School Choice Isn’t the Problem — It’s the Solution

By SHANE McNAMEE CHOICE GETS THE BLAME FOR THE STATE’S EDUCATIONAL ILLS. YET CHOICE HASN’T BEEN TRIED. The Post and Courier’s recent five-part series, “Left Behind: The unintended consequences of school choice,” leads one to believe that the hardships experienced by some students at a North Charleston high school are the effects of school choice […]

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Education Task Force Recommends More of the Same

INCREASED FUNDING MIGHT – MIGHT – GET YOU A “MINIMALLY ADEQUATE” EDUCATION. CHOICE CAN DO FAR BETTER. A year ago the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Abbeville County School District vs. The State of South Carolina. In the 3-2 ruling the court held that the state was failing to […]

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The Five Worst Arguments against School Choice

WHEN THE ARGUMENT IS ABOUT EVIDENCE, SCHOOL CHOICE WINS. EVERY TIME. Over the last thirty years or more, well-meaning reformers have tried valiantly to improve educational results within public education systems. Prominent among their reforms have been increasing education funding and expanded pre-school programs, but these efforts have failed to live up to their promise. The one reform that has […]

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ANALYSIS: Imposing a Statewide Property Tax

SAME BAD ARGUMENT, DIFFERENT TAX It is a long held view among many elected officials that the only thing preventing exemplary achievements for students in state run schools is insufficient funding. If funding goes up without any apparent results, it simply means funding has not gone up enough. Recently, individuals of this mindset in South […]

Why S.C. Lawmakers Can’t Pass a Budget on Time

EVERY YEAR, LAWMAKERS TRY TO PASS POTENTIALLY CONTROVERSIAL CHANGES THROUGH THE STATE BUDGET. BUT NOT EVERY PROBLEM IS A FUNDING PROBLEM. Legislators returned to Columbia July 6 for a third week of extended session. The purpose, in part: to vote on the governor’s budget vetoes and thereby finalize the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget. The […]

Educational Freedom: How to Achieve It

HOW TO THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT EDUCATION IN S.C. It’s no secret that South Carolina has some of the worst public schools and some of the lowest levels of student academic achievement in the country. The most important factors generating this failure are these: (a)  a strong reluctance to experiment in education, combined with (b) an unthinking […]

Study: More Money, No Improvement

AS EVER, THE EASY ANSWER IS THE WRONG ONE A new study by the Cato Institute reinforces the findings of SCPC and other researchers: more money doesn’t produce better results. The Cato study examines SAT scores from 1972 to 2012 in each state. Student SAT participation rates and demographics are controlled for using an improved […]

School Choice in South Carolina: 2014

THIS YEAR, AT LEAST ONE PROPOSAL IS ACTUALLY ABOUT SCHOOL CHOICE Fourteen representatives in the House came together on February 6 to co-sponsor the most significant attempt at school choice from General Assembly in recent years. The bill – H.4624 – has the potential to improve the education of, not just some, but all South […]

What Will Our Children Learn Under Common Core? – Part I

EDUCATION OR INDOCTRINATION? We recently laid out answers to some frequently asked questions about Common Core in South Carolina. To recap: Common Core is already being implemented in our state; it is a de facto federal education program; and given the power structure of our state government, it isn’t going to be easy to get […]

Reforms Pass in North Carolina … But Not Here

THE REASON HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IDEOLOGY It’s a tale of two legislative sessions. In one state, lawmakers passed significant tax reform that lowers tax rates across the board, took a meaningful step towards school choice, and expanded Second Amendment rights. In another state, lawmakers talked a big game about government restructuring, reforming the […]