Well, for one, the superintendent of schools has decided to abandon his charter schools plan. Actually, it appears the decision was made a while back:
King mentioned changes to his charter school plan, dubbed the Transformation Initiative, in January board meetings.
Also in January, the board approved plans to apply to the state Board of Education for a waiver to open the schools identified as charters before Labor Day. Such a move would have given schools more flexibility to increase instructional time and remediation, King said.
But the administration never applied for the waiver. (emphasis mine)
Really? Makes me wonder two things:
- Was this, as others have said, just a smokescreen to try to buy some time until the division could figure out how to deal with OEI, the former governor’s proposal to take over failing schools that has now been gutted by the GA?
- If the division didn’t apply for the waiver, what took the superintendent so long to tell us about it?
Although I have no children, as I’ve often said, I want to see our schools succeed. Regardless of the reason, this doesn’t make me happy. What’s next, coach? What exact steps are going to be taken to improve the Norfolk Public Schools?
I’m guessing allowing the city manager appoint a deputy police chief isn’t going to have an effect.
Maybe an elected school board would help? Another effort is underway. We’ll see if it ends up having any more success than the previous ones.
Speaking of school boards – apparently a former member, one not reappointed when his term expired, has decided to run for city council. Let’s tell the truth about what’s really going on here.
As the article states, Tommy Smigiel beat Randy Wright for the Ward 5 council seat four years ago. Rumors have swirled for a while that Wright was going to challenge him this May. As recently as a couple of months ago, when Wright had his Christmas party, the sentiment was strong that Wright was planning a run; I’m told the event was like a campaign kickoff. Wright has apparently decided against it. In his place is his BFF Jim Driggers.
Norfolk needs more independent voices, like Tommy’s, on council and fewer who give in to the powerful monied interests of our city, probably the biggest reason that we don’t have an elected school board, among other things. The last thing we need is someone who will, even indirectly, put Wright back on council. Given his legacy, we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I don’t live in Ward 5, so I can’t vote for Tommy on May 6. But all of Norfolk can vote for him – with our pocketbooks.