EdFirstSC skeptical about Superintendent’s listening tour

EdFirstSC skeptical about Superintendent’s listening tour
June 12 08:50 2017 Print This Article

The Charleston County School Board meets today for a series of committee meetings. The Policy and Personnel Committee meets at 2 to discuss the Charleston County School District’s principal hiring and transfer policy. The school board ceded the authority to hire and transfer principals to the Superintendent in 2015. Existing state law vests that responsibility with the elected consolidated school board. Two local constituent school boards, representing West Ashley and Mt. Pleasant, have requested input on principal assignments. Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait is also expected to release her six week listening tour schedule today in an attempt to hear concerns from parents, teachers and community leaders.

Patrick Hayes, a 5th grade teacher at Drayton Hall Elementary School and director of the public school advocacy group EdFirstSC, sent out a press release Sunday expressing skepticism about the intent of the listening tour and whether it would help shape the school district’s forthcoming Strategic Plan. Hayes wrote, “Given the short period of time between these sessions and the presentation of the final (strategic) plan to the board, it is inconceivable that she (Postlewait) actually intends to assimilate input from dozens (if not hundreds) of people.” Hayes also vowed to mobilize the thousands of EdFirstSC members to participate in the listening sessions.

Hayes set out a list of priorities for his organization, including an improved teacher evaluation system, retaining successful principals with strong ties to the community in their current schools, and promoting best school practices throughout the school district. He also mentioned the need to stop bullying and abusive behavior by school district officers when dealing with principals and teachers.