Lowcountry Source is your voice for school reform

Lowcountry Source is your voice for school reform
September 14 14:15 2018 Print This Article

My wife Robin and I founded Lowcountry Source two years ago for the purpose of being a media watchdog. We believed that the Charleston-area media did not do enough to hold local government agencies, including the Charleston County School District (CCSD), accountable to the citizens. I am pleased to announce that I have been selected to participate in a Charleston County school reform panel which will make a series of recommendations by the end of 2018. While I won’t comment on the inner workings of the committee, know that Lowcountry Source will continue to be your voice for school reform.

The school reform committee, which is called the Scenario Team, consists of a diverse group of 24 Charleston County residents. It will receive input from a wide cross-section of community and business leaders over a series of three multi-day workshops. The workshops will be facilitated by the Brazil-based consulting group Reos Partners. The Reos contract is funded by a $192,000 rebate CCSD received from Bank of America for the use of procurement cards.

Lowcountry Source recently documented the SC Ready test scores for the 2017-2018 school year revealed that only five pure neighborhood schools outside of East Cooper had more than half of their students performing at or above grade level in English and math. One of the documents the Scenario Team will analyze is the recently-completed Clemson University Diversity Study, which noted the wide disparity in student achievement with CCSD schools. The report recommended the inclusion of more support services in high-poverty schools, especially in English and math instruction, and extended learning time for students in those schools. It also called for business partners and non-profits to raise money for high poverty schools and provide volunteer services.

The Scenario Team has been asked to analyze and make recommendations to the Charleston County School Board for spending priorities in the anticipated 2020 school construction sales tax referendum to ensure equity in school facilities across the district. Please send me your recommendations for school reform ideas and school construction priorities to John@LowcountrySource.com. Robin and I want to continue to be your voice for improving education in CCSD.

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  1. September 14, 19:34 #1 dennis sheaks

    I was impressed with the recent newsletter wherein you revealed the alleged mistreatment of a teacher-leader who was drummed out of the Charleston school system. That infornation was available to you because you were independent. Now, you will be silenced about information that many of us could benefit from because you will be “sworn to silence” as one of 24. One of 24. What an honor! Or…a ruse!

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  2. September 16, 07:49 #2 John Steinberger

    Dennis – I understand your reservations. Robin and I will continue to report the news, both good and otherwise, going on within the school district. I won’t report on discussions within the Scenario Team, because trust and confidentiality are an important part of the process. When the final recommendations are released, I will comment on whether or not those recommendations will move CCSD in the right direction. While serving on that committee, you can be sure that I will be a voice for the principals, teachers, parents and students and for implementing strategies that are proven to work in improving student performance.

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  3. September 16, 13:31 #3 Barbara Bloch

    I greatly appreciate the Lowcountry Source, and the transparency with which you report. However, I do question the necessity of paying a facilitator $200,000. This is a good amount of money. Couldn’t that be used in a better way toward the school system?

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  4. September 17, 06:15 #4 John Steinberger

    Barbara – couldn’t agree more. CCSD spends millions annually on consultants. Any number of non-profits could have facilitated the workshops at no cost. We need those resources in our high-poverty schools to improve student achievement.

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