Sanford’s not ‘our boy’


Sanford’s not ‘our boy.’ He’s theirs

By Brad Warthen
Editorial Page Editor
AFTER TODAY, maybe people will stop asking what we think of “our boy” now. That gets tiresome. There are various reasons why Mark Sanford isn’t “our boy,” and never was.
    As I regularly say in speeches about why we endorse, what endorsements are and what they aren’t, an endorsement does not mean that we are henceforth on that person’s “side.” It reflects the real-life choice before the voters at the time. When we endorsed Mr. Sanford in 2002, he was so obviously preferable to the alternatives — both in the crowded primary, and in the fall — that we supported him enthusiastically, and without reservation.
    So what if he didn’t have the kind of inspiring vision for South Carolina’s future that, say, a Joe Riley would have? There was no Joe Riley running. And Mark Sanford had adopted our government restructuring agenda as his own, almost word for word. If he got that done, then when we did get a governor with vision, he or she would have the tools to really make good things happen.
    Trouble is, he did have a vision: He didn’t want government to be more effective as much as he wanted it to be cheaper. It was about tax cuts and privatizing everything he could, including public education. He had proposed moderate versions of these concepts as a candidate: phasing out the income tax while raising the gasoline tax; providing vouchers for a very few of the most disadvantaged kids. We opposed those things, and said so, but they were no big deal.
    After he got into office, his tax position morphed over time into just cut a tax, any tax (and preferably income). Eventually, his anti-government rhetoric became far from moderate.
    He had run as a conservative, but he wasn’t that. He was as close to an ideologically pure libertarian as you can get. You can’t be a conservative and a radical at the same time. And folks, it doesn’t get more radical than his veto of the entire state budget.
    Meanwhile, all the rich anti-tax extremists in the country started sending their money this way in a clear effort to undermine the very concept of public schools. And the governor — whose presence was the reason they saw our state as fertile ground — supported their proposals to give the affluent tax breaks as an incentive to abandon public education. And that was not an incidental part of the proposal. As the House sponsor said during this year’s session, the plan had no political traction without those tax cuts.
    Why attack the public schools? Because that’s where state government spends the most tax money, and that makes public education a deeply offensive institution to the extremists. Why did the governor not even condemn their most extreme attacks on our public schools as a “failed monopoly”? Because he agreed with them. In fact, he was right out in front, characterizing increased spending on public schools as having been a waste, even as the accountability reforms begun by a previous Republican governor were starting to pay dividends.
    This alone would be enough cause not to back him: It is dangerous for him to remain as governor — not for what he does, but for what comes with him. As long as he is governor, the flood of anti-school money will keep coming to South Carolina. That may not sound so bad, until you consider what the money is used for — to trash the schools that our children depend upon, and to kick out of office some of the very finest of our representatives.
    I haven’t seen this much of a threat to the integrity of our Legislature since video poker was trying to buy it. Nor have I seen such contempt for the will of the people of South Carolina. Their proposals aren’t that popular, so the outsiders tiptoe around details in those slick, cookie-cutter brochures they use to try to stack the Legislature with their puppets.
    Those are Republicans they’re going after, by the way. If you’re supporting the governor under the impression that that’s what loyal Republicans do, you should talk to some GOP leaders who have to deal with him every day. They’ll set you straight. Those out-of-state, anti-government radicals are his true party.
    He’s not our boy, or yours either. He’s theirs.


75 thoughts on “Sanford’s not ‘our boy’

  1. Dave

    Brad, you really did show your colors on this one. The vast majority of your argument centers on public schools and public education systems and what you are really shouting is that it’s the system that counts, not the direct results on the kids who are floundering in these subpar school systems. I.e., let’s keep doing what we are doing, and in 13 years we should have positive results. And the rhetoric on the “rich anti-tax extremists” is over the top. Funny how you just don’t seem to mention those “rich pro-tax extremists” like the NEA and the labor unions in the same context. You have lost all credibility on endorsements with this negative Howard Dean like scream against the governor. All you need now is to attach a video with sound.

  2. Ed

    There is at least as much money coming into South Carolina from groups elsewhere in support of public education as there is in support of choice. I never see the arm waving, hair-on-fire vitriol and hatred expressed about these pro pub-ed groups by school choicers that I do the other way round. The State seems pretty one sided about this, not even acknowledging that there ARE huge pro pub-ed groups sending money here that I know of. If you have offered any pieces with this information I don’t remember them. What’s up with that? Is there no fairness in what passes for journalism on Shop Road? Ed

  3. Bryan

    The State’s litmus test for ANY office seems to be:
    A candidate may talk about education, but any effort at meaningful change in our schools is not permitted.
    Certainly, there is no surprise in any of these endorsements.
    But if I were Tommy Moore, I would not send my wife or sister-in-law over to measure the mansion for drapes just yet…

  4. Chris

    The problem with editorial endorsements is that it alerts readers to thought processes and reasoning of those making them. It highlights what should already have been known…and that is a platform for ones views does not guarantee that the views are mature, unbiased or reasonable.
    Surely many if not most would disagree with me, but I think the single greatest problem in America is the collapse of the media as a purveyor of honest fact. The media has transformed itself at every level to commentary, and in a never ending descent it attracts more and more ideologues to the profession.
    I have dealt with reporters from the State on several different issues, and over a period of years. Uniformly, I have found them lazy and uninterested in issues that affect many of us, and driven by an institutional prerogative that suits the paper, not the public. I find this to be the same with the editorial writers, and this is borne out by the results of their writings, ie, when I ask educated people about the editorial of the day, they all respond in the same manner…”opps, I did not see it”.
    I don’t mean to trash the State this morning, as surely no thinking person ever thought this endorsement would go to anyone other than Moore. But the state of our media serves no one…liberal or conservative.

  5. Agricola

    With all due respect to the Editorial Board that has endorsed Moore, your video blogs of the Board interviewing Mr. Patterson, although brief, did not inspire confidence in this reader that tough questions were asked of all candidates interviewed. As well, results speak; the Legislature of this state has underperformed, to put it politely, in its job of funding and creating policy in most state functions. Sanford ran on a plank of governmental reform, arguing that the citizens of SC should have accountability in its government. He has been resisted at every turn by the vested interests of both parties. Tommy Moore, probably a nice guy, has contributed to the vast nothingness of legislative policy during his terms in office. Do you really think that he has the vision, and the will, to impose change on the herd of cats known as our Legislature? His victory will do nothing but re-assert the primacy of the Legislature, its parochial perspective, nepotism, and back-room deal-making that has strangled this state for decades. Lastly, I don’t think it is fair, or correct, to blame Sanford for any educational woes, as that bureaucratic cess-pool has been fed and nurtured by esteemed institutions like the NEA. Sanford may not have the muscle to prevail, but to stop trying would be to cave to the power-brokers that have ruled the state for too long.

  6. Randy Ewart

    It’s humorous to watch republicans on this blog defend any criticism of republican candidates not by addressing the specific points but by attacking the messenger and alternatives. What has Sanford done that is worthy of our vote, other than represent the GOP? How is he better than Moore? Give specifics other than the tiresome scripted attacks of democrats. If you don’t have any, then just ADMIT that you are voting for Sanford simply because he’s the republican candidate.
    I also find it hypocritical that many who support Sandford without any evidence of positive change on from his initiative, disparage our schools as the status quo that does not produce results.

  7. Randy Ewart

    you are really shouting is that it’s the system that counts, not the direct results on the kids who are floundering in these subpar school systems. – Dave
    Dave and Bryan, I used Lexie’s own data to provide the follow FACT: Our middle and elementary schools scored higher than MOST states on 5 out of 8 tests (NAEP). This is the only apples to apples indicator available. Lexie himself admitted the elementary and middle schools were not the problem, “it’s not where you start but where you finish”.
    You two suggest we should scrap this entire system for an experimental idea that has not been used STATE WIDE ever before? Please spare us the chirping about teacher unions shutting down this idea. There’s no way the NEA has controlled the country to prevent such plans. There is simply NO EVIDENCE that this idea will work. At best, you can point to a handful of city wide, limited programs.
    And don’t bother to label me as the defender of the status quo. I want meaningful change and I don’t see Rex as the answer. But I am against turning our system upside down to be a guinea pig for the out of state voucher lobbyists.

  8. Chris

    Hey Randy…
    I have fought “government” on small issues …and even with my time, money and with no one watching, I usually have the hell beaten out of me by entrenched bureaucrats and lazy government employees.
    Add to that mix a state legislature full of free spending egoist, and a BOAT LOAD OF LOBBYIST…and the situation becomes dire.
    The detrimental influence of lobbyist can not be underestimated…and the State newspaper seems to love them. Robert Barber is a lobbyist. Moore is a favorite of lobbyist, and has family members involved in lobbying. Mike Campbell’s brother…and the list goes on. I know these guys, and have watched them work, and the one thing you can say is that they put the interest of their clients ahead of the people of SC.
    So Sanford has a hell of a fight, and has few friends willing to do the heavy lifting. Do I have some problems with Sanford…yes, but do I want Moore and Barber? Heck no.
    The State downplays the TREMENDOUS effect that paid lobbyist have on government. Lost Trust came and went…but take it from me…lobbyist rule this state. The Gov ain’t even close to the kind of power they wield.

  9. LexWolf

    Brad, you have just denigrated just about all the reasons why I’m for Sanford but what the hey. You are also dead wrong about those issues. Here just three:
    “Why attack the public schools? Because that’s where state government spends the most tax money, and that makes public education a deeply offensive institution to the extremists.”
    Yes, that’s where the money is but people don’t mind spending huge gobs of money on schools if they see good results – unfortunately good results are rare in SC. Has it ever occurred to you that the real reason many people want vouchers in the first place is because the public schools are NOT doing their jobs and in many areas have failed totally?! Why else would people go through all the effort and hassle to inject competition into our school system if that system were doing a good job?
    “As long as he is governor, the flood of anti-school money will keep coming to South Carolina. That may not sound so bad, until you consider what the money is used for — to trash the schools that our children depend upon, and to kick out of office some of the very finest of our representatives.”
    Hate to break it to ya, Brad, but I was one of those who defeated that thoroughly elitist “very finest” out of office. I even got to talk to Ken Clark after the vote and he abundantly confirmed that he, like you, is one of those pompous people who always “know” so much better what’s best for people than those people know themselves. And I cheerfully voted against him even without any of that eeeeevil out-of-state money.
    “Nor have I seen such contempt for the will of the people of South Carolina.”
    The real contempt for the will of the people clearly comes from your side. After all, how dare those clueless peons vote people into office whom you don’t like and who then enact things you like even less! Try to figure out the distinction between “the will of the people of SC” and YOUR will – there aren’t many areas where they will be the same. Then stop pouting because things aren’t going your way.

  10. Dave

    Chris – The recent lobbyists’ early Christmas present in the billboard legislation, with Tommy Moore right in there with the billboarders, is a prime example of what you are talking about. Then Moore openly admits he doesn’t read some of the legislation he votes on. In the end, Sanford will be back in there by the choice of the people, but sometimes you have to wonder why even try with a legislature like we have.

  11. LexWolf

    Dave, just imagine how much worse it would be without Sanford to restrain the legislators. Then we’d have all the little piggies really running amok. I shudder to think what the state budget would look like if Sanford hadn’t been governor for the past 4 years.

  12. Lee

    The test scores of high school seniors are only the 50% or fewer students remaining after a steady attrition of dropouts.

  13. Lee

    Tommy Moore is a perfect example of the well-groomed folks who really want to hold office, higher and higher, yet never know how to accomplish anything while in office.

  14. Palmetto Girl

    The editorial board of the State wants reform in state government but they endorse an entrenched member of the status quo. They despise special interest bias(such as the bill board legislation) yet they endorse a long term Senate member who has a history of accepting funds to support special interest legislation. The State wants accountability but the endorse an anti accountability candidate. The State wants our citizens to have greater opportunities via education yet they run from a candidate who recognizes that doing the same old thing always result in getting the same old results. The State praises diving into the details to expose fact yet they create a hysteria and misinformation over school choice. The State chastizes the legislature for spending recklessly but fails to endorse the candidate that restores raided trust funds and pays off deficets. The State throws rocks at a commerce department that hands out checks for flimsy business ventures, million dollar projector rooms, jets and etc but fails to endorse the candidate that cleans up the mess and creates the greatest number of jobs and capitol investment in 15 years. The editorial board screams for leadership but they forget that leadership is not a popularity contest, it is about making hard decisions that benifit all of us over time. In essence, your endorsment is a contradiction. And by the way, Mark Sanford is not their boy unless that includes the hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians that elected him into office.

  15. Dave

    Randy, who said anything about some fullscale conversion of all public schools to private status? What many have been saying is that we should introduce private competition into the mix with vouchers and ALL schools should improve. The bottom line is the students are the ones who benefit from more choice, more attention, and improved quality. In a more competitive environment, teacher compensation would improve also. I am in favor of that, for the good teachers.

  16. Lee

    Dave, don’t you know by now that Randy only talks about non-existent, extreme positions of his own imagination?
    Perhaps he fears that allowing a mix of public and private schools would put the public schools out of business due to lack of demand.

  17. Randy Ewart

    huge gobs of money on schools if they see good results – unfortunately good results are rare in SC. – Lex
    Lex, let me put you in your place AGAIN because you are making the same BOGUS statements AGAIN.
    SC middle and elementary schools scored at or above MOST states in 5 out of 8 NAEP tests. You ADMITTED this when I confronted you with these FACTS before. Your reply was it’s not where they kids start but where they finish.
    Why don’t you stick with defending Mark Foley.

  18. Lee

    School teacher are already some of the highest-paid workers in South Carolina.
    Free market choices would enable the better ones to make even more, and those already making more than they are worth would be force to find other occupations.

  19. Dou

    I have a confession to make. When I started reading this blog last year, I was actually excited to see what went on “behind the scenes” at a local newspaper. I really had this idealistic notion that newspapers existed to be the eyes, ears, and voice of the community. After today’s endorsement (actually a denouncement would be a better term), I have to finally admit that my foolish belief in the power of the press has been crushed. A year’s worth of blogging has led me to realize that The State editorial board isn’t interested in anything but pontification. They HATE people who actually want to do something
    or change something. They believe in incremental change measured in inches per decade when what we need is bold, swift, radical change to a system that is full of waste, corruption, and inefficiency. The answer to any question is always “More government control”.
    The saddest part of the past month has been watching Brad’s coy handling of the Grady Patterson candidacy. Here is one situation where an honest editorial board would expose Mr. Patterson for what he is – an old man who has no business holding office.
    I’m expecting The State to endorse Ravenal with a bunch of caveats, but they have failed the public by even allowing Mr. Patterson to appear to have any competency to hold the job.
    Today’s Sanford slam was shameful.

  20. LexWolf

    The troll can repeat his fake, mangled, tortured “quotes” as many times as he likes but the bottom line is quite simple and undeniable. Even after 50% of kids drop out, SC is at or near the bottom at the finish line – the SAT!! Who cares if we were somewhere in the middle of the pack at the end of the first lap?
    (Besides, if our public schools are doing so great, why would so many people be clamoring for school choice in the first place? That’s a question to which nobody on the educrat plantation side ever seems to have an answer.)

  21. Randy Ewart

    Lexie resorts to the childish name calling when a deeper argument is unavailable.
    I’ll be happy to cut and paste your quote Lexie, with the thread, date and time. Of course, you just reaffirmed it, Who cares if we were somewhere in the middle of the pack at the end of the first lap? Of course that would be the first 2 out of 3 laps.
    Who cares if we are in the middle? Alot of people Lexie. If all these people are clamoring for school choice, why have we had so few programs in the nation? Why do the public school haters need all this out of state money? And spare us the worthless retort about teacher unions controlling the country.
    Defining our state education system with a single measure is as useful as evaluating our county Sheriff by tracking the number of speeding tickets. There is a strong correlation between family income and SAT score. How is this an accurate measure of education?
    Try using facts as opposed to blind ideology.

  22. LexWolf

    “Defining our state education system with a single measure is as useful as evaluating our county Sheriff by tracking the number of speeding tickets.”
    Then why are you using 2 tests out of 8, in 1 year out of 4, in only 2 grades, to portray the entire SC public school system as just peachy? If the SAT, where we rank 49th out of 50 (and have ranked down there for decades), is not sufficient to prove that our schools are abysmal, then surely that NAEP you tout is just as useless to show that they are at least mediocre. So thank you for conceding the one mediocre statistic in a vast sea of abysmal failure.
    ‘s OK, troll. Just 15 more days and we’ll be a good step closer to school choice. Then your educrat buddies will have to go to work again to impede and thwart the will of the people.

  23. Dave

    Randy, I don’t have the exact numbers but for the New York City school system, administrators number in the thousands. The Catholic diocese of NYC employs 22 people in their admin office for their schools. We won’t need tax increases after we get rid of 90% of the PR directors, Measurement Directors, and Assistant VPs of Desk and Chair Arrangement.

  24. Randy Ewart

    Lexie continues to resort to the childish tactics…didn’t Brad dedicate a thread to this boorish behaviour?
    8 > 1, this reads 8 is bigger than 1 Lex. The SAT is only ONE measure and not all high school students take this test. On the other hand, the 8 different and subject specific tests used on the middle and elementary school students is more inclusive.
    If you don’t understand how 8 subject specific tests are a more valid comprehensive measure, then your problem is not faulty ideology but a lack of critical thought.
    Lexie, state wide choice will not be ushered in by Floyd. It’s silly to suggest such.

  25. Randy Ewart

    Dave, do some research. The vast majority of a district budget is teacher compensation and benefits – something like 75%. Your suggested cuts used to redirect money to teachers would be minimal.

  26. Lee

    Lavish benefits.
    25% of the school budget for management would be outrageously out of line.
    In the 1960s, when Florence schools had half the students they have today, they had one consolidated district with an entire staff of 6 people running it all.

  27. Ready to Hurl

    How many public school administrators were there in the 1860’s, Lee?
    Jeez, what an absolute idiot.

  28. Lee

    Since the schools ran just fine with 6 administrators and one district, I would like to hear your justification why doubling the number of students requires a staff over 30 times as large.
    Then tell us what that bloated overhead cost contributes to student learning.

  29. Dave

    Randy, if I have time I will start posting links to org charts again. No one can convince me schools need Directors of Community Relations and PR Directors. Multiple transportation directors.. Its out there plain to see. The bloat is unbelievable and most of these people never teach a kid a thing.

  30. LexWolf

    “Since the schools ran just fine with 6 administrators and one district”
    And those were the days of IBM typewriters, mimeograph machines and slide rules. Amazing how 6 people did the work it now takes 180 to do, without computers, copiers and all those other productivity-enhancing gadgets to help them. Somehow I think 6 people could still do the same work now, if we would just get rid of all those “improvements” and “reform plans” since then. Get rid of most of the timewasting educrats and let teachers teach again.

  31. Randy Ewart

    Dave, my point is not that there’s no waste. It’s that you claim some incredible amount of savings which could be used to boost teacher pay any significant amount. You have NO DATA to support this. I think many proponents of using the market model for education will not support the dollars necessary for teacher pay to be competitive. It’s not coming from the waste as you suggest.
    Lex, comparing schools now with those in the 60s is laughable. We didn’t have resource officers, administrators carrying walkie talkies, special education laws, pregnancies, gangs and school shootings etc. The top teacher concerns 40 years ago were tardies and chewing gum in class. Come on down from that ivory tower and look around. And while you’re at it, take a look at Heathwood Hall. They have a little more than a staff of 6.

  32. LexWolf

    Aaah, my dear troll. You just don’t get it, do you? I haven’t counted HH’s non-teachers but I doubt it’s more than 20 or 30. However, whatever number it is, the parents are clearly in charge. If we think there are too many non-teaching personnel around, we can loudly demand a change and usually will get it – or else we can leave HH and let them suffer the consequences. That’s REAL ACCOUNTABILITY, not the ersatz crap you and Brad are pushing.
    What are our choices in public schools if the educrat numbers are getting too high?? Usually tough TT. Sure, we can vote for a (hopefully) more responsive candidate for the school board but if the candidate promises a lot but delivers little, we’re SOL. If the candidate loses, we’re even more SOL. Even if the candidate wins and tries to deliver, there are usually several other board members who may or may not agree with “my” school board member. Then even if the school board goes my way, the principals have to enforce those decisions, and you know as well as I do that there are dozens of ways to sidetrack, thwart, divert, modify, dilute, etc. the school board’s decision.
    Now where’s the REAL ACCOUNTABILITY? Being able to simply remove our kids from unsuitable schools, or having to sacrifice our kids to some bogus educrat “reform” that will take yet another 13 years to see if it works, after 50 years of abject failure? Even though any thinking person knows full well that it won’t work because something just like it has been tried a dozen times before?

  33. Lee

    The decline of public education in a nutshell:
    Comparing schools now with those in the 60s is sad. We didn’t need resource officers, administrators carrying walkie talkies, special education laws, school nurses for all the pregnancies, gangs and school shootings etc. The top teacher concerns 40 years ago were tardies and chewing gum in class.
    With morality and discipline, all that was necessary were good teachers, and a principal and secretary for each school, and a superintendant for each county, with a staff of about 5.

  34. Factfinder

    One point – you seem to insinuate that you, the rest of the Editorial Board, and the rest of the state (SC, not the paper) were surprised to discover after the election that Sanford was an “ideologically pure libertarian.” Well, if you’d spent more than 10 minutes perusing his Congressional record (which you should be familiar with, since in the later post you note that the beginning of your editorial tenure coincided with Sanford’s congressional election), you would have known that in 2002, or 2000 or 1998 or 1996!
    Remember all those 300+ to 2 votes where Mark Sanford and Ron Paul (of Texas) were the lone two dissenting votes?!? Ron Paul (although nominally a Republican) is the poster-boy for Libertarians. What did you THINK Sanford was going to do when elected to the Governor’s Office? Does a 40+ year old zebra change its stripes often?!? You know all the “pro-school-choice” out-of-state advocates and money you rail against here? Where does that money train lead back to? Howard Rich. And what other group does Howard Rich fund? U.S. Term Limits. Mark Sanford WROTE a pro-term-limits manifesto for Rich’s group when he was in Congress! And you didn’t think they were ALLIED!?! You didn’t think Rich & Co. would continue to push their ideas through their surrogate Sanford in South Carolina?!?
    Perhaps the voters of SC can claim “undue surprise” with Sanford, Brad, but you cannot. Or if you legitimately can claim surprise, then shame on you for not doing your research four years ago…

  35. Lee

    Ron Paul is the former Libertarian Party candidate for President. Smart man. Cuts right to the heart of most issues.

  36. Factfinder

    Sure, Lee – you might agree with him on some issues. Maybe you want to eliminate Medicaid or Social Security. Maybe you even want to abolish the Federal Reserve. But how about the CIA? Yep, Ron Paul would abolish the CIA if he could (see the Washington Post profile of him from this summer).
    I wonder if Sanford shares the same philosophy on that, too.

  37. Randy Ewart

    Lexie, I’ll add this to your list of contradictions:
    You compare numbers of a rural 60s district with current districts and conclude there’s excessive staff today. You then defend your daughter’s school for “only having 20-30 nonteachers”. You throw in your ideology to justify it.
    “50 years of failure”. Yes, ignore the FACTS. SC middle and elemntary schools scored higher than MOST states in 5 out of 8 state tests. That’s failure? Yes, sell that Nebraska beach property.

  38. LexWolf

    “SC middle and elemntary schools scored higher than MOST states in 5 out of 8 state tests.”
    For once, produce a specific link that shows that! As far as I know that’s all in your imagination.

  39. some guy

    Good points, factfinder.
    I mean no disrespect to Brad Warthen or The State here, but why indeed didn’t they press a little harder about some of this stuff? Was Jim Hodges just so bad that nearly ANY alternative was going to breeze through? On the school choice matter, which has become so important to The State (and to the state), why didn’t they dig a little deeper? Was there truly NO clue as to how far Mark Sanford really wanted to take this stuff?

  40. Lee

    Medicare and Social Security are going to eliminate themselves. Both have been bankrupted several times and required more taxes on future generations to prop them up for the current voters. Ron Paul and others who point out these facts are simply trying to make everyone face reality, and realize that these welfare programs are grossly expensive and rob workers of the ability to fund secure healthcare and retirement plans for themselves.

  41. Randy Ewart

    Lexie, I used the same website you used for comparing SC with the AVERAGE NAEP scores. I directed you to the link on that same page. I’m sorry you had trouble navigating the website and I’m sorry you have trouble with the difference between mean and median.
    You are also contradicting yourself. You repeatedly have admitted to this data by stating that these scores don’t matter because the high schools are doing poorly. I think you need to stick to one position.
    Speaking of scores, Floyd stated on the WIS debate tonight that there are “numerous results that show we are last in the state”. She could only cite drop out rate and SAT. Those are high school measures. Why then do we need choice for the middle and lower levels?

  42. Lee

    We need choice for elementary and middle school so more students can make it through high school.
    Education alone will not accomplish it without a drastic change in morality among those demographic groups with the highest dropout rates, because so many are due to pregnancy, drugs, crime and other poor choices of behavior.

  43. LexWolf

    Still no link from the troll but lots of meaningless verbiage instead. I have never admitted to anything you say I admitted to. Stop putting words in my mouth!

  44. Randy Ewart

    LOL, I got the link from YOU Lexie. From your last post, I take it you are back tracking from your repeated posts that “SC is below average on the NAEP scores?”
    If you didn’t use that data, then you provide a LINK to justify your repeated public school hating comments – e.g. “terrible schools”. Do you have ANY data beyond SAT and drop out rates? If not, then your plan can focus only on choice for high schools because you said choice is a “solution” for our “terrible school system”. So you are changing your “plan” again.

  45. Lee

    Randy, do you think you could find a job teaching in the private sector? Would it pay as well as teaching for the government?
    Vouchers offer a real income opportunity for the better teachers.

  46. LexWolf

    The troll refers to a link I allegedly posted. For the record, that link about NAEP scores was actually posted by Brad and it makes none of the claims the troll makes. So once again, give us a link supporting your claims or forever hold your peace.

  47. Randy Ewart

    I’m not the public school hater who made disparaging comments about “SC schools being terrible”. You are so justify those claims. Or are you just repeating what you hear from others – another ditto head.
    Whether you posted the link orignially or not Lexie, you used the data on this link to justify your hate. Now you claim you don’t know this link? If so, then you have no justification for your “plan” that you claim is a “solution”.
    Once again, using the SAME link YOU USED for the NAEP scores, SC middle and elementary schools are at the median on 5 out of 8 tests. Now, I will be glad to provide a link to help you with the difference between mean and median, although I’ve posted that before as well.

  48. LexWolf

    “using the SAME link YOU USED for the NAEP scores….”
    So what is that link? Yet more blah, blah, blah from the troll. Obviously you can’t produce the link that allegedly supports your 5/8 claim or else you would have done so 3 posts ago.

  49. Randy Ewart

    Lexie, you broke out the hate comments about public education. You suggested you and all those out of state lobbyists have a “plan” to fix our “terrible schools”. But you have NO DATA to show that our elementary and middle schools are doing poorly? So why do we need your “plan”?
    Let’s summarize your position. You now admit you don’t have justification for your plan in addition to not having any evidence that your plan will work? No wonder you resort to childish name calling.

  50. Randy Ewart

    Here you go Lexie:
    I went to Google ( and typed in NAEP Scores.
    Look for SC (bottom right of the country) and click on it.
    Listed on the SC page are the AVERAGES you repeatedly used to prop up the need for your “plan”.
    To the right of these averages are “Graphics”. Look for “scale scores” under “cross state comparison maps”.
    Move the icon on your computer screen over the checks in the 2005 column and click for a map which compares all states.
    Before you do all this, you might want to learn about the difference between mean (average) vs median because I saw you had trouble with this before. Use you arrow to move the red dot to the far right. This will help you visualize why the median is often the more useful measure of center.
    The last time I explained all this to you and questioned why we would need your “plan” when we scored at the median, you replied we should have choice for the sake of having choice. I am betting you’ll change your position again.

  51. Randy Ewart

    Here you go Lexie:
    I went to Google ( and typed in NAEP Scores.
    Look for SC (bottom right of the country) and click on it.
    Listed on the SC page are the AVERAGES you repeatedly used to prop up the need for your “plan”.
    To the right of these averages are “Graphics”. Look for “scale scores” under “cross state comparison maps”.
    Move the icon on your computer screen over the checks in the 2005 column and click for a map which compares all states.
    Before you do all this, you might want to learn about the difference between mean (average) vs median because I saw you had trouble with this before. Use you arrow to move the red dot to the far right. This will help you visualize why the median is often the more useful measure of center.
    The last time I explained all this to you and questioned why we would need your “plan” when we scored at the median, you replied we should have choice for the sake of having choice. This, of course, was a change from your previous claim that choice was a “solution” for our terrible schools. So which is it?

  52. Doug

    I watched the last 20 minutes of the Sanford-Moore debate in Greenville last night.
    Moore looked like he would have preferred being in the dentists chair. Same old talking points of the “I’m a uniter, not a divider” ilk. Sanford said he’d raise the cigarette tax if it were offset by a decrease in another tax. Moore said he’d use the cigarette tax to pay for every government expanding program he can think of.
    Just like Brad wasted fifteen minutes of the Floyd-Rex debate trying to get Karen Floyd to say “I support vouchers”, the moderator from the Greenville newspaper spent far too much time trying to get Sanford to say “I’m a libertarian”. Do these moderators think people are so stupid that they have to get a single simple sentences out of the candidates to define them? It’s a cheap ploy in lieu of actually discussing facts and ideas.
    Based on the portion of the debate I saw, I’m very happy I cast my vote for Sanford.

  53. Lee

    If our elementary and middle schools were doing such a good job, why can only 50% of their students survive high school to graduation?

  54. Randy Ewart

    Doug, Brad pushed Floyd to take a stance on the PPIC legislation. I thought that case was appropriate because she clearly was trying to spin and dodge. After all, she has made privitization a center piece of her platform so let’s hear what she has to say about a privitization measure.
    I despise seeing people try to control the message and using polling as guidelines for their message. Yes, I know they all do it, but I’m talking in relative terms. I appreciate candidates who take a stand with unpopular positions. I used to respect W for this, but he’s gone too far.
    Like W, I think Floyd is good at maintaining a specific message, but I have doubts she can handle any deviation from her talking points.

  55. LexWolf

    Hallelujah! The troll finally came up with a link although I can’t see how it supports his claims. I actually looked at several of the “Cross-State Comparisons, Average Scale Scores” but for the life of me can’t figure out how the troll comes up with his 5-of-8 or 6-of-8 claim. The tables themselves certainly don’t make any such comparisons. Perhaps the troll could walk us through his “thinking” step by step?

  56. Randy Ewart

    Lexie, I’m sorry you can’t navigate a site. Your lack of aptitude is not my problem, but at least I understand why your stance on education in SC is so misguided. You have trouble accessing data. Perhaps this is why you vent on this site and call others childish names.
    I had little problem clicking and finding the color coded map that shows which states have higher scores and which have lower scores than SC. I did this for all 8 tests – counting the states below us. We were at or above the median on 5 of them which certainly shows were are far from “terrible”.

  57. LexWolf

    Oh, I found all that. I’m challenging you on your claims that SC is at or above average on 5 or 6 of 8 areas. How in the world can you justify that? Certainly not based on the data, the charts or the color-coded maps! Just being part of the middle group (yellow) of the 3 groups does NOT by any means put us at the median.

  58. Randy Ewart

    Sigh, Lexie you’d fit in with my seniors who want me to show them how to do everything. They have the same problem with not reading.
    There are lots of pretty colors on the map. SC should be in blue. The yellow states have scores which are “not significantly different” than SC’s. The redish states have a lower score. The greenish states have a higher score.
    For example, click on 2005 4th grade math. You will see 15 states in green. They have a higher score than SC. This indicates that MOST states are at or below SC’s level. Median is defined as a score with atleast 50% of the data at or below that score.
    Say what you will about high schools, but YOU have yet to provide any LINKS to support you hate claims about middle and elementary schools. This indicates you’ve been blowing hot air based on perception and not data.

  59. Lee

    South Carolina is way above average in school dropouts.
    No improvements to high schools will reach the 50% of customers who walk out.

  60. Randy Ewart

    Lexie has visited the blog since my last post, but has yet to reply. I’ll venture a guess that he finally figured out how to access data on the link and this data completely contradicts his ideology.
    As a loyal ditto head, he followed Rush’s lead and ignores data and facts that contradict his positons.

  61. Randy Ewart

    You take an IQ test and score a 120 (you’re pretty smart so I’ll make it a high score). Brad scores a 121 (yes, a big assumption here on my part). We do not conclude he’s smarter.
    Chances are, next time you both will score a little differently – maybe you’ll get a 122 and he’ll get a 119. Because of variation, the scores are considered “not significantly different”.

  62. LexWolf

    Now apply that definition to your link and see if they applied it the same way. What’s their definition?

  63. Randy Ewart

    It’s the same Lexie. The scores between SC and the states in yellow were so close, if the students were retested, the rankings may be different as demonstrated in the IQ example.
    Similarly, when poll results are provided, the estimate is always given as a range. For example, a poll shows Ford has 47% of the vote, but this is with +-4%. This means the actual estimate given by the poll is Ford is getting 43% to 51%. Corker has 45% which is actually 41% to 49%. It could be that Ford has 43% and Corker has 49% vs 47 and 45. This why they use the phrase “a statistical dead heat” (no statistical difference).
    Both the state scores and the poll involve some variation as explained in the IQ example.

  64. LexWolf

    Oh boy, where to start? The NAEP results are not polls. Polls try to predict the actual results by using a relatively small sample. That’s why you have a margin of error. The NAEP numbers, on the other hand, ARE the official results of all students tested. There is no margin of error! (Surely a world-renowned statistics expert like you, with 33 semester hours of training, would know all this so why are you trying to put us on?!)
    In other words, we know exactly how each state’s students scored. Again, define “not significantly different” for NAEP purposes! Include the link.
    In any case, I would consider an 8 percentage point variation as seriously significant. Most college admissions offices would easily see the difference between a 960 SAT score and one of 1040 and make decisions accordingly, don’t you think?

  65. Randy Ewart

    I’m sorry the concept is beyond your ability.
    If you repeatedly take an IQ test, the results will vary. If you repeatedly take the NAEP, your scores will vary. If you repeatedly take a poll, the results will vary – the same concept.
    If the results, whether they be polls or standardized tests, are close they are considered not significantly different – the same concept. E.g. Brad and Lexie’s IQ scores were so close, their rankings can easily flip the next time they are tested.
    It makes sense to those who are trained and analyze the data. I’m sorry it contradicts your ideology, but as you said “data is data”.
    Back to the SATs, eh? I’ve been asking for evidence for you characterization that middle and elementary schools are at the bottom. You have none so you try to ignore this issue. I’ll take this as implicitly acknowledging that you were wrong.

  66. LexWolf

    You just don’t get it, Randy, despite your alleged 33 semester hours of statistics! We only take the NAEP once a year so whether the scores would change if our kids took it for a second or third time is absolutely moot. The scores are the scores, and they are not polls, thus the margin of error concept doesn’t apply. Otherwise why would the educrats sing hosannas whenever the NAEP scores go up by a point or two? If it’s just margin of error, then shouldn’t they shut up about it instead of trying to flimflam us?

  67. Randy Ewart

    This has nothing to do with “educrats”. This is proven statistical methodology, the same used in quality control in the business world, in polling, in the medical and research fields etc.
    It’s you, my statistically challenged anonymous adversary, who “doesn’t get it”. A test, whether it’s IQ or NAEP, is not an exact measurement. As I stated before, just because Brad scores a point higher than you on an IQ test doesn’t mean he’s smarter. Whether you take the test again or not, it’s understood that because of variation the results could flip.
    Because it doesn’t suit your extreme ideology doesn’t make it wrong. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts Lexie.
    The “singing of hosannas” is a valid point, but it’s a different issue. Also, the hosannas occur in many fields. Your beloved Karl Rove will hail a 3 point increase in W’s approval rating (to a whopping 38%) but if the increase is less than the margin of error, then statistically there’s no change.

  68. Lee

    A lot of liberals don’t believe in any testing. Some give ‘A’ grades to everyone. Some pass everyone. Liberal socialist dogma teaches that everyone is equal, or should be rewarded as if they were.

  69. Jeff Jarrett
    Voted in 1996 to continue chain migration
    Rep. Sanford in 1996 voted for the Chrysler-Berman Amendment to H.R.2202. It was a vote in favor of a chain migration system that has been the primary cause of annual immigration levels snowballing from less than 300,000 in 1965 to around a million today. Rep. Sanford supported provisions that allow immigrants to send for their adult relatives. Then each of those relatives can send for their and their spouse’s adult relatives, creating a never-ending and ever-growing chain. The bi-partisan Barbara Jordan Commission recommended doing away with the adult-relative categories and chain migration (begun only in the 1950s) in order to lessen wage depression among lower-paid American workers. The House Judiciary Committee agreed with the Jordan Commission and passed H.R.2202, which would have effectively ended chain migration. But on the floor of the House, Rep. Sanford helped kill the reform by voting for the Chrysler-Berman Amendment which stripped out the legal immigration reforms. Rep. Sanford’s vote was important; the reformers were only 28 votes short of approving the end of chain migration. Rep. Sanford helped continue a level of immigration that the Census Bureau projects will result in a doubled U.S. population in the next century. The Chrysler-Berman amendment passed the House by a vote of 238-183.
    Nearly doubled H-1B foreign high-tech workers in 1998
    Rep. Sanford helped the House pass H.R.3736. Enacted into law, it increased by nearly 150,000 the number of foreign workers high-tech American companies could hire over the next three years. Although the foreign workers receive temporary visas for up to six years, most historically have found ways to stay permanently in this country. Rep. Sanford voted for more foreign workers even though U.S. high tech workers over the age of 50 were suffering 17% unemployment and U.S. firms were laying off thousands of workers at the time.
    Voted in 1998 to allow firms to lay off Americans to make room for foreign workers
    Before the House passed the H-1B doubling bill (H.R.3736), Rep. Sanford had an opportunity to vote for a Watt Substitute bill that would have forbidden U.S. firms from using temporary foreign workers to replace Americans. Rep. Sanford opposed that protection. The substitute also would have required U.S. firms to check a box on a form attesting that they had first sought an American worker for the job. Rep. Sanford voted against that. The protections for American workers fell 33 votes short of passing.
    Tried to create massive new foreign agriculture worker program in 1996
    Rep. Sanford voted IN FAVOR of the Pombo Amendment to H.R.2202. He was voting for a massive new program that would have allowed agri-business to import up to 250,000 foreign farm workers each year for a period of service of less than a year. A bi-partisan congressional commission working with the Bush Administration (1989-93) had concluded that there were at least 190,000 farm workers already in America who were out of work at any given time. The federal commission said the oversupply of farmworkers was a major reason why farm workers’ real incomes had fallen by almost half over the previous two decades. Rep. Sanford rejected the recommendations of the commission and took the side of growers who asked for a larger labor supply. The amendment — which had no provisions for ensuring that the temporary workers did not stay in the U.S. as illegal aliens — failed by a 180-242 vote.
    Tried to continue foreign nurse guestworker program in 1996
    Rep. Sanford supported continuing a guestworker program for foreign nurses through his vote IN FAVOR of the Burr Amendment to H.R.2202. Those favoring the amendment said many rural areas had a shortage of nurses and needed the foreign workers. The 262-154 majority, however, let the foreign nurses program end, contending that there are more than enough Americans trained in nursing to do the job if the pay and working conditions are appropriate.

  70. Lee

    We don’t want these low-rent foreign workers.
    Sanford and Lindsay Graham are wrong to sell out to big business on the issue of illegal workers.
    So is Tommy Moore.
    Tommy Moore is wrong on high taxes, waste in government, corrupt lawmakers, lobbyists, education, and most other issues.

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