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Are South Carolina Children Receiving an Adequate Education?

Dr. Barnett Berry of the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Southeast Center scheduled to take the stand Thursday.

February 20, 2004

The founder and president of the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality is among officials who will testify next week when the education adequacy trial resumes in Manning. Dr. Barnett Berry of the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Southeast Center is scheduled to take the stand Thursday at the trial, being held at the Clarendon County Courthouse.

Dr. Berry is a Columbia native who was formerly with the Rand Corp., the University of South Carolina and the S.C. Department of Education. He began his teaching career at Eau Claire High School in Columbia.

Other witnesses who expect to be called next week include Jo Anne Anderson, Executive Director of the S.C. Education Oversight Committee, and Dr. Willie Townes, superintendent of Lee County.

Dr. Anderson, who has been accepted as an expert witness to testify on a wide variety of issues related to this case, began her testimony earlier this month.

South Carolina, Dr. Anderson testified last week, is running two education systems: one suburban/urban and growing; the other poor, rural and declining in students. The more affluent districts cluster around Interstate-85, while the poorer districts group around Interstate-95.

As a whole, South Carolina is moving forward in education, Anderson said, but the Interstate-95 corridor is being left behind. South Carolina can either support that area with welfare and prison systems, or invest in it so that its schools become competitive, she testified.

Other witnesses who may testify next week include Earline McClary, principal of Lee Central High School, and Vickie Edwards, principal of Bishopville Primary School.

Also, Dr. John Suber, Director of the Office of School Quality at the S.C. Department of Education, may be called to finish his testimony, which was started in January.

The trial, which began in July of 2003, will be in recess during all of March and the first week of April. Also, there will be no activity Monday, Feb. 23, to allow those involved in the trial to attend the funeral of S.C. Court of Appeals Judge Carol Connor, or during the morning of Thursday, Feb. 26, while the court is being used for other activity.

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Are South Carolina Children Receiving an Adequate Education?

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