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Columns

  • Schools benefit from awards criteria change

    For the Lancaster County schools, change is good.
    That’s in regards to the annual Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards, which recognize schools for academic achievement and high rates of improvement.
    This year a change in judging criteria led to 16 of the county’s 19 schools being recognized.
    The awards’ criteria is established by the S.C. Education Oversight Committee and applied by the S.C. Department of Education.

  • Reason for a primary is to narrow field of candidates

    On June 12, we will once again go to our respective polling places to cast a ballot for some of our 2012 candidates.
    So many are asking why? We have a Republican and a Democratic primary that day. The reason we are having both is because more than one person is running for a particular seat. It is our duty as voters to whittle the process down to one person per party per seat.  
    For example, on the Republican side:
    u Bob Bundy and Wayne Kersey are running for the Lancaster County Council District 3 seat

  • Snelling committed an act of compassion

    We all know the wording of our wedding vows: “For better or for worse, ’til death do us part.”
    Charles and Adrienne Snelling were married 61 years and, by every indication, they had a love story that most couples dream of. Six years ago, Adrienne developed Alzheimer’s, she knew her disease “would not be kind,” as she wrote her family members after her diagnosis.

  • Habitat for Humanity is moving forward in county

    Did you know that Habitat for Humanity is ranked as one of the largest homebuilders in the world? Habitat for Humanity of Lancaster County is your local affiliate.
    Thanks to community support, partnerships with YouthBuild and volunteer assistance in the past, 11 families now have their very own home, a dream made possible and affordable by the Habitat program. Many more new homes are needed, but progress has been slow for several years with the sluggish economy. But that’s changing, thanks to your growing support.
    Penny Street progress

  • Do we want to theorize or reform education?

    In education, as in everything else, there is a big difference between theory and practice. This difference is particularly noticeable among those who say they support school choice but don’t want that choice to extend beyond government schools.  Let’s talk about practice. In Georgia, 3,000 students with special needs are now attending independent schools that meet their specific learning needs. Each school was selected by that child’s own parents through a school choice program launched in 2007.

  • Export competitiveness, yet we import cronyism

    There are two kinds of companies who receive corporate welfare from Washington: successful businesses that don’t need it, and unsuccessful companies that don’t deserve it.
    Everything else you hear from politicians when corporate welfare comes up – rhetoric about public-private partnerships, about matching Europe’s subsidies of foreign competitors – is a big shiny ball waved around to distract you from the truth that they are mortgaging our children’s and grandchildren’s future to subsidize the politically-connected.

  • Modernize school and educator accountability

    Last month, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a statement highlighting a federal report showing South Carolina had lowered proficiency standards in English and mathematics faster than any other state in the nation between 2005 and 2009.
    While I disagree with many policies of the current administration, on this point they are absolutely correct. Setting low expectations for students does not yield high levels of student learning.

  • USC contributes $4.1 billion to South Carolina’s economy

    The University of South Carolina has been educating the leaders of the Palmetto State for more than two centuries. However, the benefits USC brings to our community can be felt well beyond the classroom.  Our eight campuses and 155,000 alumni living in South Carolina have a positive economic impact of $4.1 billion on the state’s economy.

  • State scores an ‘F’ on integrity

    The resignation of former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, followed shortly by his indictment and guilty plea, marks another milestone in the long road of ethical lapses by public officials in South Carolina. One might have thought that Lost Trust, the 1992 sting operation wherein several legislators were caught essentially selling their votes, would have served as a corrective for future politicians, but they continue to live up (or down) to expectations.

  • Race cars don’t tell the story

    When it comes to racing, cars don’t tell the story, people do.
    Sometime this year, you will hear Lancaster Speedway announcer and track spokesman Duane Goins mention the names of Timbo Mangum, Robbie Helms and a host of other track drivers.
    But chances are you won’t hear Goins mention the names of Danny “Pee Wee” Ellis and Brandon Holmes.
    But trust me, Helms knows who Pee Wee is, and Mangum knows who Holmes is. All you have to do is ask them.