Charlottesville City Schools

I have not had the time to follow this mess,
but it remains a hot issue for real estate. Quality of Schools is as if not more
important than location, location location. I would be willing (albeit not
happily) to drive a great distance for my daughters’ well-being. We all have an
investment in the quality of our schools.

C-Ville has an excellent story to help get many
up to speed.

Since July, when
Griffin got here and Dede Smith was elected School Board chair, parents had
grown more outraged over fast-paced, unexplained changes and declining morale as
teachers faced sharp rebukes to their work. With five of the division?s
nine schools narrowly failing State standards, the board had tried to find a new
superintendent who could improve the division?s standing. But parents
protested the changes and disrespect attributed to Griffin, and a much smaller
contingent of black leaders fired back. They claimed that the real problem with
Griffin, who is African-American, was her race and gender. They said white
parents didn?t want black children to improve. Parents and teachers felt
insulted. The board said little about it; the superintendent said nothing. There
was hardly any substantive discussion of achievement strategies and little said
about the schools? many successes. Mostly the talk about the schools
concerned ?failure? and
?racism.?

Consider
reading the discussion at Cvillenews.com for more insight. The comment
that was posted this morning is particularly thoughtful. A brief snippet –

This must be resolved quickly,
though: the time for renewing contracts is here, and the biggest threat posed by
Griffin from the get-go has been the threat of ?breaking? the
institution.

Institutions
rely on ?institutional memory? of ?how things work? in
order to be successful; strong institutions perpetuate themselves this way. In
some sense, I?m sure that?s what the previous discussion regarding
institutional racism gets at: we do things a certain way because we always have.
Sometimes this is good: there are positive pieces of wisdom handed down (kind of
like ?old wives? tales?) and sometimes not-so-good things,
like bigotry.

The contracts issue
is significant. Without teachers, we have no schools. If we as a community lose
the good teachers, we may have to settle for second- or third- choices. Good
teachers are hard to find –
and
keep
.

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