No more 'Core'

This letter is in response to the June 30 editorial titled "The Common Core conundrum," in which you imply that South Carolina will "settle for standards that would put our children and our state at a disadvantage." This is simply not the case.

Let me be clear. We will not rebrand, rename, or repackage the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core battle in South Carolina is now over.

Under Act 200, the South Carolina Department of Education is in charge of developing the new standards, not the Education Oversight Committee. It does not take two years to do this work. We can and will develop new, rigorous standards that will be ready for the 2015-16 school year.

I agree with your assertion that we need college and career ready standards. However, we can develop high-level standards and help South Carolina students compete in the global economy without those standards being Common.

Just like some people who present higher taxes as the only option to improve our communities, there are some who advocate Common Core as being the only solution to improve education.

The truth is, we have options. We're not rushing through the writing process for our standards. In fact, we're doing the opposite. We're using a thoughtful, researched approach - unlike what happened when the Common Core was rushed through the approval process in 2010.

We're currently examining the standards of states that have not adopted Common Core.

We've had a record 335 teachers nominated to serve on the rewrite team, and we're convening a task force of parents, industry, and community leaders to review the new standards. This certainly did not occur back in 2010.

Four years ago, I led the fight to end the Common Core State Standards in the Palmetto State. I was the only candidate for State Superintendent of Education who opposed their adoption in 2010.

Working in a collaborative approach with a wide group of stakeholders, we will develop high-level South Carolina standards to replace the Common Core and move our state forward.

Mick Zais

State Superintendent

of Education

Senate Street

Columbia

Elderly challenges

A June 15 editorial applauded the accomplishments of the lieutenant governor's office in regard to care of the elderly.

I am aware that the elderly prefer to stay in their homes, and it is cheaper for the government to keep them there versus a nursing facility.

But what happens when an elderly person no longer has his own home and has to live with a family member?

My mother-in-law has late- stage Alzheimer's disease and has lived with us for three months. She fell and broke her hip while in our home and is currently in a rehab facility.

She can no longer feed herself, dress, bathe, stand or walk. We have been informed that my mother-in-law will soon be discharged back to our care along with a hospital bed, lift hoist and wheelchair.

The thing that really upsets me is that we applied for Medicaid assistance on Nov. 26, 2013, for nursing home care. Here it is nearing the end of June 2014, and we still have no answer on whether or not she qualifies.

We have submitted all the paperwork that has been requested of us.

I also wrote a letter to the lieutenant governor asking for assistance in regard to the Medicaid application and was told they didn't handle Medicaid.

My mother-in-law worked and paid into the Social Security/Medicare system for over 50 years, and now when she needs assistance where is it?

It is a shame that government bureaucracy takes precedence over the quality of human care.

Nancy Clowney

Corsair Street

Summerville

Lack of coverage

Well, the vintage car race from Maine to Florida passed through Charleston on June 27 with 100 vintage cars, and there were close to a 1,000 cars at Patriots Point to welcome the tired racers.

But The Post and Courier was not there and did not report the event at all on Saturday or Sunday. Not a word.

On the other hand, no one got shot or mugged, so it was not news.

Mike West

Ashmont Drive

Wando

Big money's toll

The July 1 report about the establishment of a field office for the "Americans for Prosperity" organization in Mount Pleasant is a discouraging and demoralizing turn of events.

It seems that the Koch brothers have now actually invaded South Carolina, first in Greenville and Columbia, and more recently here in our area.

For a long time we have known that politicians have been influenced and sometimes controlled by large donor contributions, but now folks can decide to rebel against this corruption.

Our government is being further inundated with big money, largely as a result of the Supreme Court's decisions in the cases of Citizens United and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

As we celebrate on July 4 the 238th anniversary of the American Revolution, it would certainly heed us to pay attention to Thomas Jefferson's wise words written in 1825 to William Branch Giles: The "vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of '76 [date of American Revolution] now look to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry."

Translated into today's English, the meaning of this statement is clear. The end of democracy will occur when government (i.e., U.S. senators and representatives) falls into the hands of lending institutions and wealthy corporations.

I suggest we can all become activists by calling for campaign finance reform, tax reform, and the overturn of the Citizens United decision.

Freida F. McDuffie

Harbor Oaks Drive

Charleston

Crab tariff

Regarding the June 28 article on crabbing: The primary reason for the high prices is the 7.5 percent tariff on imports. Local crabbers are protected, allowing them to make more money and therefore over-crab our own estuaries.

And the cost is significantly increased for all Americans.

Over-crabbing also has detrimental effects on our ecosystem.

The best thing we could do to help our crab population locally would be to eliminate the tariff.

Andy Solomon

Oatly Circle

Charleston

Dress to dine

Hurray for the June 21 letter writer and her critique of the street music ban on Austin Fitzhenry. More importantly, her friend's opinion of tourists (and perhaps a few locals) flip- flopping into a fine dining restaurant was right on.

Coats and ties are not always necessary to enjoy a good meal. Fine dining is not the place for a picnic.

Charleston has lots of great restaurants where flip-flops, and casual - really casual dress - is OK.

It used to be that restaurants posted that business casual was expected. Maybe that's what is necessary again.

JOAN MACK

Tranquility Lane

Edisto Island

Carriage accident

Referencing a recent article in your publication, my carriage company was connected to a hit-and-run incident that occurred in April. The report is true, but from the public reaction I've received, the circumstances of this incident were misunderstood by many of your readers.

What actually happened was a vehicle ran into my carriage and fled the scene. The carriage driver got the license plate number of the vehicle.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify this incident.

Tom Doyle

President, Palmetto

Carriage Works, LTD

Guignard Street

Charleston