School Board responses
10/4/2018, 6 a.m.
Here are responses from Richmond School Board members to the accreditation and dropout reports and the two audits:
Elizabeth “Liz” Doerr, 1st District
“A lot of my schools in my district are accredited as we are close to full accreditation in a lot of respects. However, in order to continue that momentum, we need to continue doing what we are doing — creating an environment where we recruit the best and the brightest teachers, have strong parental involvement, offer rich curriculum and encourage families to stay in RPS and not go to the counties or private school.
J. “Scott” Barlow, 2nd District
“I’m disappointed to see recent reports of lower-than-expected SOL pass rates and that we have so many schools that have not been fully accredited.
“Unfortunately, despite the efforts of many in RPS, these results are the result of decades of neglect of our school system.
“I will continue to advocate for the resources necessary to provide all of our kids with a high-performing school and dedicated teachers and administrators. I will support efforts by Jason Kamras and his administration to meet the plan goals, which includes a lofty goal of 100 percent school accreditation in the next five years.”
Kenya Gibson, 3rd District
“I will continue to fight for every dollar our kids deserve to meet our essential needs.
“Ultimately, all of the work we do as a board impacts the classroom — retaining teachers, having enough bus drivers to get our students to school and maintaining safe buildings all impact academics.
Jonathan Young, 4th District
“The solution is in creating a school district that treats teachers like the professionals they are instead of micromanaging adults and forcing them to teach to a test.
“If instead of penalizing teachers for taking ownership, we instead championed entrepreneurial values like risk-taking, innovation, departing from orthodoxies, celebrating differences and defying conformity, we could expect very different responses.
“Currently, RPS loses a fifth of our instructional workforce every year who take teaching jobs in the counties.”
Cheryl L. Burke, 7th District
“It is the board’s responsibility to govern RPS and hold Superintendent Kamras accountable for every child’s success.
“While studying the data for the 7th District, I was pleased to see gains in English. However, math and science (scores) continue to lull.
“As listed in the recent equity study, there are many reasons why there are little or no gains in those areas, such as teacher turnover and lack of resources in the community and schools.”
Dawn Page, 8th District and School Board chair
“While it is encouraging to see that some of our schools have made progress by showing growth on the new measures, the (VDOE and two audits) tell us that we still have a long way to go.
“Collectively, we will support the leadership team in their efforts outlined in the strategic plan and aligned with our Corrective Action Plan to help all students achieve educational excellence that surpasses what is demonstrated on basic proficiency assessments.”
Linda B. Owen, 9th District
“I will continue to support the families in my district as they interact with our schools. We made great strides in providing accommodations for those for whom English is an unfamiliar language as our Hispanic population continues to grow. Family support is crucial in so many areas, especially attendance.
“Four of the five schools in my district are fully accredited, and the other one was fully accredited last year and is working hard to get all the sub-groups ready for full accreditation going forward.
“By continuing to support Superintendent Kamras and his staff in every way possible, I feel confident the administrative team will bring forth plans we will approve, and a budget to help us all move forward with district improvements.”