Blair Hawkins | Charlottesville, Virginia |

What about the public schools? Friday September 1, 2017. (Comment)

What about the public schools? Local system under scrutiny after recent unrest and revelations. Dede Smith speaks out, former City Councilor and School Board Chair.

(A) Been there before. School board hired first black woman superintendent Scottie Griffin as a "Change Agent". The debate became "racially charged". Additional security was brought in. Was race used to dismiss substantive opposition to the changes? Was school board unable to justify the reforms? The replacement superintendent was also a black woman, who implemented the same reforms without controversy.

(B) University towns have the greater achievement gaps AND spend more money per student. Well-intended liberalism is not reflected in the studies. The Change Agent was hired to address mandated reforms based on poor performance. Things improved for a while. Now back in a rut.

(The controversy created political energy. In 2005 a dozen people applied to be appointed to the school board before it became elected. At-Large was adopted, which shuts out all voting minorities who push for the research studies and best practices. At-Large majority-only status quo creates a gap of us-versus-them, which fuels the achievement gap, contacts gap, inequality of all sorts.)

Thank you Dede Smith for the update.

Schilling Show 2nd Hour Sep. 1, 2017.

Blair Hawkins.

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