All the news that is the news
by Donald Conkey
February 20, 2014 12:00 AM | 6494 views | 5 5 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I read with interest three stories in the Feb. 5 issue of the Cherokee Tribune. Those three stories were about the election of Sam Moore as Cherokee County’s state representative for State House District 22; the story about SCRAM!’s shifting emphasis away from Kelly Marlow and to the candidates running for the Cherokee County School Board for the May 20 Primary election; and Jeff Duncan’s well-crafted letter to the Tribune’s editor.

My comments on these stories begin by offering congratulations to Sam Moore on his win over Meagan Biello and reminding him that he has mighty big shoes to fill if he expects to fill the shoes of Calvin Hill. But I wish him the best as he attempts to fill those very big shoes. Calvin was a personal friend, a much respected legislator and a friend I will miss. He was the anchor of the Cherokee delegation.

And I congratulate Jeff Duncan for submitting his well-written letter to the editor.

But my focus was on the SCRAM! story. It intrigued me to the point that I searched online for their new website. Perhaps it’s my age, but I couldn’t find it. But I did find their website that focused on Kelly Marlow. To say I was disappointed in that website would be an understatement.

I would have hoped that a political group here in Cherokee County who declares their sole purpose is supporting what’s “best for the children of Cherokee County” were more innovative.

While I fully support SCRAM!’s right to form their group and to establish their goals and website to accomplish their goals I would have thought that SCRAM!, a group dedicated to the support of “the children,” would have shown better taste in building their website, a website that reminded me of the northern trade unions known for their hatchet attacks on those they oppose.

SCRAM! should remember they have set themselves up as a role model for those children they are so determined to defend. During the last 40 years I have been involved in numerous political campaigns, some won, others lost, but never once did our campaigns consider such standards. Perhaps it’s a sign of our times.

However, I now want to applaud SCRAM! for changing their focus away from Marlow and to the candidates running for the Cherokee School Board on the May 20 primary ballot.

It’s not difficult to see their goals are to defeat, and that is their right, any candidate they feel is opposed to their agenda — those who would dare challenge the status quo, candidates like Kelly Marlow. But do they have to try and destroy those candidates in the process, as it appears they attempted to do with Marlow and Chip Rogers last year. There has to be a better way.

I have been emphatically told there is no affiliation here in Cherokee County with the national NEA — but to me and others who have been around for many years they will have a hard time convincing me there are no such connections. Their goals seem too similar.

Perhaps SCRAM! won’t want to consider any suggestions from me, and this I could understand, for their new focus group called ‘Smart Citizens Realize Academics Matter” because I agree, academics really do matter.

My suggestion is that while focusing on academics SCRAM! could establish committees to read the textbooks that are being used by the school system. As more parents become aware of the real goals of Common Core there are going to be more parents calling for massive changes in the “academics” being promoted by Common Core.

Parents in St Louis are already up in arms because of the “choices” students in St Louis are being given in social studies regarding how best to “re-distribute wealth” here in America. The three choices provided were all Marxist biased. Capitalism was totally ignored.

If SCRAM! members are truly interested in “the children,” they should perhaps become proactive in finding candidates willing to take a look at the textbooks being used to implement Common Core, as Marlow attempted to do.

The day could come, after we learn how disruptive Common Core will become, that SCRAM! will seek candidates with the courage of Marlow, candidates willing to confront “the establishment” and ask the hard questions. Perhaps Marlow could have been less bombastic and more genteel in seeking answers to her questions but no one will ever accuse her of being a pawn of this administration.

Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Patrick Thompson
February 20, 2014
Citizen and parent actions such as well-researched and fact-based SCRAM warn us from becoming the theocracy Conkey imagines our schools and government should be in his small world. They also call out people who aren't there to do their job or improving the lives of our children, all children. A lifelong government employee on government retirement should be more grateful about the freedom to write a column in our papers thru which to spew uneducated facts or to plagiarize stories he hears from some unauthorized pundits.

And those "northern unions" have done a great job educating the people of this country - maintaining quality, high standards, safety, skills - they've kept the value of education high while here in the South we've lost our commitment to our children's future career success with furloughs, budget shortages, and allowing legislators to dabble in and control our local schools. The results will show up in the high rates of non-HS graduates, crime, pregnancy and poverty in our next generation. Education is an investment, Mr. Conkey, and you should care more about these poor souls. As a lobbyist and investor in private education firms, Mr. Rogers is hoping your way wins.
Can I get an Amen!
February 20, 2014
If SCRAM were really about promoting academics, their acronym wouldn't be so off putting. 'Scram' means to go away at once; you're not wanted is inferred - let's not kid ourselves, this ridiculous group was put together to get rid of Kelly Marlow. Changing their name does not change their intent or gestapo methods. Good grief!
Count Felony the 4th
February 20, 2014
SCRAM! no longer needs to focus on Marlow and Co., as they will be taking themselves out of the picture soon enough with a visit to the slammer.
February 20, 2014
Oh, Conkey. Your letters never cease to amaze me. I read your article with interest and have to decided to focus on three things.

First, merely because you find SCRAM to be in opposition to your political crazy mouth, doesn't mean that its choice of words or methods are "hatchet." SCRAM operates based on fact. Kelly Marlow does not.

Second, A mixture of anger and laughter pours out of me whenever anyone talks about how unkind SCRAM is to poor Kelly Marlow. This is someone who attacks PTA, the March of Dimes, and the Special Olympics. She ran around on her husband with her campaign manager leading to both of their divorces. She intentionally put the district's accreditation at risk in a political gambit. And she accused an innocent man of attempted vehicular homicide because she didn't like him. What little pity I have for her is used up when she weighs in against much smarter people and gets embarrassed.

Third, for the thousandth time, there are no social studies standards under common core. They do not exist. So whenever a citation is made about the Marxist leanings of the standards it deflates the entire argument. I'm not surprised that liars are defending other liars in print.

As a side note, Jeff Duncan is a good guy. I hope he is not off put by having someone of such low integrity complimenting him. I know I would be.
Acme Fence Co.
February 20, 2014
This man is uninformed. There are NO adopted Common Core standards for social studies. None. Zero. It has not happened. Whatever is happening in St. Louis is not related to Common Core. Lots of SCRAM members are teachers -- who HAVE READ THE TEXTBOOKS-- not to mention CCSD hasn't bought new textbooks in four years due to budget cuts, so they actually have pre-common core textbooks, which means Marlow could NOT have reviewed a "common core" textbook in Cherokee County schools. Show us what books and when that happened, or give Mr. Conkey a nice plaque or parting gift or some kind of graceful exit. Soon.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides