Among the five members of the Jasper County Legislative Delegation, I want to thank Reps. Bill Herbkersman and Weston Newton for stepping up to the plate on behalf of the Jasper County public school students.
It's difficult to accept that the Jasper County School District scored another "F" based on the annual state testing. While I applaud the teachers who succeeded in their classrooms, I am appalled that the vast majority of the students didn't even achieve the bare minimum for the second year. Every teacher knows that successive academic failure, if not corrected, is the first step in a complete loss of self-worth. No child in Jasper County needs to tread this dangerous route.
All Jasper County students can learn, but who is teaching? Parents and their children deserve better than this. Everyone listen up. Accountability exists at every level, but especially with your own superintendent, principals, teachers and other specialists. And everyone else, beginning with the local Legislative Delegation, state superintendent, County Council and school board must not abdicate their professional responsibility. Hold them accountable at every level.
All should share in the blame for the years of neglect in the Jasper County schools. But now time has run out. Please stop burying or denying past mistakes and begin teaching the Jasper County students who can learn.
As a first step, I recommend the school board bid farewell to superintendent Vashti Washington. Like it or not, the buck stops with her.