Monday, June 18, 2007

The Voice for School Choice: vocal local or shillin' villain?

Some of you may have seen a new blog called the Voice for School Choice, which often has a banner advertisement over on SCHotline. I dunno why a blog would advertise itself like that, but I admit I like to look at it every now and then.

There’s no question the voucher lobby here in SC is funded and operated by out-of-state libertarians. I think I’ve noted once or twice how the voucher prop-up group “South Carolinians for Responsible Government” once sent bogus letters to the editor to The State newspaper under a pseudonym, even though they supposedly have legions of grass roots supporters. And maybe I’ve pointed out here or there that SCRG is funded by an out-of-state millionaire who has similarly named organizations in several states. Or perhaps I’ve mentioned in passing how SCRG’s radio ads mispronounce the word “Carolinians.” Oops.

De-legitimizing the "grass roots" voucher lobby, you might say, is my bread and butter here at Barbecue & Politics.

But this blog, the Voice for School Choice, is totally different. According the the website, the Voice "is committed to advancing expanded education opportunities and options right here in South Carolina." It’s probably written by an actual South Carolinian who cares about what's best for the Palmetto State, not just some ideologue here to lobby for a libertarian voucher agenda. Perhaps she’s a soccer mom with two kids in Irmo. Or maybe he’s a black minister from the Pee Dee. Maybe the Voice is a farmer out in Gilbert, I don't know.

There’s no telling where this down-home blogger resides, because he or she blogs anonymously -- possibly to protect himself from the nefarious “Education Establishment” when he or she posts things like this:

"I’d hate to be an anti-school choice Republican around the next election. I have a feeling that a few of them are going to meet with the wrath of some angry, unforgiving, and politically-engaged parents."

That's not a cool breeze you feel: that's the refreshingness of having someone with authentic South Carolina values blogging for vouchers.

[pause for effect]

Okay, I’m just messing with you. I may have just fallen off the turnip truck, but I was wearing my turnip truck helmet when it happened. If vouchers were an SC idea, or were even good for SC schoolchildren, I’d play along. But y'all know I’ve always been leery of the folks who came here a couple years ago to assail our schools. So Gervais decided to pose the question:

Voucher Voice: Lone citizen gunman taking aim at public schools, or another libertarian outsider shilling for the SC voucher lobby?

We'll see... (Go to Part Two)


Swamp Fox said...

Here's one South Carolinian who thinks that school choice is the only hope we have for providing the education our children need to be globally competitive.

Here's some of my blogging about it:
KIPP Schools

And more:
School Choice

And even a manifesto
Calling all Educational Entrepreneurs - An Idea for a New Public School Model Serving Poor Children

My heartburn comes from the conviction that SC pubic education is bankrupt and beyond repair without some outside force causing it to change.
We’re in denial: The better educated a SC student’s parents, the further he trails peers nationally

Now, truth in advertising, my ancestors did come here as immigrants. In fact for almost a hundred years after they came my family remained loyal British subjects. One ancestor even received a land grant in Sandy Springs, SC from the King for service in the French and Indian War.

Of course, there have been residents here for thousands of years. So please don't hold my family's recent immigrant status against me in making an objective evaluation of my case that unless we do something fundamentally different in public education we're screwed.

notverybright said...

Yeah, that overblown "You evil moderate Republicans are going to regret it" rhetoric rings a bell, doesn't it? Can't quite place it . . . .

There must be a far-right SC blogger with no sense of how is perceived and little regard for facts who mistakenly thinks he has some political influence. Just can't quite remember who . . . .

gervais s. bridges said...

Swamp Fox, it's always good to get a visit from you, and the nice helpin' of sarcasm was an added bonus.

I also appreciate those links, especially the manifesto. I encourage others to check that one out for an interesting concept about improving our public schools in the areas that need it most.