The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
Shrimp 'n Grits
Where's the Beef?Lee Walton
Previous public statements and articles by Charleston County School Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson have been described in this column as characteristically â€œâ€¦ peppered with acronyms and references to programs â€¦ that would befuddle all but the most devoted public school administration junkies. Again, this was the case in her recent November 10th Palter & Chatter commentary, "Community conversation on Plan for Excellence instructive". One must ask the obvious question - Where's the Beef?
If one were to edit out the obvious platitudes to her supporters, self-aggrandizing comments, adjectives, adverbs and references to social policies having nothing to do with public education, there would be little of substance remaining. As always, the devil's in the details and she offered none - only broad hyperbolized generalities that sound much like the self-serving rhetoric first heard three years ago. No comparative facts or outcome-based proof, no performance standards or benchmarks met, just meaningless rhetoric, heavy on the sauces, but nothing of substance to sink your teeth into - All Hat and No Cows.
Particularly inappropriate were her references to the recent political campaigns for the school board as comparable to "learning civics in the classroom" and a "wonderful life lesson in government and politics". Nothing could be a more inappropriate example of civics than the politics as usual, which characterized the recent Charleston County School Board election. To the contrary, it was a terribly inappropriate example of raw partisan politics lead by self-appointed special interest power brokers who brought discredit upon themselves, both local political parties, most of the local broadcast and print media and the Trident Chamber of Commerce.
This wasn't a civics lesson; it was a lesson in how political power and special interest money can be used to buy a seat on the local school board. One only has to wait until each candidate's State Ethics Campaign filings are available for public scrutiny to see the same old groups of covert cronies, sycophants and lackeys throwing money behind their chosen candidate. It will be particularly interesting to discover the identities of those that provided the big money behind the successful candidates. Any bets on whose list of usual suspects will be most prominent?
The Palter & Chatter's November 9th editorial,"Significant Charleston school vote", correctly noted that the local Republican Party's effort to gain control of the school board "fell flat". However, and as usual, they couldn't help themselves by hypocritically declaring that "other tickets" didn't bear such a clearly partisan stamp!. Mayor J. Pericles Riley's letter writing campaign to back the Team is clear proof of his and, by extension, the local Democratic Party's involvement. The Palter & Chatter, Pericles, the Chamber, and both political parties were equally guilty of political meddling and mischief in what should remain one of the few elected boards free from local political domination.
The Ethics Commission campaign finance filings will be the best measure of credibility or complicity and conspiracy, only time will tell - that's the real beef.