Thinking Strategically About Education in South Carolina

richard riley statehousereport

Recently, former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley gave remarks to the S.C. House Education Task Force. The context was a State Supreme Court decision in favor of more equitable funding for high-poverty, rural school districts.

His remarks are worth reading in full, but here are my take-aways:

  1. “Don’t get boxed into a construct that making positive change is too expensive, too complicated, and can’t be done.”
  2. “Have a sense of urgency. Recognize that now we are catching up. . . . Over the course of 20 years [when this case was brought before the Supreme Court], our State policies left behind 25 percent of our children.”
  3. Attract and retain effective teachers and leaders. (I agree, and agree.)
  4. Focus on early childhood education. (I agree again.)
  5. “Raise the expectations of 7th and 8th graders through pre-career, technology, occupational and college exploration opportunities.
  6. Provide engaging after school and summer learning programs. (And of course I agree.)
  7. “Art and music are a part of a high-quality education.”

Click here to read Mr. Riley’s entire statement.

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