SC school superintendent lays out five-committee reform plan

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March 6, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.---South Carolina Superintendent Dr. Jim Rex is on a statewide tour this week promoting his plan to turn public education around. Tonight he was at USC-Aiken to outline his ideas.

"If you're going to bring about substantive improvement, you're going to have to bring about some reform," Dr. Rex said.

His mission?

"Reform and improve and support our public schools."

To do that, he has a specific formula: five new committees to oversee specific qualities he says public schools should have.

The first committee will cover Innovation. He says innovation should be researched and relevant to school needs.

He also wants to form a committee on Choice, a group that would inform parents about options like moving their students across district lines.

"Mine is public school choice. There's another definition that involves vouchers and tax credits that takes public dollars and puts them in private schools, which I am not an advocate of," he said.

His third committee will tackle Accountability.

Rex wants to reduce the amount of student testing and instead make state tests more useful to teachers and their curriculums.

As for Funding, he wants it be fair. He says the state has failed students with its piecemeal approach.

Last but not least is Teaching. Rex worries the state is losing its most experienced teachers and needs to find ways to attract more qualified leaders in the classroom.

They're five ideas he'd like to see the state to build on to benefit South Carolina's most precious investment.

Dr. Rex has three more stops to make during his town hall tour. He'll visit Greenville, Charleston and then Rock Hill.

In his team's report, there are 97 actions they'd like to see the state take.

Here's a closer look at the five committees Dr. Rex is forming:

New State Committees
  1. Accelerating Innovation - 18 members

  2. Accountability - 13 members

  3. Choice - 16 members

  4. Fair & Equitable School Funding - 15 members

  5. Teaching Profession - 13 members

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