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State Board of Education reprimands two local boards for failing to support schools

July 10, 2008
State Board of Education reprimands two local boards for failing to support schools

COLUMBIA – Acting on a recommendation from State Superintendent of
Education Jim Rex, the South Carolina State Board of Education today
issued public reprimands to two local school boards for “failing to
provide support and direction” to a pair of schools that did not
follow improvement plans mandated by state law.

The State Board approved resolutions that reprimanded the Allendale and
Lee County boards of trustees.  The reprimands said that neither Fairfax
Elementary School in Allendale County nor Mount Pleasant Middle School
in Lee County had adequately documented efforts to reach their goals –
and that their local school boards were ultimately accountable.

The local boards were “responsible for the instructional leadership
of the district superintendent and school principal,” the resolutions
said, and therefore responsible for the failure of the two schools to
meet the law’s requirements.

Under the South Carolina Education Accountability Act, schools that get
Unsatisfactory absolute ratings on their annual school report cards must
set specific goals and develop strategies to achieve them.  The schools
then must document their improvement efforts to independent external
review teams appointed by the Education Department.  

Both districts sent administrators and board members to Columbia today,
but they were unable to convince Rex and the State Board that Fairfax
Elementary School and Mount Pleasant Middle School had taken timely
steps between September 2007 and March 2008 to follow their plans. 
According to the reprimands, “none of the 2007-08 Focus School Renewal
Plan goals were met, and effort was not documented toward the
implementation of any of the strategies that would support these

The resolutions also stated that two-member teams appointed by the
Education Department would conduct on-site reviews of both schools in
October 2008, January 2009 and April 2009, with the results being
reported to the State Board.  In addition, the State Board required that
members of the two local school boards, the district superintendents and
both school principals appear before the State Board in December 2008
and May 2009 with updates on progress toward implementing the
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