Friday, April 28, 2017

Dr. Vashti Washington could not join us today as she had a death in the family.

Research Presentation- Blake Terrill​

Mr. Terrill is getting his Masters Degree at Francis Marion University and has volunteered to be the research arm of SCORS. He summarized his latest research:

One important conclusion he drew is that people do not make decisions based on data. Their decision- making comes from a part of the brain that rules our emotions. Often times we seek out data to support our decisions.
He presented us with a Golden Circle that illustrates the best way to promote your cause is to frame your cause with a question that focuses on your mission. Instead of saying, “We need more money for poor, rural schools.” We might more effectively engage people by asking, “Do you agree that all children are entitled to a quality education, regardless of their zip code, economic status, race, religion?” and “Do you believe every child in SC is receiving a quality education?” Depending on the answers perhaps we can come together to find a solution.
Another significant finding comes from the work of Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, President of the American Education Research Association who teaches at the University of Wisconsin. Ladson-Billing acknowledges that the achievement gap (disparity in test scores between Black and White/Latino and White/ recent immigrant and White) is a major issue in America education. She finds that instead of looking at a “gap,” we should be looking at the “education debt” our country has incurred towards minorities due to their mistreatment: historical, economic, sociopolitical and moral components. It is extraordinarily difficult for these minorities to “catch up” and will require a great effort on the part of the legislatures and education systems across America to address this Education Debt.

Officers - We are awaiting the completion of our slate of officers.
Department of Education Happenings- Jennifer Morrison

Ms. Morrison graciously offered to have any of us who have a need or a question about education in SC, call her. She said if she can’t answer our question, she would refer us to someone who could. She explained in detail a project she is currently working on: Equitable Distribution of High Quality Educators- administrators and teachers. The Equity Plan is as follows:

Increasing the Teacher Pipeline- recruitment, retention, and strategies for funding. The SC Dept. of Ed is aware that rural school districts usually get only one of two applicants for teaching jobs. Some districts are addressing this problem very creatively. It is not enough to just post an opening on your district’s website.
Districts have a hard time establishing positive relationships with institutes of higher learning. Districts should look for ways or form partnerships with their closest college or university and encourage education majors to do their student teaching in their districts.
Certification of non-traditional teachers. SCDE is aware of the growing teacher shortage in our state. PACE and other alternative licensure programs are being offered to increase the pool of quality teachers in SC.
It was noted by those present that it is hard to interest young people in teaching in rural districts because salaries are low and salaries are different even in districts that adjacent to each other.
Many teachers in small rural districts feel they have   no opportunity to “make a difference.” SCDE is developing a leadership component, training principals in ways to involve teachers in school leadership.
Ms. Morrison explained that when ESSA first came out, it appeared to include funding for a number of necessary programs. However, now much of that funding has been cut back. SCDE is seeking funding to supplement ESSA funding to help with some essential programs such as 21stCCLC programs.
Ms. Morrison told us that Clemson University is working on a study to show what it costs to educate a child in different geographic areas of SC.
Finally, she encouraged every district to develop a Twitter feed because more and more young people are using Twitter.

Zelda Waymer and Del Ruff of the After School - Alliance presented some of the changes that will occur if the federal “skinny” budget goes through. The total education portion of the budget had been reduced by 9.2 billion dollars.

For South Carolina, 21st Century programs would be cut $17 million.
Title II reduced by 2.5 billion (teacher effectiveness and training)
SEOG- Supplemental Economic Opportunity Grants (Colleges and Universities) cut by 732 million dollars. This will be a blow to underserved populations.
Addition of $168 million for Charter Schools
Addition of $250 million for Private School Choice
Addition of $1 billion for Title I with choice as a major component
$300 million removal from education programs such as NASA outreach
Pell grants will be subject to change (maybe reductions)
Removal of International Education and Impact Aid for federal property = Funding for Historically Black Colleges
Universities remains the same $432 million
$808 million cut for TRIO program to help remediate college students and $219 million for the Gear Up program- a reduction in total of $193 million incudes a study to see how effective these programs are.
Elimination of Federal Work Study programs at colleges and universities
Before and After School programs and summer programs that feed disadvantaged students would be cut severely.

Next meeting will be the last week of August. More information to follow….
By laws will appear on the website for review. They have been reviewed by attorneys.