The Buzz

December 9, 2013

STATE HOUSE: Andy Patrick mulling run for SC education superintendent

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

State Rep. Andy Patrick told The Buzz on Monday that he's "exploring the idea" of running for state Superintendent of Education.

Patrick told The Buzz Monday at a news conference where he announced he would introduce a bill that would create a statewide teacher evaluation system. The bill, which was not available Monday, would evaluate teachers in part based on how much students improve on test scores. The bill proposes professional development and changes to the way teachers are paid to reward quality teachers, Patrick said.

He said he developed the bill after holding several discussions with about 60 teachers in Bluffton, Greenville and Columbia.

The two-term Beaufort Republican finished fifth in a 16-candidate field for the GOP primary in the 1st congressional district seat in March. Former Gov. Mark Sanford won the post vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate.

Patrick, a former Secret Service agent who runs a security consulting firm, would face incumbent Mick Zais if he decided to run for the education seat in 2014.

A pair of Democrats, state Rep. Mike Anthony of Union and Montrio Belton of Fort Mill, are planning to seek the post -- the last statewide seat not held by a Republican.

After Patrick's press conference, Anthony released a statement, saying "It’s disappointing to see another grandstanding politician with zero experience in education try to dictate how we evaluate our teachers. I've got four decades worth of experience teaching in South Carolina public schools and I can tell you that this is just another attempt to shift the blame to the backs of our teachers while doing nothing to address the real problems facing our schools."

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