hairperson of the Charleston County School Board is more rhetoric to disguise the board’s long-term failures.
She asks citizens, the guides for our children’s future, to believe that things will change. She presents statistics that at the end of the 2014/2015 school year, 84 percent of African American third graders and 41 percent of Caucasian third graders were not reading at or above grade level and that among high school juniors, 87 percent of African American students and 26 percent of Caucasian students were not capable of passing college level English courses.
While living in Charleston from 1976-1978, the statistics were quite similar, and the segregation of schools at that time mirrors the current segregation. Is not 40 years enough time to improve a system with a budget greater than $425 million? Still, the district continues to fail the youth who are our future.
As a physician educator for over 40 years, I would never tolerate a system that trains health care providers who cannot read adequately or pass an English course. Focusing on a STEM or arts curriculum is excellent, but if a student cannot read at an age appropriate level, no form of education is of much use.
In the movie “Network,” news anchor Howard Beale (actor Peter Finch) yelled into the camera to his viewers that “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” It is time for the citizens of Charleston to take up this lament with our elected school board. During the election of school board members this fall, I suggest people seek out and find candidates who are “mad as hell and not going to take this anymore.”
Sir Winston Churchill said that “politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. You can only be killed once, but in politics many times.” Do not let politicians kill our children’s future any longer.
Louis Weinstein, M.D.