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Activists call for CCSD superintendent's removal, board chairman says that solves nothing

Dr. Gerrita Postlewait (WCIV)

A handful of education activists who call themselves Concerned Citizens of Charleston County gathered outside of the Charleston County School District headquarters Wednesday and demanded the district's board fire superintendent Gerrita Postlewait.

"Enough is enough," said Allison Mackey, who led the news conference. "This feeling of this culture of fear and intimidation, and thats how she's ruled and it's gotten worse."

Board chairman Kate Darby responded immediately.

"What I would say to people who are unhappy about that change [referring to recent changes implemented by the board], let's talk about it and work on it and get the facts out there and move on," she said. "Calling for the superintendent to be removed doesn't resolve that. It doesn't help student achievement."

People who flanked Mackey said Postlewait has led the charge for too many changes that have created chaos throughout the district.

They cited classroom overcrowding, low funding, and the principal shuffle in May that left many parents upset.

"We lost an incredible educator in Jake Rambo," Mackey told the small crowd. "There was no rhyme or reason as to why he was moved."

Plus, the issue of teacher evaluations remains a sticking point.

Even Darby admitted the district could have handled the situation better and communicated with teachers more.

Still, she said no teachers lost their jobs as a result of those evaluations.

"No teachers, none, were fired or let go because of test scores," she said. "That's not true."

Darby said 28 teachers out of the district's more than 3,000 were put on formal evaluations, she said, to see how the district could help them succeed in the classroom and, in turn, help students achieve success.

Darby said the root reason for the evaluations, the principal shuffle, and all the other changes are simply to benefit students.

"The majority of the board is 100 percent laser focused on making that happen, and to make that happen the superintendent is making changes and changes are happening," Darby said. "Whoever is the most adaptive to change is the most successful, and in our system we're having change. It's hard."

Regardless, activists like Mackey said Charleston County teachers are too afraid to speak up for themselves.

They hope that changes.

"You are 3,500 strong, and they cant fire you all," said Mackey. "If you come and stand up, we want the street packed, and the room packed."

The next CCSD board meeting is Monday night. The public is welcome and encouraged to speak. You must be at the 75 Calhoun Street boardroom by 4:45 p.m.

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