Educators rally, share anger over CCSD decisions


Parents and educators are angry over shake-up within the Charleston County School District. Monday evening, they rallied in protest.

The move follows news released last week that principals may move to new schools in the fall, namely Lee Runyon of West Ashley High School and Jake Rambo from James B. Edwards Elementary.

Monday's rally was organized by the group EdFirstSC. Organizers said it was the most heated school-related rally in recent memory. Director Patrick Hayes said the district is making too many decisions behind closed doors.

"Things are being said that are lies and in no way in relation to the truth,” Hayes said.

Roughly a hundred people marched outside the Charleston County School District headquarters wearing t-shirts and holding signs.

"We going to continue to fight for him and if we don't get to keep him which we want to, that this won't happen again, which it will if we don't fight,” said Celina Voelker, the mother of a student at James B. Edwards.

Kate Darby, Chair of the school board said they realize people are unhappy, but they also have 50,000 other students to think about.

"We're looking to meet the needs across the district with the strongest principals possible so we're asking some to move to other areas where we can really use their skills,” Darby said.

There's also fear over the state mandating a new teacher evaluation system.

"Let them teach, let them lead, let them do what they do naturally, instead of putting so much pressure on them,” one West Ashley parent said.

RELATED: Mt. Pleasant parent upset about principal change, supports #TeamRambo

"I think there's a belief that the performance of our students is solely linked to our teachers and that's just non-sense, there's too many other influences."

Darby said it's not the only measure, it's just an additional tool to gauge student progress.

"We are never ever going to have standardized tests be the only measure for teachers, that is not going to happen, we value our teachers greatly,” Darby said. “But we want to look at principal’s classroom observation, a number of factors, it’s not a punitive thing at all.”

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