Recently the House voted to eliminate $53,000 from the College of Charleston’s budget because someone didn’t like one of the books on the school’s reading list. The trustees skirted their own selection procedures for the new president by ignoring the recommendation of the search committee, and selecting a high-profile legislator.
Now the Legislature is inserting itself into how we measure academic progress. It remains to be seen whether common sense can rescue Common Core and the future of our youth from politics. Some ultra-conservatives insist that the Common Core standards are being forced on us by the hated federal government that blockaded the Charleston harbor and sent the carpet baggers to South Carolina.
The blockade has been lifted but not the sting of the “recent unpleasantness.” South Carolinians choose their own form of government, but most of us haven’t yet figured out that it is a government of the good-ol’ boys first and the people second. The organized conservative opposition understands that by demonizing these issues, they energize the good-ol’-boy constituency, and we voters too often fall in line.
We now have a three-party system: Democrats, Republicans and the radical right. There may be some poetic justice in the fact that S.C. leaders who could manipulate the electorate now find themselves manipulated by the radical right and outside money, but poetic justice doesn’t help our school system.
Wouldn’t things be finer in Carolina if we let the educators educate and the legislators legislate and let our citizens have a voice in our state’s future?