Any fading hopes that the Democrats would hold onto Fritz Hollings’ US Senate seat died when their candidate, state superintendent of education Inez Tenenbaum, had to hold a hasty news conference Friday to reveal that South Carolina has dropped to dead last in SAT scores.
It was only a drop of three points, but it’s a powerful symbolic blow to Tenenbaum because the state had just recently moved out of the basement on her watch. (SC is one of the few places where “We’re Not The Absolute Worst!” is a rallying cry.) The Dems had been hoping to sell Tenenbaum as a moderate who gets things done. The timing could hardly be worse.
Unfortunately for Tenenbaum, there is nothing the state government can do to improve education anyway, other than to set market forces loose in the state and let parents choose their chilren’s schools–an idea Tenenbaum adamantly opposes.