Karen Floyd, wary of the the $2 million dollar price tag of special election, and the untold legal costs of a challenge, did the right thing today and conceded that Dr. Jim Rex had won the race for Superintendent of Education.
Rex’s victory is remarkable, not just for its slim margin, but for the setting in which it occurred. Governor Sanford, who had actively supported Floyd’s Radical Reconstruction of South Carolina public schools, was re-elected with an overwhelming show of support from the voters. Floyd had the support of the carpet-baggers from Northeast who want to profit from educating our children. They poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into her quest to off-shore education. Else around the state, in spite of the blue tide washing up around the country, South Carolina stayed virtually the same shade of red it had been before.
That’s why Jim Rex has done something important. He’s been given the opportunity to change the public education works in South Carolina, without selling off our schools to some snake oil rep from New Jersey. He ran as an outsider, but one with real experience in education. He has started things off right, by naming a 74 member team of advisers to help him hit the ground running in January. That team is to be chaired by (former) Gov. Richard Riley, who just happened to have served his country as U.S. Secretary of Education, championing accountability and leading to the Education Improvement Act which finally began the process of reforming schools through state and local community collaborations, from the public and private sectors.
It is something important because, in spite of the propaganda thrown at them by the people who want to buy our schools at bargain basement prices, and in spite of the popularity of Mark Sanford, at least 50% plus 455 South Carolina voters decided to try to fix what we’ve invested in, rather than demolish it.
Dr. Rex, let the real reforms begin.