The race for South Carolina’s next Superintendent of Education features Republican Mick Zais and Democrat Frank Holleman. Both men have resumes that are long and impressive. General Zais served on the faculty at West Point as served as President of Newberry College. Mr. Holleman served as the Deputy Secretary of Education for the United States. Thus, on the surface, it seems that South Carolina has a race for the top educator pitting two fine men against one another.
Perhaps that is the case. But, both candidates have ran what can be called pedestrian campaigns. Zais has played up discipline and Holleman has played up his opposition to private school tuition tax credits and vouchers. Both have went on about how they support the public schools and the teachers and students. Fair enough.
But, what has lacked from both men is a real commitment to do what needs to be done. Neither candidate has vowed to take on the educrats or the culture of failure. The educrats are the people who get paid far more than teachers to do pencil pushing jobs in education administration. The educrats are the ones who demand more money to do less in the classroom. The culture of failure prevails in areas of the state in which failing at school is actually embraced by parents and peers.
Frankly put, South Carolina’s poor test performance is in correlation with its spending on overhead. That is the educrats. While we cannot find the money to pay special education teachers or even speech therapists, or even guidance counselors who help kids find their way, we pay some administrator six figures. There are those that argue that is all local and what not. Again, fair enough.
But, VUI would like a candidate for Superintendent of Education to be a true champion for the kids and the teachers and commit to really fight against the administrative overhead. Is there not someone out there with the guts to take that issue on?
Frankly, there is no candidate in this year’s race who will. Both Zais and Holleman are dancing the political dance. As such, either one of them will just be the same for kids, teachers and parents in public education.
VUI offers no endorsement in this race. Neither candidate gets what is really wrong with public education. Neither candidate seems willing to address the educrats. Neither candidate addresses what we deemed the culture for failure in earlier posts. It is six one way, half dozen another. No matter how hard either candidate thumps their chest in victory on election night, all they will do is keep doing the status quo. VUI washes its hands with such candidates. Vote for whomever. You are going to get the same results. Bank on it.