Your Virtual Front Page, Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2014

And you thought I wasn’t going to post today. It’s kind of a weird news day today. The WSJ, the NYT, the BBC and the WashPost all have wildly different lede stories at this hour (respectively, they led with Obamacare, HIV babies, Ukraine and the SAT). There’s a lot going on, but everything seems to be of about equal weight. In my book, the Beeb got it right. Here ya go:

  1. ‘Tough’ Ukraine talks to continue after Paris summit (BBC) — Meanwhile, the EU offers up $15 billion to help.
  2. SLED Report: Santiago didn’t tell investigators everything ( — I tell you what — this CPD thing is getting to be about as hard to follow as the hacking scandal in Britain.
  3. Report: Marine to become 1st South Carolinian to receive Medal of Honor since Vietnam (thestate,com) — Something for SC to be proud of.
  4. Obama Gives Health Plans Added 2-Year Reprieve (WSJ) — OK, how many reprieves is that now? Anyone keeping score?
  5. SAT to lower top score to 1600 in revised test (WashPost) — The Post is actually leading with this at the moment.
  6. Second Success Raises Hope for a Way to Rid Babies of H.I.V. (NYT) — This is wonderful, but I find it hard to read — even thinking about babies being in such a horrific predicament.

22 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  1. Doug Ross

    Is the SAT story even news? The SAT is a for profit industry with little purpose. If I were running a college, I’d come up with my own test. Something you could deliver to prospective students as part of an on campus visit.

    As for the Santiago story, how does he remain on the job? There is no way to spin his behavior as anything but unethical. But that’s been the M.O. of the entire department for years.

    1. Doug Ross

      The key fact from the SAT article is that ACT test takers outnumbered SAT test takers in 2012. This is purely a market share saving exercise to stem the revenue losses.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, the SAT is news — although not lede-story news (have to disagree with the Post on that one). Because colleges DO rely on it.

      Until they don’t, it will matter.

      1. Doug Ross

        I disagree that it matters. It’s just one data point used by colleges in the selection of students. I would HOPE a student’s academic record in high school would be weighted more heavily in the process. And for “student” athletes at big schools like USC, it doesn’t matter at all. If a student athlete has a high school GPA of 3.0, he only needs a 600 COMBINED score to be eligible.

        It’s unfortunate that the South Carolina LIFE scholarship is tied to SAT scores. Any senior who graduates should be eligible to receive it the first year of college.

  2. Karen Pearson

    What gets me is that they are dropping the essay. I’ve seen too many college graduates who literally can’t consistently write a sentence, much less a paragraph.

  3. bud

    I’ve seen too many college graduates who literally can’t consistently write a sentence, much less a paragraph.

    They can probably qualify for a job at The State. 🙂

  4. Silence

    I wonder if any of the Santiago supporters are ready to walk back some of their support for him now? It now appears that he may have been less than fully truthful or forthcoming with information provided to state and federal investigators. I haven’t read the full SLED report, though.

    1. Doug Ross

      Same with the Randy Scott supporters… TWO affairs with subordinates? (That he admitted to). They need to clean house in the department.

      1. Silence

        Well, it needs to start with cleaning house on city council and working on down. Heck, that housecleaning also needs to extend to the local legislative delegation as well.

      2. Mark Stewart

        It isn’t just Scott’s affairs with a subordinate; at least one was an affair with a 24 year old – who then became an “team player” in the communicated intrigues that were going on among the top P.D. officers (and clearly colluded with Santiago on the recordings).

        While I don’t doubt that she should have been fired, no one should lay the blame for this on her; the problem, the rot, was at the top. And it was not just one person.

        Santiago should be fired by the City Manager; and Leon Lott needs to cut Randy Scott loose, too. As always, the human failings, while spectacular, are just that. However, the cover up, deceit, and leadership failings that arose out of the personal problems of one individual are inexcusable. This is about the aftermath, not the fall…

          1. Silence

            Or at least some standard. I am waiting for KF to weigh in on the latest developments…

        1. Doug Ross

          Wonder if anyone involved in the decision to give Randy Scott his retirement package was at least aware of the rumors related to his behavior? They seemed to be common knowledge for quite awhile.

        2. Mark Stewart

          I saw in The State that the young woman is now suing the city and claiming she was a victim. No, she was a grown woman who involved herself in several inappropriate, unethical, deceitful, prohibited and even illegal behaviors. Sounds like she needs to own up to her own responsibilities in this mess. She is a perpetrator, not a victim. She’s just the least bad of a bunch of civic clowns.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            It seems like everyone and his lawyer is positioning, with the exception of Chief Santiago, who says he does not want to throw any more on the conflict fire. He is struggling to keep the police force focused on the task at hand.

    2. Kathryn Fenner

      Ruben explained that he was unaware that the recording he supplied, made by Bridget Caffrey, was not the whole recording–it was pulled from Chief Scott’s former iPad by Caffrey. As soon as he realized it was not he supplied the whole thing. What is being quoted as bad acts by him as surmisals by the investigators, later dismissed by same. That is why he was not prosecuted.

      He understands that his effectiveness is compromised, and is exploring what to do about it that will best benefit the department. Since there is a huge hole at the top leadership–not filled becasue of the impending new chief, and since all of the candidates will need to spend some time at the academy, his immediate resignation is clearly not in the department’s or the city’s best interests. He does not intend to stay permanently.

      I was wrong about Randy Scott, and I have said so. Heck, I would have been wrong about Mark Sanford, too, had anyone asked me if he was having an affair with an Argentinian woman, too. This does not make me wrong about Ruben. Ruben has done an excellent job in reducing crime and in gaining the support of all races, all neighborhoods, all business leaders. Not having him at the helm is our loss. He has many other options, especially given his extraordinary service overseas.

  5. Bryan Caskey

    Regarding the SAT, it seems (to me) mostly a measure of how well you can take the test. The people I know (myself included) who paid to take the prep classes almost always did better than those who chose not to take the prep classes (or those who couldn’t afford to).

    I’m glad the essay portion is gone. I heard a story (possibly apocryphal) that the essay question asked the test taker to “use a lesson from history”. They wrote about how Lucy always pulled the football away from Charlie Brown, but he kept trying time after time.

    Perfect score on the essay.

    If that’s a true story, something needs to change.

    1. Scout

      I agree. I took the SAT before it had an essay but I know my trigonometry teacher single handedly raised my math score. We did a practice test once a week for an entire semester. In the beginning I routinely didn’t even finish before time was up. By the end, I was finishing it regularly and knew the patterns of the types of problems to expect and my score went up a quite a bit from if I had just taken it cold. That never seemed fair to me.

  6. Mark Stewart

    Today’s Front Page should include Rep. Todd Rutherford’s total miscomprehension of conflict of interest.

    He could run for Governor.

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