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Mixed Views on Rehiring of Nancy McGinley
12/10/2014 2:42:59 PM

Former CCSD Superintendent Nancy McGinley
Staff Reports

Supporters demanding Charleston County School Board reinstate Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley Monday night converged at the board’s bi-monthly meeting led by highly influential proponents such as Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley and Charleston NAACP President Dot Scott. But a random survey of some in the community reveal such support actually may only be luke warm.

Asked why she supports reinstating McGinley who resigned the position Oct. 30 amid controversy, Scott responded saying, “Why not bring her back?”

Alluding to what many consider McGinley’s forced resignation, Scott asked, “Why did they fire her?

The school board has not given us any reason for firing her. I’m surprised the community isn’t asking that question.”

Scott said McGinley’s forced resignation came as a result of her efforts to address blatant racial segregation that continues to exist in Charleston County's public schools.

At the district’s most elite high performing schools, students populations are overwhelmingly white. McGinley recently has sought to address those inequities, Scott said.

Former Constituent School Dist. 20 board member Marvin Stewart said it doesn’t matter whether McGinley is reinstated or not. The county school board has been more an impediment to progressive public education than the superintendent, he said.

“Charleston County School Board has been dysfunctional for decades. Its set up separate and unequal schools and promoted magnet and specialty schools where the majority of students are white and where many of those students don’t even live in Charleston County. Not much will change until the county school board develops meaningful goals to progress the district,” Stewart said. “The problem is greater than McGinley.

“With our dysfunctional structure in place, it doesn’t matter if McGinley is superintendent or not. The majority of kids in the district still won’t get a challenging education,” he said.

Former North Charleston Constituent Dist. 4 School Board member Ted Cozart said McGinley ‘s initiatives to promote literacy, the basis for all learning, is a positive example of her leadership. But he added, “She needs to be more responsive to the Black community and listen to what those in that community have to say.”

But no matter how many influential voices are speaking up for McGinley, there are those who say McGinley should stay gone.

One respondent said, “only one school board member voted not to accept her resignation, that’s because for white students in the district she’s been the best thing since sliced bread. But for Black students, she hasn’t done anything.”

Poor, Black and brown students in Charleston County School District continue to lag behind their white counterparts academically, the respondent said. In McGinley’s seven years as superintendent, the achievement gap between students of color and white students have not closed and in fact, are widening, she said.

“There are those who love and embrace Dr. McGinley. Those are the people we’re now hearing from. She’s getting support from people with whom she shares a good relationship. Many of them don’t know the numbers.”

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