Echo Chamber – Educrats Assail African-American Senator July 29, 2007Posted by fitsnews in Uncategorized.
SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRWOMAN’S ATTACK ON SEN. DARRELL JACKSON MARKS SHIFT IN BATTLE LINES
FITSNews – July 29, 2007 – It didn’t take long for the education establishment to turn on S.C. Sen. Darrell Jackson.
After suggesting last month that a “time was coming” when he would support school choice given the unequivocal failure of South Carolina’s K-12 monopoly to meet the needs of our state’s students, the African-American Senator was publicly harangued this weekend by a leading member of the educrat establishment.
In a letter to The State newspaper on Saturday, Richland School District One Chairwoman Wendy C. Brawley publicly accused Jackson of harboring selfish motivations, being ignorant of African-American history, failing to adequately support public education and conspiring to “eliminate public education.”
“The senator appears to be searching for a new approach to funding education at his church,” Brawley’s letter reads, before moving on to question Jackson’s “recollection” of “forced segregation among public schools.”
Brawley then writes that Jackson “must accept the fact that our public schools deserve to have their basic needs met” before he and other state leaders “eliminate public education in favor of a system designed to provide choice to only those who can afford it.”
What Brawley’s letter conveniently fails to mention is that the few South Carolinians “who can afford it” already avail themselves of school choice, which is why proposals before the General Assembly in recent years have focused on providing choices to low and middle income families which together represent the vast majority of South Carolina households – both white and black.
Brawley also neglects to point out that the additional $1 billion in new revenue given to Palmetto public schools over the last four years has failed to make a dent in our state’s SAT scores and graduation rates, both of which remain the lowest in the nation.
Yet while Brawley’s regurgitation of the educrat talking points is hardly surprising (we’ve heard the foundation-less “more money/ class warfare/ choice destroys schools” arguments dozens of times in the past), the fact that this empty rhetoric is now being directed at Jackson represents a major shift in the school choice battle.
For years, this sort of unsubstantiated venom has been targeted exclusively at so-called “radical, out-of-state privatization backers,” with purveyors of the status quo spin never missing an opportunity to play the race card and fictitiously brand the would-be beneficiaries of choice as upper class white people.
But now we have the case of Sen. Jackson, a respected African-American leader who for years has gone along with the ever-escalating financial demands of the education establishment – only to watch it chronically and abysmally fail the children who need help the most.
Jackson (who was given the “Outstanding Legislator Award” from Brawley’s own S.C. School Boards Association in 1999) is suddenly a target of the very system he has spent the last fourteen years defending, dodging precisely the same baseless rhetorical salvos and predictible personal attacks.
To Brawley and her fellow educrat brawlers, Jackson is to be pilloried for the mere thought of establishing an independent school at his Bible Way Church. After more than a decade of “Choosing Children First” – to borrow one of the anti-choice establishment’s most oxymoronic slogans – Jackson has now apparently “lost touch” with his community’s needs, to quote Brawley’s letter.
And to think all this scorn being heaped upon his head is the result of nary a vote, simply a publicly-expressed willingness on his part to explore new ideas.
Personally, we think Jackson’s recent statements are both commendable and courageous. He is aggressively seeking to succeed where the current status quo has repeatedly and demonstrably failed, and his leadership at both the community and state level is desperately needed now more than ever.
But just as noteworthy is the response of the education establishment to Jackson’s statements – a clear indication that any deviation from the goose-stepping ranks of status quo adherants will not be tolerated, no matter what an individual’s credentials may be.
Fortunately for Jackson, the coalition that’s now gunning for him is on the decline in South Carolina.
The failure of the education establishment to override a gubernatorial veto of Democratic Superintendent Jim Rex’s sham “open enrollment” bill – despite numerous overt threats against black legislators – is a clear sign that the longtime stranglehold these pythons have held on African-American elected officials (and the children they represent) is rapidly drawing to a close.
The harsh invective directed against Jackson – albeit unoriginal – is as much a sign of desperation as it is a calculated risk.
Rather than confront the omnipresent failure of their system, educrats are banking on the hope that African-American legislators like Jackson can be “scared back in line” with threats and intimidation.
Will it work?
If the open enrollment override debate is any indication, the answer is a definitive “no.” Despite threats from its leaders, the Black Caucus was unable to hold in opposition to the governor’s veto – the best evidence yet that the alphabet soup forces of the S.C. Education Association, School Boards Association, School Administrators Association and State Department of Education have lost their decades-old vice-like grip on African-American legislators.
“The Black Vote = Power,” read a popular yellow and black bumper sticker printed up by the thousands during the heyday of anti-choice Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges.
Indeed it does, but it now appears that power could be shifting away from the very institutions who have abused and taken it for granted for far too long.