We Need a New School!

Oh… Wait… No, we don’t!

Online, in print, on TV, in recent civic group meetings, social gatherings and trade association meetings, you may have been subjected to heartfelt pleas to replace Spartanburg High School. We maintain that a new school is not needed to meet the current educational priorities. Let’s take a look at the evidence:

Considering how important the learning environment is to the teachers, it will be very heartening to know that year after year, teachers rate the learning environment as perfect or near-perfect. These surveys are compiled by the State of South Carolina. The results are available publicly, to anyone who wants them, at http://ed.sc.gov/data/report-cards/ .

In case you might be concerned that perhaps the surveys are only taken from a random teacher here and there who just happens to have the only perfect room in the entire building, you will be reassured when you discover just how many teachers respond to these surveys and submit these perfect and near-perfect results.

On the Spartanburg High School web page, as of today, there are 109 certified teachers.

Year How many teachers responded? Percent satisfied with Learning Environment
2008 109 87.9%
2009 118 96.6%
2010 109 92.6%
2011 111 93.6%
2012 108 97.2%
2013 111 96.4%
2014 95 97.9%
2015 83 100.0% PERFECT SCORE!!


Hmmmm. This result is highly inconsistent with the District 7 School Board claims, but, you might be thinking that maybe there is a difference in how one might perceive a “learning” environment from the actual “physical” environment.

Luckily, those exact same reports, on those exact same pages, have that data as well, from the exact same group of teachers each year responding.

Year % Satisfied with Learning Environment % Satisfied with Social and Physical Environment
2008 87.9% 83.3%
2009 96.6% 96.6%
2010 92.6% 98.2%
2011 93.6% 96.3%
2012 97.2% 99.1%
2013 96.4% 99.1%
2014 97.9% 94.8%


That’s an awful lot of high numbers, showing a perfect or near-perfect record of satisfaction with the learning, social, and physical environment at the current Spartanburg High School.

It might strike you as strange that the State (who provides funds to the school system) is being told one story and the taxpayers (who are being asked to provide a lot of money to the school system) are given a completely different story.

Your next logical question might be, “Why is the District 7 Board claiming such deficiency in the learning environment, and claiming that as justification for a $128,000,000 new high school, when the teachers themselves rate the learning environment very high, and even perfect, year after year?”

That’s a good question.