The bare facts

How fortunate we are in the Palmetto State to have such an enlightened and erudite Legislature that its members are able to offer literary critiques of reading lists for college freshmen.

Then, partnering with the S.C. good ol' boys, and with brazen transparency, we watched them expand the narrow scope of the College of Charleston presidential search committee from the merely academically qualified candidates to give us President Glenn McConnell.

His credentials include: a law degree, defense of Confederate liberty, the personification of cronyism and numerous op-ed publications in The Post and Courier.

Will children be prohibited from attending his swearing-in ceremony when the new president is adorned in his kingly garments, lest they be impetuous enough to shout out the truth of his nakedness?

Tom Fossi

N. Ainsdale Drive

Charleston

Unwanted image

Louis ReVille is an abomination on society. He is serving a 50-year prison term. Periodic new information seems to arise every few months.

Please do your subscribers a favor and keep his face off the front page. It serves no purpose and affords him with more free public attention than a political candidate ever receives after spending thousands of dollars.

Robert M. Savin, M.D.

Privateer Creek Road

Johns Island

Fire bad teachers

There is no other single issue that will affect America's competitiveness in the coming years than how we educate our children. We spend billions each year on new schools, computer labs, early education programs, etc. In fact, we are second in the world in spending per pupil behind Switzerland and yet our students perform very poorly compared to other countries.

According to the 2012 PISA results (Programme for International Student Assessment), out of 34 countries, the United States ranked 17th in reading, 21st in science and a stunning 26th in math. And if that weren't bad enough the tests show that other countries are improving rapidly while the U.S. test results remain stagnant.

How is it possible that we spend so much money and yet our students perform so badly? There is no more compelling reason than the fact that it is nearly impossible to fire bad teachers.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the process is so cumbersome and time consuming that it cost more than $3.5 million to fire seven underperforming teachers in L.A. In New York City for years they didn't even try to fire bad teachers.

Teachers that were deemed unsuitable for the classroom were simply warehoused, at a cost of $30 million per year. That's $30 million that could have gone to good teachers.

So who's to blame? The American Federation of Teachers and the teachers themselves are largely to blame.

The objective of teachers and their unions should be excellence in the classroom and the welfare of their students and not to preserve the jobs of underperforming teachers.

The American Federation of Teachers and other unions should take a page from the German unions. How is it that Germany has some of the strongest unions in the world and a large and thriving middle class?

It's because when it comes to job performance the union's interests are directly aligned with those of the companies and the schools. The unions understand that if the people they are working for are successful there will be more in it for them. That lesson is lost on American unions.

But at the end of the day we are the ones to blame. We've allowed our politicians to get away with too much for too long. We should have demanded excellence in our schools.

Sen. Paul Thurmond has offered us a unique opportunity. His four bills to reform our educational system in South Carolina don't go far enough but they are a step in the right direction.

I hope everyone will take this opportunity to contact their legislators and ask them to support his legislation.

Mike Frederick

South Battery

Charleston

Southern exposure

I am appalled that the Post and Courier has a section called "The South."

Have any of you thought about how this word conjures up a past that so many wish to obliterate? Have you not given consideration to all those who have been protesting a piece of history better left behind and forgotten?

You give space to students at the College of Charleston who are protesting Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell but have the audacity to include a section of the paper under the banner of "The South"?

The insensitivity of the phrase is mind-boggling. I'm surprised there are not protesters at your front door demanding you change the name to anything but "The South."

Lt. Gov. McConnell is one man who wants our Southern heritage to be remembered. His sense of our past, and its relation to the present, are from a simple desire to realize that our future is a direct product of the past. I don't remember reading anywhere that he is of a mind to return to the days of the past. It is every person's need to know whence he or she came.

This one man has created a storm of controversy and yet The Post and Courier, the paper that falls on so many doors and computer screens, each day assaults us with the words "The South" as the banner atop one section.

I am hoping the men in high office at the paper will reconsider the naming of this section. There is simply too much baggage associated with the words "The South."

It will soon be the rallying cry of those who find the South too mindful of its heritage.

Alfred F. Croucher III

Riverland Drive

Charleston

Money talks

On April 2 the Supreme Court removed the last vestige of the reforms instituted in the 1940s to combat the corruptive influence of money on Congress.

In 2009 it removed the prohibition against unlimited funds from anonymous sources through C-4 nonprofits, unleashing a torrent of outside influence in local elections. On April 2, it removed the cap on aggregate spending. Now there is no limit to what someone may spend in any election cycle to influence election results.

The Supreme Court obviously doesn't have the slightest allegiance to democracy and has decided, in essence, that money is speech and that crony capitalism should continue in earnest as our new form of government.

This conservative court will be the death of voter interest once voters finally realize that they really have no voice.

Sadly, many of us are still buying into the single-issue politics of old but any hope of salvation can only come through severing ties to the two existing parties and the elimination of the political class through term limits. It is now our only hope.

There is an old Buddhist saying that "we continue to do what causes pain because we haven't suffered enough." Maybe this travesty will open our eyes.

Richard L. Beck

East Ashley Avenue

Folly Beach

Three-part plan

I have common ground with anyone who wants:

1) a balanced federal budget, 2) to use any budget surplus to start paying off the national debt, and 3) to do so immediately, if not, sooner.

George J. Gatgounis, Ph.D

Broad Street

Charleston

Inconvenient

Can anyone tell me why a "convenience fee" of $3 is charged for paying my Summerville CPW bill online?

Most other companies and services I deal with offer free payment online because it is more convenient for them.

I would think it less expensive to have funds transferred electronically rather than having a clerk open envelopes, post to accounts, etc.

To write a check, address an envelope and put a stamp on it may cost me 75 cents.

Perhaps SCPW should consider a $3 "convenience discount" for people who pay online.

Just Justesen

Mayfield Street

Summervile