Photo Illustration by Ryan Outlaw
Photo Illustration by Ryan Outlaw

Archived Story

VDOE cites Franklin division for several standard violations

Published 11:01am Monday, September 16, 2013

FRANKLIN—The Virginia Department of Education has cited the Franklin City School District with six violations of standards of quality.

In light of state findings, what steps should be taken regarding the leadership of Franklin City Schools?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

These violations included failure to develop and implement programs of prevention, intervention or remediation for students who fail to achieve a passing Standards of Learning score; employing personnel who are not licensed in relevant subject areas; and failure to implement a plan to make achievement for students who are educationally at risk a division-wide priority.

“We knew once the schools went into warning, we knew that an academic review was something they would do,” Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle said.

She said she did not think of the review as a bad thing.

“We need assistance to correct some of the challenges in the division,” Belle said.

The superintendent and School Board Chair Edna King received a document dated June 27 from the Virginia Department of Education.

“As stated in my previous correspondence, Section 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code of Virginia, Standards of Quality (SOQ), requires local school boards to maintain Fully Accredited schools and to take the corrective actions for schools that are not Fully Accredited,” Dr. Patricia I. Wright, superintendent of public instruction, wrote in the June 27 letter. “Franklin City Public Schools has three schools rated Accredited with Warning. As demonstrated by the findings and recommendations indicated in the attached reports, the review revealed evidence that the failure of the schools within the division to achieve accreditation status is related to division-level failure to implement the SOQ… .”

VDOE spokesperson Charles Pyle said the responsibility to meet these standards as part of Virginia law belongs to the local school board, which ultimately is responsible for holding a superintendent accountable.

Belle said that the code was a huge, generic document.

“This is a thing that will help us, and I am worried that people will twist it,” she said. “It is a diagnosis of the school division.

“The problems started way before I got here. But we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. We can’t run from it.”

When Belle took over as superintendent in March 2009, S.P. Morton Elementary School and Franklin High School were fully accredited, while J.P. King was accredited with warning in math, history and science, though the school was in its review year and was fully accredited the next year. Schools retain the warning label for an additional year, even if it received a passing grade.

From fall 2009 to spring 2012, all of the schools were fully accredited, though there were declines in Standards of Learning scores every year in math and English for each school. In 2012-2013 all of the schools went into warning, and based on recently released SOL scores where Franklin schools fell in 22 of 32 categories from the previous year, it is anticipated that they will all be in warning again in 2013-2014. VDOE will release official results Friday, Sept. 20.

While there may be a history of some problems in the district, Pyle said past problems have no bearing on this review being done, but rather it is based on the current failings in regards to the Standards of Learning scores.

“Dr. Wright is not in the habit of bringing up matters that have already been addressed,” he said. “I think this letter is as straightforward as it can be. In the code, it says ‘Each local school board shall maintain schools that are fully accredited.’ That’s not in the past.”

In the letter, Wright also wrote that she would use assessment data to make a decision regarding her “recommendation to the Virginia Board of Education to request that Franklin City Public Schools enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Virginia Board of Education and undergo a division-level academic review… .”

Pyle said a Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement where a local school board agrees on a schedule of goals to be completed from year to year, and has a menu of actions that must take place to accomplish its goals.

Belle said this June 27 report was the focus of her administrator retreat of late July.

King said that this report was the frame of the Aug. 5 School Board Retreat. However, one school board member, Dawna Walton of Ward 6, said that she had not been made aware of this document. Nancy Godwin of Ward 2, stated that she could not confirm or deny whether these documents had been reviewed. Johnetta Nichols of Ward 3 declined to comment because her mother was ill and she was on her way to Norfolk. The other school board members could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

When confronted with some members not having heard of or immediately recalling the document, King said she would prefer to not say who was at the meeting and declined to comment any further. She also said she would not comment on the document itself for personnel reasons.

Minutes from the Aug. 5 retreat were not available, though there was a school board meeting on Aug. 15. A central office record keeper confirmed that all school board members were at the retreat.

Belle said to be fair to the new school board members, it was the first school board retreat.

“It is an overwhelming day,” she said, also confirming that they were all at the meeting.

To obtain the documents, The Tidewater News filed a Freedom of Information Act request with VDOE and received them on Aug. 28. The newspaper also received other documents relating to this report on Sept. 5.

The item is a follow-up to a November academic review, which was sent to the division in January.

In the follow-up review, several problems still persisted.

At S.P. Morton Elementary School, the school improvement plan had not been updated to reflect grouping practices or to address the use of differentiated strategies, while at J.P. King Middle School, the improvement plan had not been revised to adequately address the academic review essential actions.

At Franklin High School, however, the essential actions had been incorporated.

Dr. Shannon Smith, director of instruction, said the factor of this was the time when they were looking into it, in that the principals at the schools were new to the district in this last academic year.

“That’s no longer a concern,” Smith said. “Once they received technical assistance, they got a handle on it.

“The principals were new. They have all returned, and we are expecting a stronger year,” she said. “I think we will be OK. We appreciate the guidance by the academic review. We used that to make some decisions and move the school division forward.”

It was found that central office instructional leaders did not conduct observations, and stated that they had been discouraged from spending time in the schools, according to the June 27 report.

“We’ve been there more than ever,” Belle said of late. “It is a new day, with a new set of board members, and they have different expectations for us.”

Four of the seven-person board remains the same.

Data tracking, remediation and intervention were also amongst the citations, and Smith said they are improving this.

She said there are people charged with monitoring student programs, enrichment and remediation. Central office leaders will be reviewing data with the principals, who will report on discipline, academics and attendance.

The middle school also has a turnaround partner, EdisonLearning, which is helping with monitoring and other plans. Some of EdisonLearning’s information has been spread to the elementary school to help with vertical alignment.

The data tracking system will also be a part of teacher evaluation, said Gail Wade, director of human resources.

Placing students in tiers is another aspect of planning for at-risk students, with Tier 2 students needing support and Tier 3 students struggling significantly.

“The data will determine where the kids are,” Smith said. “And it is flexible from one month to another, so that we can provide the necessary intervention for our students.”

In the Jan. 17 original review, one teacher at S.P. Morton Elementary was teaching a subject matter that he or she was not endorsed to teach.

At J.P. King Middle School, two teachers were teaching in areas where they were not endorsed to teach.

At the high school, one teacher was teaching a subject she was not endorsed to teach.

“That’s not a true statement,” Belle said of employing teachers not licensed. “Anyone who is not licensed fully is at least provisionally licensed.

“We may have had a few licensed teachers who were teaching out of their area, for whatever reason, but that has been addressed.”

According to the report, however, one teacher was cited for having a license that had expired June 20, 2011, though this teacher was let go in January. Four administrators also lacked endorsements for administration and supervision as of January 2013, including Dr. Debbie Harris Rollins, principal of S.P. Morton Elementary, who did not have a valid Virginia license. Rollins had come from North Carolina to start the 2012-2013 school year. She waited until January to apply for her license. All of the administrators have since received these endorsements, including Rollins.

Belle said she knows that the school district is not where it needs to be, and that this academic review has been used to help the schools improve.

“We know we are not where we want to be, and we know where we need to go,” she said. “We are moving forward.”

  • Watcher

    If anyone thinks that the continuing increase in crime and the decrease in the academic status of our schools in this community is a coincidence then think again. While I do think the administration, teachers, government etc. shoulder some of the blame by in large the majority of the blame has to go to the parents and society in general. It seems that most kids are simply out of control with no authority figures at home to lay down the law if you will. If parents were involved in their children’s lives and make the hard decisions early in their lives things would be different. If one can not admit these simple facts there are no other changes that will ever solve this problem which is becoming systemic through not only our community but through this nation.

    Suggest Removal

  • bobs94

    Here’s a solution. Let nature sort it out. Let the parents and the children of these worthless parents starve to death instead of giving them “free” food paid for by my tax dollars. I know that statement resonates and hits a nerve, but ask yourselves this. How long can this country survive by propping up a class of people that has no intentions of bettering themselves, their community, or their very own children? Seriously people, the less capable are outbreeding the self sufficient by large numbers.

    Suggest Removal

    • thomasmore

      bobs94—I agree with you on principle. The only beef I got, is that after you starve these freeloaders, they turn around and rob innocent people—read about the dry cleaners that just got robbed this past Thursday.

      Suggest Removal

  • parent695of700

    With all of the negativity and stereotypical thoughts and comments being made, the issue still remains! From the “pj wearing walmart money on the card” parents to the “working a double to keep a roof over my head and food and on the table, too tired to do homework” parents, what is the solution. Everyone can point fingers, everyone can point out what’s wrong, but who can find a solution??? Does the problem belong at home, at school, with the Superintdent. Our children are in below standard schools, parents whose children attend FCPS’s are at risk. Either your part of the problem or you’re put of the solution. As a parent, I push my kids for their future, to reach higher than I. Unfortunately not all parents do the same.

    Suggest Removal

    • DBenton

      Unfortunately, many of our parents in Franklin place emphasis on the wrong things. They devalue the worth to be had in gaining a good education, and instead emphasize the cell phones, hairstyles, finger nails, Nikes, etc. Too many of our kids live in homes where homework isn’t done, kids aren’t fed and put on the bus every morning, etc., etc. Children learn what they live.

      Yes, we do have very serious problems in our school board office that MUST be addressed, but we can’t lay all of the blame for low test scores at the feet of our schools. Parents deserve much of the blame themselves. Given the issues we face, Howie Soucek and others are absolutely right when they suggest that the entire community will need to be involved in the solution. It won’t be easy work.

      Suggest Removal

      • VAmom

        Very true and valid points. The teachers can only make so much of a difference when the lessons (academic, behavioral and materialistic) are not reinforced at home, or even worse, are reversed at home. Unfortunately, the parents deserving of the blame don’t see it as a problem.

        Suggest Removal

  • gunner58

    It would be interesting to know how much tax money has been and will be wasted on contracting with Edison Learning for 2 schools? I’m sure that it is not chump change, and what do we have to show for it? I am interested also in having that question answered. I would like to know how my financial contribution to the future if America is working out.

    Suggest Removal

  • rock

    The real thing is that change needs to be made NOW! Just do it and get new leadership. How many more years do we need to keep going down with leadership that hides the facts and has no reasonable way to get us out of this mess. School board just do it or we will hold you responsible!

    Suggest Removal

    • DIESEL

      And how do you intend to hold them responsible? The school board is not elected in this school division…hence, they are not held accountable for anything..ever. Therein lies part of the problem.

      Suggest Removal

      • independent

        City council funds the school division. City council can hold the school board accountable by asking questions and possibly allocating by category….hold superintendent and school board to category budget. And city council does not have to renew terms. City council appoints the school board and so city council has obligation to hold board accountable for poor decisions. At budget time, delve and ask hard questions about why the board thought we should “wait for a turnaround group of consultants” rather than do the hard work they are paid to do. ….why the board chose to hire a principal who drove 2 hours to the high school or hire a principal that walked out of a contract in NC and did not have credentials in Virginia. These are the kind of decisions that our leaders need to question. Why are we paying a principal’s salary for someone driving from Richmond to manage cafeteria or busses? Leadership at every level is failing our children because it’s easy to turn the blind eye and hope everyone feels good.

        Suggest Removal

      • employee2

        Do you really want the general population to elect them? We need people with qualifications and intelligence to ask the right questions. A popularity contest does no more than the elections for Student-body President.

        Suggest Removal

  • fnk@memberelist.com

    We do need to clean house from the top down to, but NOT to include the teachers. As someone said, the teachers are working hard and care and give 100%.

    Also also also, we do need to get the parents involved. Heck, maybe paying them or getting some kind incentive wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    The upper management of the schools needs to engage with other locations that have been in the same place with the same problems.

    Suggest Removal

  • senior citizen cynic

    Why is it that those making the BIG BUCKS always say that this poor performance, or rating was be be expected? They are paid those big salaries to FIX the problem.

    Suggest Removal

  • mason

    thomasmore, did the principal determine and control the PTA meeting agenda? I would think that it is the parents and teachers who should do this. Rather than allowing themselves to be herded like sheep by the administration (or even the current PTA leadership), perhaps regular, everyday members of the PTA, like you, should stand up and be heard as to where the priorities should be in conducting meetings. Things have to change in order to save our schools. One of the needed changes is for teachers and parents to talk directly with each other in an official, open setting about needed improvements in our system of education… and for administrators to take note and provide support. Stand and be heard. Please.

    independent, this is not in any way to take away from the appropriateness of your comment. My point is that there is so much to do, and EVERYONE can play an important role in a great variety of ways. It is time to stand and be heard.

    Suggest Removal

    • JustWondering

      Principals do not make the PTA agendas and at Morton everyone knows who has been driving that train and running that school for a long time! Thomasmore doesn’t have clue one about what that principal is up against. She has made some great changes but there are a lot more that need to be made and she is fought on almost every side for every one of them that she tries to make. I was at the meeting and the PTA was the same show and jabber that it has been for years. Now I do disagree with Thomasmore about the school song. That one act was far reaching. I think Dr. Rollins understands the students but especially the teachers, and while this public “tries” everyone from the board to the superintendent to VDOE to parents and anyone else you think you can pin some blame on except yourself, school is still going on. It seems Dr. Rollins realizes that, and I hope she doesn’t forget it. She might didn’t have a VA license in hand in March but she has what a lot of other folks who do have that piece of paper don’t seem to have. What I wish and what I hope is that enough parents will get on board with Morton and help us do what really needs to be done. I think that infamous school song said something like it’s time to teach, teach, teach, teach. So I say to Dr. Rollins and to the many fine teachers at Morton, teach, teach, teach, teach and all the best to you despite your leaders and parents and especially a good part of this community.

      Suggest Removal

      • mason

        JustWondering, the teacher’s referral of thomasmore’s concerns to the principal suggests that the principal is in charge of the meetings–otherwise, concerns would be passed to the PTA president–that’s what most folks would conclude… Other than being defensive of Dr Rollins and accusing everyone of blaming everyone except themselves, I do not understand your point. Certainly, you have not addressed thomasmore’s concerns. You said that “What I wish and what I hope is that enough parents will get on board with Morton and help us do what really needs to be done.” So what is your plan to get thomasmore on board? Same-ole-same-ole PTA meetings and talk about what a tough job the principal has? Wishing and hoping just won’t cut it. Morton needs the thomasmores on board, not put off.

        Suggest Removal

      • thomasmore

        “Thomasmore doesn’t have clue one about what that principal is up against”—actually, I kinda do. But that aside, you sound like you think I’m trash talking the principal. I’m not. I’m simply stating she’s outgunned–ie NOT outclassed. The PTA drones on about raising money for the school. You could throw a billion dollars at that school and it still won’t change the fact that MOST of these kid’s parents don’t give a bucket of crap whether their kids pass or fail a grade. They don’t. If there is zero impact on their quality of life, they don’t care. THAT is the battle that Dr. Rollins and the rest of the deidicated teachers are fighting.

        Suggest Removal

  • independent

    The point here that everyone seems to be missing is that our superintendent and school board chair ignored directives from the state to submit a plan and apparently did not disclose findings of an in-depth study. The study pointed to mismanagement in HR that they FAILED to address……after the January report. Someone should have been dismissed for poor job performance and it was brushed under the rug.

    Yes, we have social issues that are extremely difficult…..and that means we need even better leadership than most divisions. Unfortunately we have a super who has not demonstrated any capability to lead effectively….and a board chair who refuses to communicate with anyone including the board.

    Suggest Removal

  • thomasmore

    I gotta echo the earlier posted sentiments. It’s the parents who aren’t getting involved. Last week, my wife said there was an “open house” night at SP Morton, where I would be able to meet my daughter’s teacher. Now my time is very limited based on the hours I work to provide for my family, but even still I felt that it was important as her father to meet her teacher. Last night, we showed up for the event and instead of going to our daughter’s classroom, we were essentially “duped” into going to a PTA meeting. We sat through 50 minute long PTA meeting just to be told about various funds that were attempting to be raised for various school-related items (they’re aiming for a remodeled cafeteria), and we were also serenaded with the “new” school song. It was also during the PTA meeting that we were told “not to pay attention to what’s being printed about the school in the TN”. FINALLY, after sitting through a pretty pointless PTA meeting, we finally got to meet the teacher. Our daughter’s teacher is top notch. We could tell she cares and is FULLY invested in our daughter’s education. I asked the teacher why the school felt the need to “trick” the parents into sitting through a PTA meeting about new cafeterias and school songs and was told that “it’s the only way to get the very few parents that do show involved”. I told her that having an open dialog with the teachers is what’s important. Asking the teachers one-on-one how to best help their son/daughter be successful in school is the priority. Not school songs. Not new cafeterias. She smiled politely and said she’d pass along my comments to Dr. Rollins. Here’s what I think: I think the teachers are fighting an uphill battle. I think Dr. Rollins is hopelessly, hilariously outgunned by parents who simply don’t give a crap about their kid’s education, as it doesn’t impact their lives directly. I don’t blame the school. I don’t blame the kids. I blame the parents. The culture has changed. There is no value on education. Drugs, teen pregnancy, shootings. These things are glamorous. Passing an SOL is not.

    Suggest Removal

    • canadaeh

      So, did you join the PTA?

      Suggest Removal

    • VAmom

      thomasmore – I agree and disagree with you at the same time. I agree that a major issue is that the majority of parents are uninvolved. I disagree that the PTA portion of Tuesday night’s session was unimportant. PTA – Parent Teacher Association. Parents and Teachers working together to improve and enhance the educational experience of all children in the school.

      Yes a cafeteria contest was mentioned but so were many other programs. Sunny D for free books, Campbells Labels for art and music equipment, fundraisers to provide money for teacher gift cards to help buy classroom supplies. These are all items that the school budget simply cannot cover yet they are beneficial to the school environment. These are all ways that caring and involved parents such as yourself can help provide more for ALL the children in the school including (and maybe especially) those children whose parents are NOT involved.

      I heard the PTA board ask at the meeting, as it does at every meeting, for volunteers and committee members. The current PTA board members are all working parents. Their time is limited and they recognize that yours is too. No amount of time is too small to volunteer.

      You have a choice and you have a voice. Use both. Join, get involved, speak up, help make a difference – not just for one child but for all.

      Suggest Removal

    • FHS14

      Hello. I have been told to read the comments and I have and I hope you read what I have to say to you, thomasmore. I am currently a senior at Franklin High School and I know more about the school and what’s going on there more than you. The PTA is an association there to help the school system and the people involved. If S.P. Morton did not have a PTA then the children wouldn’t be has happy as they have been lately. The PTA helps with funding for school supplies, books, fundraisers, and anything else teachers or students need. Yes, there was a PTA meeting the other night but if you took the initiative to read the PTA event calendar like everyone else you would have noticed the meeting this past Tuesday. So pretty much what I’m trying to say is don’t try to bash something you have no idea or proof about. So chill out! Thank you :) -FHS14

      Suggest Removal

      • chilimac72

        Not sure the aggressive nature of this post was necessary. If I thought I was going to meet my son’s teacher and was herded into a PTA meeting that I did not plan on going to I believe I would have been upset as well. Even if I think it is necessary.

        Suggest Removal

    • parent695of700

      Although I understand your frustration, especially if you expected to meet your child’s teacher, however it sounds like you were duped by your wife. The flyers that went home clearly stated “PTA-Open House”. And sadly, like most of our parents, if it had said PTA meeting, would u have come? And how many PTA meetings have you attended where your child wasn’t performing? Sadly from what I understand that in order to bring parents out, either you gotta feed them or host grade level performances. Just saying. .

      Suggest Removal

  • thirdday

    Thank you so much, “shocked,” for taking a hard look at a tough truth. What is happening here is criticism leveled at whatever entity we can find to blame; who among us has actually ever entered the schools and witnessed what is or isn’t happening? Certainly everyone wants the problem addressed at the central office level, but has anyone considered that almost 500 schools in the state of Virginia are or will be facing “school improvement” or “accredited with warning” situations? We are all heated up here — and rightfully so — about our ‘failing’ schools. But, our neighbors and friends in VA are all starting to ‘fail’ under the standards imposed by the state. This problem is much bigger than one employee. Even DOE personnel admit that they are not equipped to handle the recent influx of failing schools.

    Suggest Removal

    • Observer26

      thirdday- Agreed many schools are struggling, but don’t forget that Franklin’s are struggling MORE. Now 2 of 3 schools ae in the BOTTOM 5% of all schhols. That’s a bit worse than struggling with SOLs. Thats failure and despite anyone else’s blame shifting – the buck has to stop somewhere and that somewhere has to be Admin or we can just pass it on to the students and see where that leads us.

      Suggest Removal

  • shocked

    As we all know, the school is a reflection of the community. This problem is larger than the school division-this is a city wide problem! All stakeholders need to become involved! Stakeholders include but are not limited to PARENTS, City Council, Social Services, Redevelopment and Housing Authority, school board, citizens, business owners, etc… The teachers in this area are giving 100% – they deserve everyone’s support in finding a solution to these issues! The solution could be solved in loving/nurturing homes which many of the students lack:( So… we know the problem, lets collaborate to find a solution!

    Suggest Removal

  • bustem

    I personally think the schools need a small group of phone bank employees who hound every parent whose kid is missing from school. Unless the kid is sick, I would call those parents so much that they would ensure the kid is at school. If the kids are at school, they will learn. Absenteeism is the single biggest problem in my opinion.

    Suggest Removal

  • Ol Skinny

    And as the schools fail… so goes our property values! Trust me on this…And who in their right mind would want to bring a business to this area and tell their managment staff that they are moving them to Franklin Virginia where the schools stink worse than a papermill on a bad day? I agree with what many of you are saying about the parents of these children… smart phones, bedroom slippers and parking in tow away zones in front of every business …. when is it going to change? My guess… never!

    Suggest Removal

  • yafeelme

    It’s a shame, when I went to Franklin a few years back the school was great… Better than any of the surrounding schools.. Now all the good, caring teachers have left.,. The school board has turned to s***…As a Franklin alumni I wouldn’t dare send my kids there.. At least we have a a good football team though. No one else around here can say that, that’s what matters right?

    Suggest Removal

  • TaxMax

    How does Belle say she inherited the problem when all schools were accredited according to the article and now they aren’t on her watch? And I am confused by how he state can hire Rabil when the schools have failed miserably on her watch too? But let a great teacher get a class of “I don’t cares” and watch their career go down the tubes.
    Everyone keeps passing the buck until they find a bigger and better job, why not tie compensation to performance to these administrators??? And don’t get me started on the parents, both black and white. I struggle to pay my bills only to stand behind them in Walmart while they surf the web on their smart phone and then pull out the welfare card and all I can do on my phone is text and talk and I then pay cash for my groceries. What is wrong with that picture. And last but not least I wouldn’t trust anything that came out of Chicago!

    Suggest Removal

  • gunner58

    How did the middle school get stuck with Edison Learning? The same company has worked with Petersburg schools, and I have read news articles about how ineffective that partnership has been.

    Suggest Removal

  • gunner58

    The irony of this situation is that last year the Dept. of Education headed by Madame Wright hired the former FCPS Director of Instruction to lead school improvement efforts for some of the poorest performing schools across the state (priority schools?). If my memory serves me correctly, Mrs. B. Rabil left FCPS in November 2012 around the time listed for this failed review. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I am told that she is the lead “mentor” for Joseph P. King, which was cited for violations incurred while B. Rabil was the guru of local instruction. Can this get any better?

    Suggest Removal

    • DBenton

      Gunner – you should try to verify your statement. Do you REALLY think VDOE would immediately assign Ms. Rabil as a mentor in her former place of employment? I don’t believe you’ve gotten good info on this matter.

      Suggest Removal

      • gunner58

        http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/school_improvement/news/2013_newsletter_winter.pdf

        Benton,

        The welcome portion of the February 2013 newsletter for VDOE School Improvement introduces Rabil as the coordinator for the priority schools.

        If she is coordinating the program, I would think that she is not washing her hands of the 2 Franklin schools. Do you think that VDOE has hired a second “coordinator” to be responsible for and leading just the FCPS school improvement efforts? I don’t think so.

        That is what I call irony, particularly given that the new article about the Morton school says that the student assessments for FCPS have to be rewritten to the expectations of VDOE. I understand that, as Director of Instruction, Rabil masterminded the very assessments that are now found to be lacking.

        Suggest Removal

    • JustWondering

      Gunner58 you should run for president because you are on the money! This is a jewel – tear up a school division then go to the state and get paid to tell folks how to fix their broken district. You have to laugh (to keep from crying) over this one. And take a closer look at that Edison/Petersburg thing and Franklin, bet you’ll find something else laughable! I just keep thinking which is worse – the no caring parents folks talk about in these blogs or the bad decision making leaders who are supposed to know better.

      Suggest Removal

  • DBenton

    This situation cries out for leadership from the School Board. Do what needs to be done immediately! How can you do anything less than what is so painfully obvious to everyone else needs to be done? Show some courage. Our children are depending on you.

    Suggest Removal

    • mileomore

      Amen to that! What more does it take to get some action from the School Board? Maybe they should be the next ones to go… or, at least those who have been on for the past several years. When are they going to wake up… when it’s too late?

      Suggest Removal

  • mason

    Thank you, saphronie, for the link you provided, below. Although I didn’t see the parent mentoring article (yet), I was fascinated and encouraged by the current item about non-cognitive skills, which can be taught in school. I would think that someone in every school system would have a responsibility to keep abreast of the current research and best practices in education and apply them to the extent possible in their own system. And thank you, especially, for pointing out the value of offering possible solutions to our problems rather than just blaming and complaining.

    Suggest Removal

  • stirit

    The solution is really quite simple. Withhold the welfare monies if the kids do not attend and do the minimum in school. These worthless parents will get involved then.

    Suggest Removal

    • cscj27980

      It’s not just parents on welfare who are uninvolved. Uninvolved parents can be found in every economic background. I don’t teach in Franklin, but I am a teacher and while it may seem that so many uninvolved parents fit a certain demographic, I can assure you that they all don’t fit one category. There is no “simple solution” because there are multiple problems.

      Suggest Removal

  • spdrewry

    Will we have to pay the parents to attend such a program? Spec so!

    Suggest Removal

  • wiskeymike

    It all starts at home . It’s a shame hundreds of kids wont have a chance in life because of worthless mothers who pass it all on to our teachers.

    Suggest Removal

    • saphronie

      You could be accurate, Wiskeymike, in pinpointing one area of need for students attending FCPS. Typically, identification of a problem is purposeless unless it is accompanied by a solution. What is your solution? Are you offering to sponsor a parent mentoring program, such as the one that has met with some success in Chicago (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/474/back-to-school)?

      Suggest Removal

      • wiskeymike

        I’m not sure you can fix the problem unless you take the kids away at birth and give them to real parents. I’m just mad the schools and very hard working teachers take the fall. Parents should be held accountable
        That includes baby mommas and baby daddy’s . Peace out I’m catching a ride to wal Mart with my bedroom slippers and pj’s on hope my money on my card!

        Suggest Removal

Editor's Picks