Letters to the Editor

State superintendent racing SC to the bottom

Oh, no, not again. Just when I think the Republicans cannot come up with yet another bizarre idea, state schools Superintendent Mick Zais does.

Asked why the state isn't applying for a competitive federal program, "Race to the Top," with up to $50 million for education, which it has a good chance of receiving, Zais said taking more federal funds will just make the state more beholden to U.S. education officials. As if the state is not already beholden. Like being beholden is some evil condition. Also, it's tainted federal money. You know, the kind that you don't want to touch, no matter what the consequences. In addition, it's that pesky "... thirst of the education establishment" for taxpayer money, said the superintendent's spokesman.

According to the South Carolina Policy Council, which publishes statistical indicators for education, the state ranks 51st (behind Washington, D.C.) in average freshman graduation rates. Now, that's low. South Carolina is in the low to middle range in a variety of other criteria listed on the council's website.

Maybe Zais is engaging in his own competition. Instead of "Race to the Top," he wants to "Race to the Bottom." With his miserly and hypocritical approach to education funding, he's likely to win.

Terry Gibson

Lady's Island