The Beaufort Gazette - - Opinion -

The elec­tion is a done thing. The po­lit­i­cal TV ads are gone and the lawyers have re­gained con­trol. The po­lit­i­cal lit­ter on the high­ways is be­ing re­cy­cled. Is a stronger, wiser South Carolina des­tined for us?

South Carolina ranks 41st on the list of states with best and worst schools, high school grad­u­a­tion rate is 82.6 per­cent (18th low­est), and pub­lic school spend­ing is $11,178 per stu­dent (20th low­est).

The Na­tional As­sess­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion Progress, aka the na­tion’s re­port card, ranks our eighth-grade pro­fi­ciency lev­els as fol­lows: math, 25.7 per­cent; and read­ing, 27.8 per­cent.

The NAEP rates South Carolina fourth-graders 65 per­cent below ba­sic read­ing skills and 79 per­cent below math.

Th­ese stats ex­plain why only 27.2 per­cent (13th low­est) of adults have at least a bach­e­lor’s de­gree, and why adults (ages 25 to 64) with in­comes at or above the na­tional me­dian is sixth low­est.

Do our politi­cians have the right pri­or­i­ties? Is plug­ging holes in the road more im­por­tant than fill­ing brains? The cy­cle is per­pet­ual. Par­ents weren’t taught and thus they can­not help their chil­dren to learn. – John McGoldrick Okatie

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