State again taking over failing S Carolina district

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By SEANNA ADCOX

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s education superintendent is again taking over the state’s worst-performing school district, 18 years after the last emergency declaration failed to turn the schools around.

State Superintendent Molly Spearman announced Monday she’s taking control of Allendale County’s four schools from the locally elected school board. The move comes a decade after the local board regained authority.

Spearman hopes a different strategy produces better results.

Since 1998, state law has allowed South Carolina’s superintendent to take over persistently failing schools or districts.

Allendale County is the only district where that’s occurred – largely because officials didn’t want a repeat of what became a nightmare for then-Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum.

Rural Allendale County is one of the state’s poorest counties. Its students posted the state’s worst scores on standardized tests last year.

This story has been corrected to show that Allendale is the only school district the state has taken over, not the only place where the state has taken over. The state previously took over two individual schools elsewhere.

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