Concerning Choice

I am an observer from the Board on a School District committee concerning Choice Schools and their future.  Rock Hill Schools currently offers within district choice.  For certain specified schools, parents may apply to enroll their child away from their zoned schools to take part in a particular curriculum of choice.   (7)

An internet search often gives me addition information on issues related to public schools.  Reading what university, government, or school district researchers had to say about the positive and/or negative effects of a particular issue helps me form a more reasoned position beyond my pre-opinion.  My posts reflect my reading, not the position of the board or even always my opinions. Continue reading

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Cuba and Kids: Education and the Revolution

One benefit of living in Rock Hill is the opportunity to take classes at Winthrop, the local state university. This spring I studied the history of Cuba and, on the class “field trip”, spend 10 days visiting Cuba. We traveled by minivan from Havana across the country to Santiago de Cuba, with a side trip to Guantanamo, and back. More than most trips I have taken this one puzzled and challenged my views. This is the first of two reflections on my trip. My comments on our visit reflect my views on my experiences only.
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PLC in Rock Hill Three

On two recent hot steamy July days 1200 Rock Hill teachers and administrators met at Winthrop University to improve their skills in building “professional learning communities” in their schools. Speakers from Boston to Los Angeles spoke passionately on the power of teachers and the imperative for successfully educating our students. “I have seen the price of academic failure and it is a matter of life or death.” John Hodge.

PLCs “Professional Learning Communities” is the name for organized procedures to make sure all students make gains in learning year by year. PLCs, if implemented faithfully, prevent academic failure. Here’s how it works. Continue reading

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Mea Culpa on 1.86

I have to apologize for a posting I made last week. Apparently I sent out the request for contacts at about the same time the House was passing Proviso 1.86. I wanted to find out more about a proviso and why it slid by so quickly and quietly.
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Stop Proviso 1.68

Today I received the following message from the School Board Association. These bills keep coming back in spite of evidence that vouchers are successful only in decreasing funds for public schools and not in increasing opportunities for our students greatly needing stronger support. Please help us remind our legislators that these monies too often go to middle class parents who already have their students enrolled in non-public schools. We have too great a job to do in trying to educate all of our SC children to give up scarce funds to those who don’t actually need them.

Contact your House representative (see contact info below) today and strongly urge him/her to vote against Budget Proviso 1.68 that would expand the students eligible to participate in the tuition tax credit program. Tell him/her to leave the program as it exists now for special needs students.
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Thank you to Senator Hayes

I follow closely posts by Mike Fanning, head of Old English Consortium which monitors and provides information to member school districts in the upstate on legislation and other issues concerning public education. I received this message this morning and wanted to share it quickly. It concerns the approval of Math and ELA Standards to replace the Common Core initiative the Legislature rejected last year. Approving these standards is crucial to allowing school districts to move beyond the uncertainty and controversy of the past year and provide what our teachers and students need – rigorous and competitive standards to guide teaching and learning. I hope you will join me in sending thanks and encouragement to Senator Hayes.
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Upon Re-Election

Re-elect Jane Sharp

Taking down campaign signs after re-election

Several days past re-election I am beginning to come down off my cloud and looking forward to the next four years.  But first I must say thank you to all the wonderful voters in Rock Hill with whom we had the pleasure of visiting over the past two months.  John, my husband of over fifty years, walked with me through every neighborhood in the 13 precincts of Seat 4.  Those who were not home I called on the phone and continued with those contacts. Continue reading

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Reflections on Campaigning October 2014

One of the pleasures of campaigning for re-election to the School Board is walking and talking with many people in the lovely neighborhoods which abound in Rock Hill.  Seat 4 encompasses most of the neighborhoods on the East side of Oakland Ave. at the Railroad overpass and over to Anderson on the east; on the west up Ebenezer and then between Twin Lakes and Mount Gallant all the way to the point where those two roads meet.  You will recognize that Seat 4 area includes some of our oldest neighborhoods as well as many newer ones. Continue reading

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Considering TIF

For some time the Rock Hill School Board has been in discussion with the City of Rock Hill concerning the City’s request to extent the current Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement to include added area and extended time.  My fellow Board Member, Ginny Moe, has written an excellent explanation of TIF and our consideration of it.  I have included her explanation below along with the link to her very good 1.5 minute video explanation.   Continue reading

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Charter Schools: Just Another Opportunity for Investors?

Last summer I attended a meeting soliciting parents to enroll their children in a second charter school in Rock Hill.  Most of the talking was done by a man from Dallas, Texas.  I asked him how he even knew about South Carolina.  He said he had been contacted by the Public Charter School District in South Carolina.  Later in the meeting he laughingly said that he had invested his own money and would not let this school fail.  I was puzzled by why someone from Texas would consider a “public” school in SC as a place to invest his money.  When I looked him up to discover his credentials I saw that he had an undergraduate degree in Pastoral Counseling from a school whose name suggested a church related college.  I saw no evidence of experience in teaching. Continue reading

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