Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why is this lady on the Education Oversight Committee?

If Gervais was to sift through a list of potential nominees for my state’s Education Oversight Committee – the folks charged with improving South Carolina’s K-12 public schools – one of the first questions I would ask is, “Do you believe in public schools?”

Just in case, you know? It’s like asking a babysitter if he or she likes kids. I’m a tough interviewer like that.

In EOC member Karen Iacovelli’s case, a better question might be, “Have you ever signed a decree that says, ‘I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education?’”

I almost fell out of my tree when I saw her name on this California website as a “Proclamation Signer.” Sure, it’s a valid opinion. But not for someone appointed by the Governor to improve public schools. That’s like appointing an arsonist as State Fire Marshal. (note to self: make sure Sanford did not appoint an arsonist as State Fire Marshal)

SC Hotline’s banner headline yesterday was a five page letter from Iacovelli about why our public schoolchildren should learn to critically analyze evolution. It was as good an explanation as any I’ve read as to why we should tinker with our A-rated science standards, but I became particularly interested when I read:

..revising the biology standards is a mere blip on the education reform Richter scale.
Gervais notices even the most subtle mixed metaphors, but that one was a “5.0 on the radar screen.” So I read on:
...Townes called upon all scientists and students to “explore as much as we can.” It was those 5 words that convinced me that everything else I had read by self-anointed experts in the field of high school biology and evolution was nothing more than scientific arrogance."
In addition to actually valuing public schools, people who oversee them should probably be able to distinguish five words from six, so I did the concerned citizen thing and checked out her bio.

Pretty straightforward, really. Studied at Illinois, Northwestern, and Harvard, but no degrees mentioned; makes plastic spoons for a living; active with United New Yorkers for Choice in Education. According to this 2002 Greenville News article, she is an office manager for the Dispozo disposable products company, of which her husband is CEO. A Google search reveals that as recently as 1996, she billed herself as a Constitutional Law Scholar, too. If you read her article on SC Hotline, it's evident she's more Plastic Spork than Robert Bork.

But absolutely nothing in the resume about her proclamation that she favors ending public education. Nothing about "I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education." Oversight, indeed.

What the hell is going on here?

go to next Iacovelli-related post


Anonymous said...

Obviously, when a school hating elitist Governor wants to "improve education", we now know he means to abolish public education.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Karen Iacovelli that wrote the article linked below accusing the Clintons of faking Vince Foster's suicide to cover up some scandal in the 90's? Sounds like a winner to me.

Is this the same Karen Iacovelli that is Dir. of Comm. for Philadelphia Trust Co. who gave Sen. Santorum a suspiciously large mortgage on a large home in VA, against bank policy? (The bank and some of its Board members are campaign contributors to Santorum, however.) The Philadelphia Trust and Mrs. Iacovelli are also contributors to Sen. Graham. Karen has given around $10,000 to Graham in the last 5 years. Not that political contributions are illegal, but this money is from a lady who is aligning herself with former cabinet members of authoritarian South American regimes, people who fund and encourage abortion clinic bombers, etc. through the state/school seperation website you listed in your piece. I would just recommend a healthy dose of suspicion and skeptcism whenever she starts talking, and a little concern for what expectations might follow her money around.

BTW, if you haven't already, take a look around that school separation website. Odd.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it obvious why she is on the EOC? She bought her seat on eBay.

The Cackalacky Candidate said...

This Califonia website is from the Alliance for the Seperation of School and State. Take note of the quote from the Alliance founder, at the top of the home page:
"For more than three full lifetimes - the 220 years from the 1620s to the 1840s - most American schooling was independent of government control, subsidy and influence. From this educational freedom the American Republic was born."

In other words, he is reminiscing about a time when most people could not read, most children were laborers and didn't need no stinking education, blacks were condidered property, women just tended the home and made babies, and many with disabilities were stuffed in insane asylums.

Of course, from the 1620s to the 1840s, most people didn't have outdoor plumbing either.

Rick @ shrimp and grits said...

What the hell is going on here?

Business as usual between mosquitoes in a mud hole, apparently.


Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

As a tax paying South Kackalackian this issue in particular is getting to me hard.

Our idiot governor really has zero clue.

Tammy said...

And don't forget about former house Rep. Rita Allison. The Governor appointed her to be...I can't remember her title, but his top person on higher education.

She attended some now defunct business or beauty school.

College? Who needs it to advise the Governor on higher education?

Laurin Manning said...

"She's more plastic spork than Robert Bork" = probably the funniest thing you've ever written! LOL!

Free Carolina said...

Wow, I have stumbled across the black helicopter chat room for Mark Sanford haters.

Sad really, what a bunch of self-involved elitists do in their spare time.

Please slow down for a knuckle dragging caveman like me. Your technology scares me.

What a bunch of braying asses!

Anonymous said...


You are right. It's the Governor's responsibility to appoint Inez's lap dogs to the EOC.

What a surprise that someone who is responsible to serve as a check on an agency would be critical of that agency.

Heaven forbid.

upstate dem said...

Rita attended John Roberts School of Fashion Merchandising. WOW!!

Seventh Generation South Carolinian said...

And to think that at one time Barbara Neilson was the scariest "educator" in the state. Sanford is absolutely the most clueless, arrogant, dumba... governor we have ever had. If you've studied South Carolina history, that's really saying something. If we have four more years of Sanford World, I just hope we don't secede----again. Oh, that's right our state has such fertile soil for right wing freaks and weirdos that a "Christian" group is actually advocating another secession. How did I end up in an endless "Twilight Zone" episode?

Anonymous said...

It’s amazing. SC finally has a Governor that understands that, no matter how it’s spun, the fact SC is perpetually occupying the bottom spot in whatever rankings for education in the United States is performed means that SC children are being shortchanged by the system. He tries to get it changed and is vilified simply because he's a republican. SC education is falling further and further behind because no one is willing to admit there's a problem. Wake up people.