude and imprecise, so that schools with the same grade, instead of being equivalent to each other, could differ substantially.” Not surprisingly, then, Howe and Murray find “little credible research on whether letter grades validly measure and express school quality.”

Murray adds that the A-F school grade system also “fails as a policy instrument because, while it may provide a superficially clear and simple measurement, there is no confidence that the measurement is an accurate measure of school performance, and indeed it can produce patently invalid representations of school quality.”

Instead of empowering people – parents and citizens – to join in the larger community decision-making process about education, the grades “are more likely to alienate parents from democratic participation in the education of their children,” Howe and Murray write in their policy brief. And because these systems ignore the central factors in school performance – resources available to schools, families and communities – they are rendered “ill-suited to drive school improvement.”

Finally, school report cards never measure educational outcomes central to fostering an effective citizenry in a democracy. They are, therefore, silent on whether the schools they purport to evaluate fulfill their prime objective of preparing students for citizenship in a democracy.

Howe and Murray offer a set of recommendations to eliminate single-grade systems, develop formats that use multiple indicators to more accurately profile school performance, and enlist assessment and evaluation experts in the design of school accountability systems, building on the recent work of researchers in Oklahoma and adding two key recommendations of their own: first enable democratic deliberation over the many purposes of schooling before establishing the criteria against which schools are to be assessed; then ensure that all accountability systems “promote, rather than neglect or inhibit, the formation of democratic character – which must be consciously cultivated.”

Find Why School Report Cards Merit a Failing Grade, by Kenneth R. Howe and Kevin Murray, on the NEPC website at:

The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information on the NEPC, please visit

This policy brief was made possible in part by the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice (

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Leave a comment

Friendship Nine Musical Premiere

From Elaine Baker, Rock Hill Schools Director of Public Information

In 1961, nine male students attending Friendship College in Rock Hill helped change the direction of the Civil Rights Movement locally and nationally. Their story has been told many times over the years, but in late January, the world premiere of the musical,

No Fear For Freedom,

the story of the Friendship 9, will be presented in McGirt Auditorium at the Emmett Scott Center in Rock Hill (801 Crawford Road). Created by Bruce McKagan and popular, local author Kimberly P. Johnson, this musical will take the audience back to a time when “injustices were the norm and freedom was the plea.”

Below is information that you will want to know and share:

Show Times and Ticket Prices:

7:30 p.m. Friday, January 30, and Saturday, January 31, $20/adults and $10/youth and students

2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 31, $15/adults and $8/youth and students

(Tickets will be available at the door or online at They will also be available soon in the Rock Hill Schools District Office, and district employees will be informed of the days and times.)

=Local and national media are expected to attend the musical. Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, is expected to attend one of the evening performances.

=At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 28, the Friendship Nine will return to Rock Hill Municipal Court to have their criminal records vacated after 54 years. Solicitor Kevin Brackett will welcome community citizens to come and experience this historic moment.

=A number of our students will see the musical at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 29 in McGirt Auditorium.

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teachers, apply for a classroom grant

From Serena Williams, District Volunteer Coordinator:

The Rock Hill Schools Education Foundation is pleased to announce the next opportunity to apply for grants. Spring 2015 proposals will be accepted until Monday, February 16, 2015. The Foundation has awarded over $53,000 in grants this school year! Over $585,000 has been awarded to educators in our district since the grants program began.

Awards will be granted by the Foundation’s Grant Patrol. As a reminder, you may now submit your grant request electronically. Visit the Teacher Grants Program section of our website at the following link to learn more and to submit your application.

Yours in Education,


Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Civil Rights Video series

On Jan. 28, fifty three years after their conviction and fifty years after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett will ask that convictions of the Friendship Nine be vacated. In honor of the fifty year anniversary the Southern Foodways Alliance has made a series of videos about the gradual integration of restaurants, one of which features Rock Hill and the Friendship Nine. The clip at left is from the eight minute video which you can see here.

Posted in Rock Hill Schools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas!

Posted in Rock Hill Schools | 1 Comment

Supt. Town Hall – Last Chance!

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools | Tagged , | Leave a comment

For Dr. John Holder’s class

Posted in Rock Hill Schools | Tagged , | Leave a comment

After 20 years . . . 

Abbeville County School District et al v. State of South Carolina et al, or in other words, the Corridor of Shame lawsuit, has been in the state courts for 20 years. The South Carolina Supreme Court issued its ruling this afternoon. The court opinion references the constitutional duty of the legislature to provide education, acknowledges that the legislature has made commendable efforts to increase school funding, and criticizes the inequitable and confusing funding streams and hodge-podge of laws governing education.

The opinion was written by Chief Justice Jean Toal, and the following paragraph from the 59 page ruling summarizes what many in education have thought for some time.

It is time for the Defendants [The State of South Carolina] to take a broader look at the principal causes for the unfortunate performance of students in the Plaintiff Districts, beyond mere funding. Fixing the violation identified in this case will require lengthy and difficult discussions regarding the wisdom of continuing to enact multiple statutes which have no demonstrated effect on educational problems, or attempting to address deficiencies through underfunded and structurally impaired programming.

The full opinion and dissent follow.

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

11-10-14 Work Session

Below is the Agenda for the Monday night meeting of the Rock Hill School Board, with a couple of comments, and a link to the Full Board Packet.

Item 5 Review/Comparison of Strategic Plan and Board Goals (Ref. Policy ADA)

The Board Goals of Academics, Training, and Communications/Involvement, adopted November 2012, are not clear enough in the Strategic plan, which was devised by staff. Superintendent Pew will address the differences in response to board questions resulting from training of last month.

Item 6 Monthly Finance Report ‐ Athletics (Ref. Policy DA, DI)

For the first time ever, in response to board request, Athletic finances from the three high schools are being presented to the board by the finance director, in identical formats. This is a victory for transparency.

8 Discussion on Policy BEDB Agenda (Ref. Policies BG, BGC/BGD) 

The October Business Meeting was very contentious, partly due to confusion over the policy dealing with agenda preparation. The South Carolina School Boards Association policy interpretation is identical to that of the board lawyer, and they feel it does not need to be clarified.

9 Discussion on Policy BDG (BDG‐R) Board Attorneys / Legal Services (Ref. Policies BG, BGC/BGD)

In the Rule attached to to both the previous Rock Hill Policy and the model policy from the South Carolina School Board Association, the board appoints attorneys and is required to evaluate them on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the policy to be presented at Monday’s meeting makes no provision for regular evaluation or board review or renewal of attorney appointments. The attorneys have done an excellent job, and it is important to keep the same attorney for the duration of a case or legal matter, however, three members of the current board have never had any say whatsoever about the current attorneys much less voted on retaining them, and this is wrong.

The agenda follows, and here is a link to the full board packet.




Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , | Leave a comment