Ted Pitts Is A … December 6, 2007Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
BUT WAS IT FEAR, STUPIDITY OR AMBITION THAT DROVE HIS BETRAYAL?
That’s why it gives us no pleasure this morning to bend him over and introduce him to the business end of our disapproval for his disturbing decision to sell out thousands of South Carolina school children trapped in hundreds of failing and below average public schools.
By endorsing a phantom public school choice proposal championed by Democratic State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, Pitts has completely betrayed the whole raison d’être of school choice – namely that parents and children ought to be given actual choices as opposed to the politically-expedient, status quo-maintaining illusion of them. And that someone other than the virulently anti-choice education monopoly – which has done nothing but fail our children for decades – ought to be responsible for implementing those choices.
All that’s left now is to determine whether it was cowardice, naked ambition or stupidity (or a combination of all three) that motivated Pitts to deal South Carolina’s children this most unkindest cut … and then to assess the many ways in which his sellout benefits the people most responsible for relegating generations of those very children to second-class status.
Sadly, our bet is that personal ambition played the starring role in Pitts’ decision.
Widely-rumored to be seeking the Chairman’s seat on the powerful House Education Committee (which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the anti-choice education establishment), Pitts’ decision to join forces with the educrats on this bill positions him very nicely to follow fellow school choice opponent Rep. Bob Walker in leading this pivotal committee.
Pitts’ sellout also puts to bed any notion the educrats might have had of running a candidate against him in Lexington County, where the “pro-public schools” movement is especially strong. And while it is doubtful that a challenge against him would have had much chance of success, cozying up to Superintendent Rex’s “phantom choice” bill certainly puts him back in the good graces of an especially vocal segment of his constituency.
There’s also the extremely remote possibility that Pitts is actually dumb enough to think he’s doing some good by going along with this farce, which is clearly the angle he’s taking based on comments like this one in today’s edition of La Socialista:
You can be for this bill. We shouldn’t hold this (issue) hostage if it doesn’t have everything you like.
Pitts’ language is particularly noteworthy in that it leads us into the meat of this discussion, the total lack of choice provided by the “choice” bill he just signed up for.
Under the provisions of last year’s public school choice bill, schools would have been given three years to accomodate a miniscule 3% transfer capacity (based on their highest enrollment figure from the previous decade), but the specific language of the bill would have allowed districts to artificially inflate their definition of “capacity,” and if that didn’t work, to deny admission based on a totally undefined “failed to meet established eligibility requirements” provision.
Bottom line, the fox would have had complete and total discretion over how it guarded the henhouse.
Under Pitts’ bill, which provides even less choice than Rex’s initial offering, these already non-existent options would be further subjected to the whim of hostile educrats.
Amazingly, we think La Socialista‘s banner headline this morning – which was a rare flash of honesty from an otherwise biased source – pretty much sums it up: “(Districts) Would Develop Choice Options But Would Not Have To Implement Them.”
Specifically, “South Carolina’s 85 school systems would not be forced to open their borders to transfer students under (this) scaled-back version of school choice.”
In case you missed it, it’s the whole “not” part of that sentence that’s important. Well, that and the fact this proposal is “scaled back” from last year’s already “choice-less” public school choice bill. Which is hard to imagine.
For his part, Rex is big on pro-choice rhetoric, calling the concept “an idea whose time has come,” but his actions have consistently demonstrated that his only interest is in paying lip service to the idea as a way of preserving the expensive, inefficient and totally ineffective monopoly currently enjoyed by the worst school system in the civilized world.
And now he’s got Pitts in his back pocket.
Say it ain’t so, Ted. Even Jim Clyburn is currently more supportive of school choice than you are.
We sincerely hope Pitts is just being naïve on this one, but it certainly doesn’t appear that’s the case. Which is truly sad, because some things are more important than getting re-elected or winning a Chairman’s seat.
Things like the hundreds of thousands of South Carolina schoolkids you just stabbed in the back, Representative.