Meet the Faucett Family

January 19, 2015

Morgan Faucett started her education at a private school. But her mom, Pam, felt the school was too small and didn’t have enough to offer Morgan. In second grade, Morgan moved to a public school and excelled there.

10 Things Lawmakers Need to Know About Abbeville

Blog · December 19, 2014

In the wake of the recent South Carolina Supreme Court ruling on the Abbeville case, the SC legislature has been handed a mandate to improve the education system for our rural school systems. While those who have vested interested in maintaining the status quo say that this ruling simply mandates more funding to the powers that be, our education system needs real reform. Check out these ten real steps to reform.

Testimony to First Steps to School Readiness Study Committee

Blog · December 5, 2014

I am Oran Smith, and I come to you this afternoon in two capacities. I am President & CEO of Palmetto Family, a faith-based, public policy research organization founded in Spartanburg and based here in Columbia since 1994. I am also glad to be part of Palmetto Policy Forum, a new type of policy organization dedicated to expanding opportunity by building consensus around common sense solutions.

Palmetto Policy Forum Releases New Empower Opportunity School Choice Catalog Featuring Foreword From U.S. Senator Tim Scott

November 17, 2014

Today, at its 2nd Annual VisionSC Summit, Palmetto Policy Forum released the latest version of Empower Opportunity: Education Options for South Carolina Families. Featuring a foreword from U.S. Senator Tim Scott on the power of education choice, this groundbreaking publication is designed to equip South Carolina families with information about education options currently available to Palmetto State students. It also highlights policy success stories in states where they have created even more choice and flexibility than currently exists here.

Empower Opportunity 2015

Blog · November 15, 2014

Finding the best education fit for your child can be a daunting task. In this catalog, you’ll read the stories of families just like yours who share their journey to find the perfect place for their child. You’ll also find links to resources to learn more about each option. Please take a minute to share this information with families you know. Knowledge is power, and working together, we can Empower Opportunity for students in every corner of the Palmetto State. And please take a minute to visit our dedicated Empower Opportunity website at

Our South Carolina State Standards Review Taskforce Response

Blog · November 6, 2014

Thank you for the invitation to submit feedback on South Carolina’s proposed Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) standards. Our goal in submitting this review is to contribute a thoughtful perspective to a constructive dialogue that results in rigorous, state‐controlled standards that will create an environment of excellence for our students and clear guidance and support for our teachers.

“Read to Succeed” Must Cross the Legislative Finish Line

Blog · October 28, 2014

The ability to read is a primary gateway to success in school and life-long learning. A child who does not master this fundamental skill faces daunting odds. Consider these sobering statistics from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: · Children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high school. · Below basic readers are almost 6 times more likely than proficient readers to not finish high school on time. · Poor, Black, and Hispanic students who are struggling readers are about 8 times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.

The Power of Words and the Ongoing Fight Against Common Core

Blog · August 29, 2014

We have known for some time that Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have left voters, legislators, parents, and teachers frustrated and confused. Now we are learn that the Standards have caused a controversy amongst another group: pollsters. In a recent clash of surveys, the Gallup poll shows 60% of Americans oppose Common Core while an Education Next survey shows support for the standards in the 53% to 68% range. Why the big difference? Not surprisingly, it is the questions themselves.