The most valuable resource to South Carolina has always been its citizens.  We are a people with strong sense of identity and pride that is truly unique to our state.

However, as South Carolinians we are not guaranteeing the best, high quality education to our children.  Instead we relegate them to minimal adequacy.

By keeping our standard for education at “minimally adequate” we are resigning ourselves to future generations that will not receive a high quality education that can make our children as competitive as their neighbors in other states and as their peers internationally.

Currently, South Carolina ranks 51st in the nation for graduation rates, ranks 45th in SAT scores and 44th in preparing students for the workforce. These statistics are clear evidence that something needs to be done. By removing the “minimally adequate” standard we, the citizens, tell our legislators that each child that is educated in South Carolina deserves to receive a high quality education which will prepare them for today’s global workforce.

A study performed by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina found that for every dollar South Carolina invests in education between 2010 and 2030, approximately $11.20 is added to the economy (measured by gross state product).  That’s quite a return on investment, which is how we should begin to look at education.

Education is an investment in the future of South Carolina and her economic success.  Any smart consumer wouldn’t dare make an investment in a minimally adequate business, bank or stock.  It is the same with our legislature; they will never invest in a minimally adequate system of education.

As South Carolinians, we need to join together to say we can and will do better than minimally adequate. We need to live out our state motto of “prepared in mind and resources.”  We need to ensure that our future generations, our greatest resource, have a high quality education so they are well prepared in mind to compete with their peers on a global scale.

By collecting 1,000,000 signatures we collectively stand up and say we can do better and will do better than minimally adequate. All South Carolina citizens regardless of age can sign the petition at http://www.goodbyeminimallyadequate.com.

Please join me in starting this imperative discussion by posting your thoughts and comments either as you sign the petition or comment on this blog.  Then, bring the discussion to your friends and community.  Let us join together and change education in South Carolina.

Posted on July 9, 2009 by Carly Gallagher

Change permeates the air in America. It’s in the works as we eat, work, and sleep. You don’t necessarily hear or see it coming, but we are each prepared for its arrival. Change–it’s happening with health care, immigration, and, thankfully, education.

For generations, South Carolina has avoided change in the public school system. For 114 years we have had a “minimally adequate” educational standard. And for 114 years we have suffered.

Change is often misunderstood—something each and every one of us can relate to. We don’t know how to react or accept it. We’re so use to the ‘here and now’ that anything different trudges in frighteningly.

But think of all the good that can come from change. How would South Carolina rank if we focused on providing “high quality” education—an education that every child should be entitled to anyways? Is it possible that our SAT scores could increase? Is it possible that fewer students would dropout? Is it possible that more students would perform higher, be more confident in their academic abilities, go on to higher education and careers? What a change that would be!

Change doesn’t have to be scary though. In fact, it can be quite exciting. One of the most interesting trends in America that is changing is volunteerism. In 2007, 60.8 million volunteers performed 8.1 billion hours of service. That’s one million more people than in 2002 (NationalService.gov).

Over the course of only five years, one million people decided to give up something—a free afternoon, sleeping in late, their favorite Saturday morning cartoons—and instead, they made an impact. They built houses, cleaned up shelters, fed the hungry, worked for a cause.

One million people can make a difference. One million people can enforce change. Goodbye Minimally Adequate will change the face of public education in South Carolina. With one million signatures, change is inevitable. With one million people asking for change, it will happen.

So, will you volunteer your signature and your time? Will you help make a difference? Will you help change history?

President Obama said in his inauguration speech: “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.”

His words are true. Making change is a challenge. But with support it can be done.

www.GoodbyeMinimallyAdequate.com

If you feel the desire to help out by giving more than just your signature, please do! We always need help inputting paper petition signatures into the online database (community service!). We also always need supporters to gather signatures and be community advocates.

-Misti Bailey

What If?

January 20, 2009

The South Carolina State Constitution currently states that a “minimally adequate” education is perfectly ok for our students. Minimally adequate infers that the state only has to provide the bare necessities of an education. South Carolina children are suffering because of this mentality. Why do you think we always come out at the bottom of educational standings?

Today, I ask the question- What If? What ifminimally adequate were ok for other things? What ifwe settled for minimally adequate food? We could all live off of a piece of  bread and a cup of water a day. But we would all be dissatisfied. What if we settled for minimally adequate construction? Something tells me that an unfinished house or unpaved road wouldn’t exactly make us thrilled or feel safe. What if we settled for minimally adequate law enforcement? Can you imagine the chaos if police officers were to decide to only take care of things from 9-5?

Minimally adequate doesn’t suffice in any other part of our lives. Why should it in education? Why should the children of our state be forced to settle for out-of-date text books and rundown buildings?

If South Carolina could open their eyes to the shameful conditions of our educational system, change could happen. Currently, SC is 51st in the nation for graduation rate, ranks 45th in SAT scores and 44th in preparing students for the workforce. These statistics are clear evidence that something needs to be done.

 Thats what the Goodbye Minimally Adequate campaign seeks to do. We need a “high quality” education. The children of this beautiful state deserve it. So please check out www.GoodbyeMinimallyAdequate.com. Watch the documentary Corridor of Shame. Sign the petition. Help make a change!

-Misti Bailey-

Minimal is NOT Adequate

June 16, 2008

Currently South Carolina’s standard for pubic education is “a minimally adequate education,” defined by the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1999 as one that produces students who can read, write and do basic mathematical calculations.

Many rural schools in South Carolina do not have the funding to provide their students with an effective learning environment like that offered in other public schools in the state.  Teachers are often forced to teach in classrooms lacking safe, sanitary and basic teaching equipment needed to keep up with the state’s standards as well as the standards of schools across the country. You can see for yourself the conditions in these classrooms by watching the documentary, Corridor of Shame: the neglect of South Carolina’s rural schools, or by visiting the website, www.CorridorofShame.com.  A brief 9-minute trailer of the documentary is available on You Tube – just type “Corridor of Shame” in the search box.

Now you can help support the campaign for “high quality education” in ALL South Carolina school districts by signing the petition in support of a constitutional amendment at www.GoodbyeMinimallyAdequate.com

 

Historical Background
In 1993, 40 public school districts in the state of South Carolina brought a lawsuit against the state (Abbeville vs. South Carolina) for the resources they need to provide their students with an adequate education.

 

For approximately 15 years, South Carolina rural school districts have advanced the Abbeville case through the courts to the South Carolina Supreme Court, which will hear final arguments on the case June 25th.  However, no steps have been made to change the wording of the state Constitution, which was adopted in 1895.

 

Goodbye Minimally Adequate Education
Supporters of South Carolina’s rural school districts hope to change the language in the state constitution to “high quality education, allowing each student to reach their highest potential” to keep up with competing educational standards in other parts of the country.  Their desire is that the petition will reach 1,000,000 signatures by the year 2010 to push the Senate and House of Representatives to pass a 2/3rd  vote in order to get the amendment on the general election ballot for public vote in November 2010. 

 

Please support high quality education in South Carolina public schools and sign the online petition at www.GoodbyeMinimallyAdequate.com.  Then forward the petition to friends and family members to sign.  Anyone school age and older with a South Carolina address can sign the petition.

 

For more information please refer to:
www.GoodbyeMinimallyAdequate.com
www.CorridorofShame.com

 

 

 

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