Regardless of her credentials from the Broad Institute (or maybe because of them), Superintendent Nancy McGinley of the Charleston County School District simply does not know what to do with Burke and North Charleston High Schools. If it weren't for NCLB, she wouldn't even care. As it is, that embarrassing time has rolled around once again: the threat of a state takeover.
Incompetence can be defined as tinkering with the edges of a poorly-understood problem and calling that success. Thus, in her latest statements McGinley points out how she has cut the number of failing schools in the district. True, by closing them. What does that prove?
Back in mid-June, McGinley gushed in an op-ed about how these two schools were really "dream-making 'opportunity centers."" She complains of the short-sightedness of those who think schools with unconscionably high dropout rates should be labeled as "at risk" or "failing." After all, she points out, some students do achieve and graduate!
Later in the month, NAACP vice-president Joe Darby echoed this drivel in a similar op-ed. He and the NAACP should be ashamed of themselves.
McGinley has had plenty of time to turn around these high schools; obviously she doesn't know how. If it weren't for CCSD Board members who follow her in lockstep, the Board would have voted her out of her position long ago.
The person most responsible for the poor performances of both schools is the Superintendent. Prior to reaching that position, she was chief academic officer. Once named superintendent, she has appointed the district supervisors and the principals. They are her responsibility and she has blown it.
Whether the state takes over the schools, a private organization such as KIPP is called in, or these schools go charter, McGinley has shown she should not be trusted with the education of the students in and headed for these schools.
But of course Wando, Buist, and the Academic Magnet continue to do well. Apparently that is all McGinley supporters care about.