Sunday, March 30, 2014

Candidates For State Education Superintendent

There will be a run-off election for the GOP candidate for State Education Superintendent. Be an informed voter!

The South Carolina Education Association
Election Guide
2014 Candidates for Superintendent of Education


Background and Position

Sally Atwater (R)

The widow of GOP strategist Lee Atwater, Sally Atwater has been a special needs teacher in Colleton County for the past two years. A fiscal conservative and supporter of Governor Nikki Haley, Atwater worked for the U.S. Department of Education during the Reagan administration and later was appointed to advisory boards at the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Atwater executive director of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. She also worked on Capitol Hill for a year in 2010 as a staffer for the House Education and Workforce Committee. Atwater holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from Winthrop University and taught special education in public schools for nine years at the beginning of her career.


Raised $86,041; On Hand $58,503



·         Opposes Common Core State Standards

·         Supports revising state school funding formula to help poor and rural school districts

·         Supports review of safety policies in schools

Molly Spearman (R)
The Executive Director of the SC Association of School Administrators (SCASA) for the past nine years, Spearmanis a formerteacher and assistant principal.She served four terms in the SC House of Representatives, during which time shepresented herself as a champion for children’s issues. She also was deputy education superintendent under Democrat Inez Tennenbaum’s superintendency (1998-2007). She was a Democrat until 1995, when she switched parties. She graduated from Lander University and holds a Master’s of Education Supervision from George Washington University and an Education Specialist degree from the University of South Carolina.


Raised $90,521; On Hand $67,465



·         Supports Gov. Haley’s education funding reform plan

·         Supports workplace preparedness and technology education programs for graduates

·         Has helped SCASA develop its own teacher evaluation plan as an alternative to the Zais plan; SCASA’s plan also incorporates student growth measures, as required by our state’s NCLB waiver


Monday, March 17, 2014

SoccerBall: Why "European Rules Football" Will Never Make It In 'Merica

So I watched my first ever World Cup Soccer Game (...err...Futbul Match.?.) last night as the USA trounced Ghana 2-1. (How exactly you "trounce" another team 2-1 is beyond me.) it wasn't so bad that I tried to gouge my eyes out with a spoon; but after reflection I think that it is safe to say that this game (I'm sorry...this is NOT a sport) will probably never catch on in good ole 'Merica.

First of all, the rules are confusing. How can my team be off-side, if their player is behind mine? Why does time count up instead of down, why do the ref's get to arbitrarily assign extra time, etc, etc, ad nauseam. If explaining a rule requires an entire website, it's too confusing.

And speaking of Extra Time; the second item, in a single word: Math. In soccer the clock doesn’t stop moving. It also counts up instead of down. This makes it very anticlimactic. Viewers have to do math, particularly subtraction, in order to know how much time is left. This requires borrowing numbers and doing it in your head. Not cool. There is also a lot of wasted time. (see #3) So, in order to make up for this wasted time the referees arbitrarily decide how much “extra time” will be added after the 90 minutes of play is up. Games never end with a furious attack on the net. They usually end the way the majority of the game was played: some guy kicking the ball around in the middle of the field.

Third, and perhaps the most egregious of all, is all of the whining. Soccer is very much like hockey: uhhh...except much more boring and feminine. Soccer is seen in the eyes of most Americans as a women's sport. i.e. "Soccer Mom".

So what I'm saying is: Suck it up and act like a man!

Lastly, it is simply boring. All of the American sports have some element of action to keep you interested. In soccer, a guy stands alone in one portion of a huge field until some other loner comes over and harasses him a bit. He then kicks the ball to another guy standing alone and he kicks it by himself for a while. Soccer is like flying a plane. 85 minutes of excruciating boredom interrupted by 5 minutes of sheer terror.

Paint Drying > Soccer.

 So, I will probably watch the next World Cup game, until America loses anyway, out of dumb patriotism and a maniacal fascination with sports and all things Red, White, and Blue. But I wouldn't count on MLS selling out stadiums anytime soon. Hey, every four years I become a fan of track and field and then forget about it until the next time an American suits up for gold. That doesn't mean that the decathlon will be America's next top rated sport. Expect soccer to continue to be an every-four-year-fascination for Americans.

 'Merica! Heck, yeah!.