Steak-vs.-Sizzle column

Choosing the steak over the sizzle

Editorial Page Editor

KAREN FLOYD is the sizzle; Bob Staton is the steak.
    Carve it any way you like, that’s what you end up with in the GOP race for superintendent of education.
    Mr. Staton proposes (yawn) to push ahead on the sweeping, fundamental reforms that he and other business leaders initiated. The ones the education establishment’s defenders fought so hard.Staton The ones that are working.
    They proposed to set some of the highest standards in the state (which South Carolina has done), to test every child to make sure the schools teach those standards (which South Carolina is doing), and to bring the schools where kids aren’t meeting those standards up to snuff (which South Carolina has hardly begun to do).
    Continue pulling the schools up to high standards? Sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it?
    Mrs. Floyd says things people like to hear. She’s a lawyer, but seems born for sales. As was said in the Charleston Post and Courier, she “has polished her presentation to a bright shine.”
    She is very open-minded. One of her best, most sizzling lines goes like this: “Given the state of education in South Carolina, it would be irresponsible to prohibit any reasonable idea, any possible solution from consideration merely out of a fear of change.”
    Sure. But what’s “reasonable”? There’s the rub. Mrs. Floyd is really reluctant to draw that clear line. When she finally does, she draws it in the wrong place.
Floyd_debate_1    Look at last week’s ETV/The State debate. I asked Mrs. Floyd whether her endorsement by Gov. Mark Sanford — whose one big idea with regard to public schools is to pay people to pull their kids out of them — meant that she was “completely in sync” with his education agenda.
    “I am absolutely a free thinker,” she said, noting that “there’s a wide spectrum” of views among her supporters … .
    But would she have voted, given the chance, for the governor’s proposal to give tax credits to private school parents, a plan called “Put Parents in Charge”?
    “You know, I purposefully have never discussed the PPIC legislation.” She would pull together all the stakeholders, and “put together a ‘choice’ program that would fit the needs of the state of South Carolina….”
    “But you didn’t really answer the question,” host Andy Gobeil objected.
    She said PPIC was “a moving target constantly,” with 42 amendments. She hadn’t wanted to “anchor” herself to what “may not be the final position.”
    I tried again: “But in the end, there was an amended — much amended — piece of legislation, and lawmakers did have to vote on it. And they had to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ So on that one that was finally voted on — this year, let’s say; let’s be specific: Yes or no?
    She stopped sizzling: “The piece of legislation that was voted on this year, the last piece of legislation, was one that I would have supported, yes.” She had not wanted to answer that.
    “I did not support PPIC,” Mr. Staton answered. He went on to say we have to focus on improvingStaton_debate_1 our public schools, and that the problem with South Carolina is that every time we undertake a reform we abandon it before we’ve fully implemented it, and… I cut him off. I had my answer.
    Why the big deal on this one thing? You might just as well ask Mrs. Floyd that, since she was the one dodging it, but I’ll provide the answer: This is the one substantive point on which Mrs. Floyd and Mr. Staton differ. They both know that. To the extent that this race turns on issues of any kind, that point is the pivot, the fulcrum.
    And the stakes for South Carolina are incalculable.
    This is why the governor — who fundamentally does not believe in public schools — endorsed Mrs. Floyd last year, long before he could have known who else would be competing for his party’s banner. It’s why out-of-state anti-public school interests have pumped loads of money into the campaigns of not only Mrs. Floyd, but of anyone who will run against any Republican lawmaker who has had the guts to stand up and vote “no” to their proposal.
    For them, it’s the end-all and be-all. It is for our schools, too. And it is for you, whatever your political affiliation.
    If you’re a Republican, a vote for Bob Staton is a vote for South Carolina’s right to determine its own future. To vote for Mrs. Floyd is to side with out-of-state extremists who have vowed to take out any Republican who dares disagree with them.
    If you’re a Democrat, and you actually care about improving public schools (as Democrats always say they do), you’d better vote in the Republican primary for Bob Staton, rather than wasting your vote deciding whether Tommy Moore or Frank Willis will lose to the governor in the fall. This is the one that counts.
Floyd    And if you are an independent, this is your chance to step in and say that the public schools belong to you, too — not just the ideologues of various stripes.
    Mrs. Floyd is an intelligent, delightful, charming woman who is open to all sorts of good ideas. But she’s also open to one horrendous idea that undermines all the rest. It takes all the gloss off her “bright shine.”
    Mr. Staton doesn’t glow. He sweats, doing the heavy lifting of making all of our schools better.
    It’s not a very shiny proposition, but it’s a meaty one.

45 thoughts on “Steak-vs.-Sizzle column

  1. Lee

    Governor Sanford believes in public schools; he just doesn’t believe in government monopolizing education by using heavy taxation to rob parents and students of choices in education.

  2. Lee

    Basic questions the journalists won’t ask themselves, much less the candidates:
    * Which programs don’t work and should be abolshed right now?
    * Why did management make yet another mistake of starting such failed programs?
    * Can’t we save enough money by ending the failed programs to pay for the next batch of new programs?
    * How much more money should taxpayers spend on government schools?
    * What exact results will come from that spending?
    * How do you KNOW that the spending will produce those results?
    * What will be the rewards for success of those programs? What will be the punishment for failure?
    * How will the taxpayers audit these programs to measure their cost effectiveness?

  3. Randy E

    The drum I keep beating is on Floyd’s proposition to use privage management of schools that are failing. She bases this on a 3 1/2 year old model from Philadelphia. I question whether this would carry over to Allendale or Calhoun Counties. This was one of her 4 major proposals yet no one challenges her on this. It wasn’t touched in the forum.
    Staton’s proposals on his website indicate the he knows how to establish common goals, bring people together to strive for them, and to evaluate the progress. He does come off as sincere in his desire to make education better. What I fear is that he is too distanced from the “front lines” to appreciate what’s happening.
    Jim Rex is steeped in education experience. He may appreciate the “front lines” enough to know what’s really happening in our classrooms. But, that’s a two-edged sword. His proposals read like more “happy talk” from one who supports the status-quo.
    As an educator who leans democrat, I rate him lower than Staton and Floyd because of his lack of details. Give me someone who has clearly thought through the issues and has articulated them for the voters.
    Floyd may sizzle, but atleast she’s put time into her proposals.

  4. Brad Warthen

    That’s the thing about not having competition. Staton and Floyd have had to talk about what they would do. It will be interesting to say what Rex has to say once his campaign actually starts.
    If Staton is the GOP nominee, you’ll have a meaningful debate. If it’s Floyd, you’ll hear more “happy talk” from Rex, basically rallying the public school troops to defend the very idea of public education.
    If it’s Staton vs. Rex, Rex would have to explain why he can do better than is being done under the EAA. Once you’re no longer defending the public schools’ existence (which unfortunately is where the governor has taken the debate), you can actually talk about problems in the schools and how to fix them.

  5. Randy E

    I think (sigh) you are right about Rex VS Floyd. I read somewhere his explanation for running as a democrat. The writer Hirsch on suggested that there’s something wrong if the democrats have to tell people they are tough on terror. If Rex has to explain why he’s running as a democrat…
    I think his decision had something to do with not having a primary competitor. This leads me to believe his campaign is based more on political expediency than a set of ideas. His focuss in on democrats and the teacher vote.
    Will Staton’s values and TV ads outweigh Floyd’s sizzle and endorsements? I think I’m finally settling on Staton over Floyd.

  6. David

    I had decided to vote for Staton before this editorial but it only reinforces my decision.
    Private school vouchers, choice, etc – whatever you want to call it isn’t possible or reasonable for poor folks in our poorest counties. It just isn’t something that is even reasonable for them to consider. It is a NON-ANSWER.
    I think Karen Floyd is very very slick. She does come across as impressive but she is too slick for my tastes.
    She doesn’t appear to know what LEADERSHIP means. Leadership isn’t always building a consensus. Sometimes it requires you to stick your neck out on the line.
    I won’t vote for someone that gives answers and leaves open the possibility for a multitude of solutions without giving me straight talk on what she herself wants to try to get done.
    I don’t mind having an open mind. I like that to be honest. But I also want to hear your concrete answers. AN open mind is only attractive to me when you get out front and push what you consider is the answer – but then if that doesn’t go through- the open mind would be necessary.
    Sorry Ms. Floyd.

  7. Randy E

    Brad, and anyone else, reading: I’m committing to Staton for the primary and the general election (crossing fingers). I feel Rex’s positions are “up in the air” until he knows his opponent. I want a candidate who has already established his beliefs based on personal values.
    David, that makes two of us!

  8. David

    Randy –
    The Greenville News also endorsed Staton today.
    A good friend of mine knows Staton somewhat (business relationship in the past). I told him I was going to vote for Staton and he told me that he was a really knowledgeable man,etc.
    HE didn’t really tell me anything about who he was voting for but I got the impression that Staton had impressed him in the past.

  9. Randy E

    I’m glad to hear this. Warthen and his crew, I believe, do a thorough job analyzing the candidates before endorsing them and it sounds The State will endsore him officially – June 11 is the endorsement day I believe.
    I hope others will see the steak and not just the sizzle.

  10. Nathan

    I think that Bob Staton is the better candidate, as I had mentioned in another post. He attends my church and seems to be a great man who cares a great deal about education in this state. He could be making a lot more in the business world than what he will be making as education superintendent, and he has been working with education for years.
    However, I think that the column today was a little harsh on Floyd. You can’t say that PPIC is the only issue here. The person chosen will have to work within the boundries that the legislature and governor gives them. And to say that a “vote for Mrs. Floyd is to side with out-of-state extremists” is simply unfair. Politicians generally accept money from those who give it to them. It is not really fair to punish a candidate for thier donors. I didn’t like the fact that she dodged questions, and she seemed to much like a politician to me, but I don’t think it is fair to be harsh towards her.
    Lastly, I think that Gov. Sanford believes in public schools, but he also believes in private schools. More importantly, he believes in choice, and the power of choice to improve options. I’m not sure that PPIC was a good law (it appeared poorly written from what I have read), but there is a place for choice in education. It won’t solve any education problems for those who perform the worst though, it will only help those who do well to excel.

  11. Randy E

    Nathan: I expressed the same reservations about narrowing the race to an issue that ultimately may involved 15% of all students as it does in Milwaukee. I think more information is better than less.
    Sanford may believe in public schools, but I think he and other critics have focused on the negative a great deal portraying our school system as a whole as a failure.
    The lastest article on the website “South Carolinians for Responsible Government” characterized SC schools like this: “a bloated, outdated, underperforming system.” Nathan, I absolutely agree that there are bad schools and wasteful spending. But there are lots of great schools with tremendous programs. One brush-stroke can not paint the whole story.
    We don’t like oversimplifying the race for state super and we shouldn’t like oversimplying our school system.

  12. Lee

    The critics of public education give credit where it is due. There are good public schools, but there are lots of failed ones, which have lots of money per pupil.
    The defenders of public education seem to put public education ahead of education. The rest of us want our money to purchase quality education. We are not hide-bound to a socialist monopoly.

  13. Dave

    With the hysteria levels from Brad and others about trying out any form of choice in schooling, I wonder why these factions aren’t demanding that SC deny any student aid or government scholarships to college students who chose a private college. After all, doesn’t that pull money from the public colleges and incent citizens to leave the public school system?

  14. Lee

    And why doesn’t the public-school-only mob demand that public school teachers be fired if caught using their salaries to purchase private school for their children?

  15. David

    Lee, What a ludicrous argument.
    I am not against private schools and neither is Brad.
    I am 100% for private schools. My 5 year old will be going to private school kindergarten next year. I can tell you though, his school isn’t for the Put Parents in Charge bill either in any of its forms either.
    Private schools (or choice) isn’t an option for many of our poorest citizens in our poor counties. It is a non issue for them. It isn’t even reasonable. Pro choice candidate Sherry Few admits she hadn’t even thought about the lack of such schools in our poorer areas.
    Got to do better than that.

  16. Lee

    Vouchers are about making private schools a choice for people who haven’t enough money of their own.
    In the late 1970s, community leaders in Rome, Georgia raised money for grants and created low interest loans for poor people to attend private school. Over 500 people left the public schools. SAT scores went up. Poor children went to college.
    The GA educrats went into a panic and pulled out all the stops: constant vitrol from the media, new laws, taxing of the financial aid, tax audits of a few poor blacks, then transfers by the big companies of every “ringleader”. The school shrank back to its small size.
    The same selfish fear operates today in every state education community. They know that customers with money have more choice, and it doesn’t take many of them to hire a good teacher away and pay them what they are worth.

  17. Dave

    David, what really is this nonsense about no private schools available to choose for rural families. Case in point, Bishopville, SC in Lee County has a horrible public school system with Lee Central high school. Two miles away is Robert E. Lee Academy, home to those who can afford to escape the public school there. There would be more but I am tired of some people’s refrain about no choices for rural people.

    I agree that Brad is not “against” private schools. He is neutral towards them. But Brad is an avid proponent of public schools, and that is fine, but I cannot understand why he would not even support a small experiment in choice to see if it would get better results.

  18. Bill Cutler

    Brad, you’re right to criticize Karen Floyd for being vague and evasive. However, if she really means what I read into her comments, she has an important point to make, even if poorly articulated.
    Here it is. When it comes to resolving complex and contentious issues, process trumps positions. The job of a public official is to lead all the people to a resolution that works, is self-healing and self-improving, and serves the best interests of all the people, not just one or another faction. For that to happen the leader must be competent in the practices of a competent process. The leader’s personal views on the issue don’t really matter.
    It is unfortunate that we are stuck with the idea of evaluating candidates on their positions, rather than their competence in leading us to good solutions. How can we expect candidates, in the heat of a campaign, to come up with solutions that have eluded us in the previous months and years? This is particularly problematic when we consider the purpose of campaign positions. Their purpose is not to solve problems. Their purpose is to rally the base, attract independents, and embarrass the opposition. Only by the remotest chance would such a position actually solve the problem.
    The essence of good leadership through good process is to get answers the certain questions.
    1. What are the True Deep Interests of the stakeholders?
    2. What is our Definition of Success in terms of the qualities of a good outcome that satisfies stakeholder interests to the highest possible degree, independent of whatever form the solution may take?
    3. What is the method for creating a Variety of Candidate Solution-forms so we are sure we haven’t missed the better possibility?
    4. What is our Method of Evaluation to select the better solution-form?
    5. Having made a selection, how are we sure it is right? Examine all assumptions and all process steps. Have we overlooked anthing about our chosen solution that might change our minds? Is the solution flexible and adaptable so it can self-heal ins inevitable flaws, and adjust to the inevitable unpredictable veerings of reality? Does it have built-in self-check and self-correction?
    Do these steps in the open, with full concurrence of all the stakeholders.
    Bill Cutler

  19. David

    “Case in point, Bishopville, SC in Lee County has a horrible public school system with Lee Central high school. Two miles away is Robert E. Lee Academy, home to those who can afford to escape the public school there. There would be more but I am tired of some people’s refrain about no choices for rural people.”
    Dave- Robert E Lee Academy doesn’t have the room, nor would they want it, to have to educate every public school kid in Lee Country that wanted to go there.
    Private schools are usually good because the kids there have parents that care deeply about their education and they reinforce that education at home.
    Tell me about all the kids in Allendale and what private school is going to accept huge numbers of those kids into their school?
    How are single moms that rely on public school busses going to transport their kids, in some cases, 20-30 miles to a private school?
    What happens to the kids that can’t move to the private school in Allendale but are left with a school that has most of the better students gone?
    What do you do if that private school in Allendale doesn’t want any more students? Force them? Do you think the parents of the kids there now are going to put up with the school adding hundreds of new students, some that might not be ready for such an environment?
    Give me a break.

  20. Lee

    Why do we suddenly have so many “single moms” and “no moms” in Lee County? Sounds like a root cause of poverty and a lot of other social problems that might be more productive to fix than waiting downstream at the public school.
    With vouchers, there would be money for education entrepreneurs to build another school.
    This is like trying to explain the diversity of restaurants in America to Soviets standing in bread line in 1975.

  21. David

    I just wish it worked that way but it just doesn’t.
    It is a dead issue and we are wasting our time talking about it. It “ain’t” going nowhere.
    Private schools rarely make money – even the best run ones usually do pretty good to break even- especially the kind of money that draws investors, and private capital. Especially to places like Lee County.
    But the fact remains, vouchers don’t help momma get little Billy to the school 20 miles away. Vouchers don’t help little Billy when no dad is at home and mom doesn’t know how to read well enough to help him with his homework.
    Most private schools aren’t for vouchers either. My son’s private school is happy with their current class size and isn’t at all interested in any expansion.
    (My wife has worked at a good private school in Columbia for – September will be 5 years).

  22. Dave

    David, did you ever notice that when someone has a real busy and successful restaurant there is a high probability that another restaurant will locate near to it. This is the way the free market works. Secondly, I don’t know which school you are talking about, but I have yet to see a school or meet a school leader who DOES NOT want their school to grow. Wofford wants to grow, PC wants to grow, USC and so on. The high schools and academies would be the same way. You also would find the free market come up with creative solutions where perhaps one academy has an excellent Latin teacher and that teacher may be outsourced to 5 other academies. Bigger private schools would be the goal as you achieve standard economies of scale with size and you cover fixed costs with a larger base of customers. Imagine that, students called customers. A school like Robert E. Lee would not quadruple in size overnight and it would not want to, but success breeds more success. I have read that opening public schools to choice competition has actually made the bad schools upgrade when they realize they are not competitive. As it stands now, the leaders at most of the bad schools request more and more money but do not get much in return for more spending. That is an oversimplification but I would never underestimate the power of the free market.

  23. Randy E

    I have to break a promise now and reply to Lee.
    Lee, your irrationality and hate-mongering offers nothing productive on this site.
    You you blame government for all of our ills yet you want government to step in and fire public school teachers for sending their kids to private schools?
    You champion the rights of tax payers but tax paying teachers can’t spend their own money to send kids to private schools?
    I am sorry our public schools failed you. Clearly, you are without critical thought or concern for anything but hate.

  24. Lee

    My school didn’t fail me, contrary to your egocentric view of the world. The parents ran the schools back then. We are crusading for the lost souls now held captive to your socialist system.
    Try to move beyond your Freudian delusions and address the issues. It is normal to fear change, especially people who have never risked life outside a large corporation or government job.
    But trust me; plenty of teachers have gone into business and gotten the full dollar for their talents, instead of just working for 20% of the classroom dollar. They are the visionaries who would educate “the poor” better, for less money, and provide higher-paying jobs for the rest of you teachers.

  25. Randy E

    Lee: You divert people from meaningful dialogue on this blog. If you actually care about education as you claim you do, then stop the stereotypes and hateful statements and give us input that is useful.
    Doug offered up detailed criticism of schools. He clearly thinks through the issues. When he posts a comment, people will take him seriously.
    Because you do little more than blame and hate I do not take your views on education seriously. I respond to the hate, but not to your views as meaningful thought.
    Why do you post on this blog, to get attention or to exchange meaningful dialogue?

  26. Lee

    Here’s an interesting Power Point analysis of public education by Fredric J. Medway, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University Of South Carolina. You can see he’s no radical opponent of public education, yet he observes the following facts:
    * Only 48% to 53% (depending on the measure used) of South Carolina ninth graders graduate from high school. The United Health Foundation (2004) places South Carolina at 50th of 50 states in comparative graduation rates.
    * Only 33% of South Carolina’s ninth graders enter college within four years following high school graduation, and only 20% are still enrolled for a second year.
    * While African American students comprise 35% of the South Carolina elementary and secondary school population, they are only 22% of the state’s four-year college population, a statistic that reflects the relationship between college access/retention and individuals’ race and income (Carey, 2004).

  27. Randy E

    GREAT POST – meaningful data and no nasty comments. Thanks.
    The disparity between black and white is a huge issue because education is a way to pull on those bootstraps. We have done a poor job addressing this. I have offered suggestions: focus on goal setting and self-help skills training so these students understand the rigor to be successful academically and the skills to do the job themselves.
    The college preparation issue is a similar issue – preparing students to help themselves. We get our students into college, but we need to prepare them to be successful college students. I have done lots of research in this area and find that it’s a national issue.
    Lee, the bottom line for me is that we adults (government officials and educators) try to fix the environment around the students. We need to put the monkey on the back of the students. I had a student from Afghanistan who barely knew English and never had math before. He was in an algebra 1 college prep course and he made an A. Why? He simply took notes, did all his work, and studied for his tests!

  28. Lee

    You don’t need to know English to learn algebra. Even with an ‘A’ in math, he is still illiterate if he doesn’t know English.
    I am not concerned about our SAT scores being near the bottom for 2 reasons:
    1. We use the SAT as a general test of more students who have no intention or chance of going to college.
    2. Some state has to be 50th, 49th, 48th, etc. What is important is what those students actually know, and how far away they are from Number 1, and how the top 25% compare to a comparable group of tested students in other states, which is not necessarily the top 25%.

  29. David

    “David, did you ever notice that when someone has a real busy and successful restaurant there is a high probability that another restaurant will locate near to it.”
    – Yes, but a restaurant’s # 1 goal is to make money for the owner. A private school’s goal is not always to make money for the owner. THe private school my wife works at is an outreach to their surrounding community. If they wanted to make money, they wouldn’t have invested in a private school. Many private schools operate in a similiar fashion.
    “Secondly, I don’t know which school you are talking about, but I have yet to see a school or meet a school leader who DOES NOT want their school to grow. Wofford wants to grow, PC wants to grow, USC and so on.”
    – Then I don’t think you keep up with things Dave. Even USC (public school) reluctantly raised the freshman class numbers last year only in response (and reluctantly) to the General Assembly cutting funding. They enrolled more students in a money raising effort – not because they wanted to be bigger. If you read any of USC’s Board of Trustees meeting minutes (I have as an Alum), they are very interested in maintaing current class sizes and enrollment.
    Wofford may want to grow – although you really don’t see that if you look at their numbers over the years. But if they do, they will grow at their own pace, very, very slowly and methodically. They’ll also do it according to their own needs. Wofford has always prided itself in having a small campus and a small student body. Two of my best friends in the world graduated from Wofford. I think they’d cuss if you even mentioned the idea of Wofford growing a whole lot.
    “Bigger private schools would be the goal as you achieve standard economies of scale with size and you cover fixed costs with a larger base of customers. Imagine that, students called customers.”
    – Again, I just don’t think you have any real world, local, examples of this in play. MANY private schools are against school choice. Now why would that be if they wanted to grown larger and make more money? I can tell you why. Because most private schools are started for specific missions (outreach, small class sizes, small student body, everyone knows everyone, religious education and service) in most cases and not because they want to be big and large.
    My son had 8 students in his class last year. It was wonderful. They have no interest in expaning to 16 students. They have no interest in having 5-10 classes for one grade with 8 students in each class. Making money isn’t even a consideration for them and hasn’t been for 30 years.

  30. L:ee

    The next time you want to dismiss students taxpayers and parents for “not having enough experience with education”, ask yourself:
    … Do you need to work a year in every type of fast food restaurant in order to recognize which ones you’ll never visit again?

  31. Randy E

    You don’t have to work there Lee, but you would try a burger there before passing judgement. Basing an evaluation of the entire state school system based on personal experience at a couple schools is like dismissing all fast food places because the one down the street has problems.

  32. Randy E

    Dave, you base your free market approach for schools on a major fallacy; schools do not provide a bottom line which removes THE evaluation of a free market institution.
    Short point of interest: I am for parental choice, accountability of educators, and MUCH better scrutiny of spending.
    The point I am making is the evaluation process for schools is tremendously more complicated than for business. There are several reasons for this.
    Parental involvement plays a huge role in how a student performs. IF I keep the parents involved but they drop the ball, why am I fully accountable?
    Classes, courses, and student demographics vary greatly so results will vary accordingly. We don’t compare sales at BK with those of Al’s Upstairs (fine dining). We understand that the sales at a BK in Camden may be different than the sales at a BK in NE Cola simply based on location.
    There is no single accurate and precise teaching instrument for a school or a teacher. There are a vast array of factors that affect test scores. All the major critics in here have bashed the PACT. What do we use to evaluate schools and teachers? Some offer subjective evaluation only which is laughable.
    Dave, give us specific solutions to these issues and we can talk about a full market based structure for schools.

  33. Lee

    Government schools don’t have accountability to the bottom line, but private schools do.
    That is why government schools don’t manage money well, and why the free market gives more value to the purchaser of educational services.
    To assert that “the evaluation of schools is more complicated than for business” is absurd. How would you know, until they try?
    Just hire a few industrial engineers to go through the place. No problem for professionals.

  34. Lee

    The inept leaders of these dens of socialism could learn a thing or two from professionals like those who oversaw Enron or those making Billions for Big Oil, or those that oversee our federal budget. Clearly, things work better in a market economy.
    You don’t know until you try unless you are industrial engineers then you know ahead of time. This probably sounds like a contradiction to those that are a product of our failed school system from which nothing good has come.
    The bottom line is the God fearing anti-government private schools do better than the government schools because they are better. Some lib will point out they cater to different populations. Just like a lib to mudy the issues with lots of facts!

  35. Randy E

    Lee, before you and your industrial engineer possee ride in to save the townspeople, you’d better get a realistic view of what schools and teaching is like. Don’t pull out your extrememly small and limited sample size experience from an elementary school.

    Come sub for me for 3 days. If you can handle it successfully, you’ll make a believer out of me. Here’s the website to become sub. 

    Unless your mouth is writing checks your butt can’t cash.

  36. David

    Hold on there Randy, you are going to bust it for Lee. If you haven’t figured it out by now
    Lee had rather talk about it than do something about it. That makes it a lot easier to really believe you have all the answers.

  37. Lee

    The last post about “dens of socialism” using the name “Lee”, is by blog saboteur, who is posting under other people’s names.
    Brad needs to fix his blog security.
    I will gladly substitute teach math or cut lawns for my standard engineering base billing rate.

  38. Randy E

    Lee, if you are a champion of fixing education then why chicken out on some lame billing excuse. I’ll see that you are paid the same amount daily that I would get so you can get the full teaching experience.
    Take that tail from between your legs and put that money where your mouth is.

  39. David

    I’d love to see you just get off your behind (we all know you had rather just talk though) and be a mentor to one of the elementary school kids in the area.
    Every school district in the midlands of South Carolina is begging for mentors for next school year.

  40. Randy E

    Lee claims to be involved in a school (he also claimed that there are calculus problems on the SAT but also claimed he didn’t know what was on the SAT).
    What I want to see is Lee take an objective, plan a lesson for the objective, then try to carry out the plan. This becomes a little tricky when the students start acting up, get bored, start asking questions about the simplest of directions, ask to go to the bathroom while he is in mid-sentence, try to do their English homework during lecture, and start talking during a quiz.
    Of course, Lee is an industrial engineer manager who cares about education and can fix it with a snap of the finger. This will be a cake walk for you Lee so put your money where your mouth is.

  41. Lee

    Randy, how dare you discuss any other subjects where you have not held a job for years!
    I am not an industrial engineer, but I have done done a lot of it as part of systems engineering.
    Randy seems to have a reading comprehension problem, but I suspect he plays dumb to avoid ever coming up with a response to our real criticisms of the schools, much less any ideas of improvement of his own.
    I would have to charge more to teach, because I would deliver more. That is the way the free market works. Vouchers would quickly thin out the dead wood, and make teaching attractive to other professionals.
    That is what frightens the dead wood, and those who aren’t sure where they fit on the scale.

  42. Randy E

    Lee, I don’t blame you for not taking me up on the challenge. You couldn’t handle it.
    You stand on the sidelines where it’s safe and blog away from that ivory tower. I told my engineer buddy about the challenge. He rolled his eyes and laughed. No way you were up to the task.

  43. Lee

    No way your engineer buddy would move down the food chain, either.
    But a free market would reward quality teachers. Of course, some duds would be replaced.

  44. Lee

    No way I’m going to actually try to teach – too hard. It’s alot easier to hide behind my computer typing made up crap. And if I did actually step foot into a classroom, I’d find out how wrong my claims and observations have been. Nobody likes being proven wrong.
    Besides, I have more Ann Coulter books to read.

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