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Letter: Dickensian state of schools

Posted: August 6, 2016 - 11:01pm  |  Updated: August 7, 2016 - 12:18am

Dear CNT Editor,

The current state of Richmond County and Columbia County school districts are like a quote in Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” In a July 26, 2016 article, The Augusta Chronicle reported the Georgia Milestone end-of-course assessment results. The article stated Richmond County ranked below the state average in each of the 10 high school testing subjects. In contrast, Columbia County participated in 8 of 10 testing areas and ranked above the Georgia mean in every phase. The results were no surprise.

In addition to the dismal Georgia Milestone results, Richmond County has 20 failing schools. Richmond County School Superintendent Dr. Angela Pringle prefers to see the world through rose colored glasses. In the article, she is quoted as saying, “We are proud of the growth shown by our schools in the second year of a more rigorous assessment.” What growth? Pringle is playing the idealist card and ignoring the reality of results.

On the other hand, Columbia County Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway is a realist. She was quoted as saying, “In general, Columbia County school district students tend to perform in the top 10 percent of the state, and it’s always our goal to provide a great education in a safe environment.” That is why she was justified in proposing a 3 percent employee pay increase. Conversely, 20 failing schools and substandard Georgia Milestone results prove Pringle was not justified in proposing a 4 percent employee pay increase. American writer Mark Twain said, “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.”

Kevin Palmer, Martinez

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Comments (1)


Has Nothing To Do With Schools Or Administration

Truthfully, the Columbia County School System deserves little credit and the Richmond County one deserves little criticism. It is not the school buildings, curriculum, teachers or administration that determine the success of a school district. It is also not a racial issue. It is the families composing the district. Switch the county superintendents and you will have the same results you have now.

I can always predict a superior district if I know the income of the families in that district. Wealthier families have more stability, resources and ambition for their children's education. Poor, often single parent, families don't. It is no more evident than with out tale of two counties.