Friday, August 04, 2006

Roanoke City Schools

After reading Graycie's latest post (Today's Homework), I did a bit of searching in the Roanoke Times online archive. I found this intersting article (from April, I believe). It is titled 'We've been failing these kids'.

This part in particular is interesting:

Former Superintendent Wayne Harris talked often about overcoming achievement gaps, but Stockburger thinks the school system, like many around the country, never treated accountability measures like the SOLs and the federal No Child Left Behind Act with the seriousness they warranted. The achievement gap is one of a number of reasons the system finds itself in the position it's in, she said.

Over the past few years, controversies over school system hiring and purchasing, as well as the discovery that the division had been underreporting school disciplinary data, were huge distractions, said Stockburger, a three-year board member who is not seeking a second term.

Harris left office in July 2004, triggering the appointment of an interim superintendent and a search for a full-time replacement, she noted.

School board members confess they weren't fully aware of the school system's problems until Thompson took over as superintendent in May 2005.

"We were just awakened," said board member Jason Bingham. "We've been failing these kids."

Thompson has been careful not to cast blame on Harris, but he's been plain that the system is in trouble.

"None of you knew the condition of this division when I arrived, needless to say, nor did I," he wrote to school board members in a December e-mail.

"In my time here it has become apparent to me that the obstacles facing us moving forward are the entrenched practices which have led to mediocrity and failure," he wrote, failure "to know the requirements of the law and the best practices which have been employed by school divisions across the country to address our issues."

I'm not sure what is going on in Roanoke City schools now, but it sounds like they have at least finally realized what a lot of us were saying about Wayne Harris several years ago.


Blogger graycie said...

I was going to add stuff to your post, like the last Supe left . . . ummm . . .early and our new Supe has infuriated pretty much everyone and even more teachers are leaving the City and fleeing for the Counties faster and in greater numbers than ever before and . . .

But it's summer, and it would just make me mad, so I won't.

So -- when do I hear about your new job and whether or not you'll ever come back for a visit? (The GGs say, "Hey!")

12:30 AM  

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