Archived Story

City, school officials discuss the next step for Franklin schools

Published 11:22am Friday, November 1, 2013

FRANKLIN—In a joint meeting on Wednesday between the Franklin City Council and the Franklin City Public School Board, the school officials presented their plan to improve the schools, and they also took questions from city council.

The joint meeting, which was attended by more than 50 people, follows a recent public forum about the school that the council hosted at city hall. People spoke about the situation to council members. They in turn would bring these thoughts and their own to the joint meeting, which took place in the Regional Workforce Center at Paul D. Camp Community College. At the forum, council also clarified its power concerning the school board, which including appropriating funds and appointing board members.

THE PLAN

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle quickly went through the division’s plan to return the schools to full accreditation and to strengthen human resource practices, which were two of the biggest concerns when the state placed the school system under division-level review status. The Virginia Board of Education will send in working and retired superintendents and other professionals to look into stakeholder engagement, as well as board and governance with both the school board and the district’s central office.

Based on the school-level academic reviews that were completed this past year, the division drafted a plan, which it submitted to the board of education before its Oct. 24 meeting in Richmond. That’s when the school system was placed under division-level academic review.

With S.P. Morton warned in reading and math, the school has adopted new computer programs, iStation for reading and iReady for math. These are intervention programs to help lower-performing students.

Professional development regarding differentiation and data analysis were important topics at all of the schools. An instructor on differentiation of instruction from the University of Virginia will visit both the elementary and high schools.

Also to help with instruction, the division has developed criteria for tiered identification of students at the schools. The levels will help determine the intensity of the intervention effort. Students in tier 1 are provided enrichment and extension activities. Students in tier 2 are provided direct intervention from the classroom instructor, based on the skill deficit areas and through remediation in the computer lab. Students in tier 3 are provided what tier 2 students receive, and they also interact with the specialists in the schools. At the high school level, many students in T3 receive after-school instruction. For the middle and elementary schools, T1 is 100-80 percent pass rate, T2 is 79-70 percent pass rate and T3 is 69-0 percent pass rate. At the high school level, T1 is the same; T2 is 79-60 percent pass rate and T3 is 59-0 percent pass rate.

Every month, the district conducts Division Strategic Support Team meetings, which began in October. The team, made up of central office members, meets with building officials to discuss student achievement, discipline and student and teacher attendance. The team also conducts learning walks, where they observe classrooms and give immediate feedback to the building principals.

By hiring a dean of students for both the elementary and high schools, the building principals are spending more time in the classrooms. For teachers, the principals also have PD360 Observation, a computer program designed to help instruction.

Speaking about professional development, ward 3 school board member Johnetta Nichols said the new approaches were different from the past, which was described as a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Some teachers were having a problem with classroom management, and some teachers were having problems with other things,” Nichols said. “We would have teachers in group staff development, and often what was being talked about wasn’t appropriate for everyone. Now we look at what types of skills they think would help them more individually. I think that is going to help with our instructional piece in the classroom.”

The focus of the division this year is in vertical articulation, which will have middle school teachers being better coordinated with elementary and high school teachers, to make sure elementary students are ready for middle school, and in turn, middle school students prepared for high school.

School board chair Edna King said that data regarding student benchmarks, discipline and attendance was getting to them quicker from the schools, which will help in making decisions.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Vice mayor and ward 1 Councilor Barry Cheatham said that last year, when the council and school board had its meeting, the school board had a plan.

The schools are now in worse shape than they were a year ago; however, as in 2012-2013, S.P. Morton was warned in only English; J.P. King was warned only in math and was a priority school; and the high school was warned only in math. Now, S.P. Morton is warned in English and math, and is a priority school; J.P. King is warned in math and English and is still a priority school. The high school held and is still only warned in math.

“The plan didn’t work,” Cheatham said. “What is the difference between that plan and this plan?”

King responded that the plan Belle had just laid out was the same one that was presented to the Virginia Board of Education.

“I left that meeting feeling somewhat impressed that they did not grill us about what we had presented,” she said. “They accepted our plan of correction. There were other school divisions there, who submitted reports, and they were questioned about what they submitted.”

Ward 2 Councilor Benny Burgess, having watched the meeting on the board of education’s website, disagreed with her take.

“I appreciate your opinion of that meeting. My opinion is that they had already made up their minds. They were ready to vote when you came in,” Burgess said, drawing applause from the audience.

Belle confirmed that the board of education can suggest modifications to the plan during the division-level review, a date for which has yet to be scheduled.

Ward 3 Councilor Gregory McLemore was interested in how the school had gotten here.

“In my opinion, this is like cleaning up a disaster and not knowing what was being cleaned up,” McLemore said. “What caused us to be in this situation?”

Belle said there is more than one answer. She said the system had a bigger population of economically disadvantaged students as compared to other districts — its free and reduced lunch population was 70-80 percent.

“When compared to Isle of Wight, it is not fair,” Belle said. “Their population of disadvantaged youth is smaller than ours.”

She also talked about the new tests.

“I know, people say don’t blame the test,” Belle said. “But what happens when a division already struggling to pass the original test has to take a test with more rigor added into it? It pushed us back further.”

King also said that the school has lacked stability, that the turnover of teachers, principals and superintendents has been horrible.

“This year, for the first time, we managed to retain all three principals,” she said. “There is no way you can move forward if there is a new principal in the school every year.”

Nichols said that economically disadvantaged students tend to score lower on standardized testing.

“Our philosophy is that every child can learn, however, no matter where they come from,” she said. “We’re trying to get to the point where we can find something that works that helps the economically challenged children, so they can achieve at the level other students are achieving.

“We will not accept that excuse. But it does take time. That’s one of the reasons why we have been moving slowly, but I am very optimistic that we are going to conquer that obstacle.”

King said that she thought the division-level review would be a good thing.

“I am glad that we are having a division-level review,” she said. “Our problems in the schools are systemic. We need help in fixing them. This division-level review is going to do something for us that we have not done for ourselves.

“We now have a correction plan in place that we feel will work for us. Maybe this is not the best place to be in, but look at the performance of the children. If someone can come in here and tell us things we need to be doing to correct this, I think it needs to be done.”

Ward 1 school board member Will Councill said he was not glad that the state was coming in.

“I respect what Mrs. King said, but I’m not happy with a division-level review. I am embarrassed,” he said. “I am embarrassed that we have to have someone else come in our city and tell us what to do. But she is correct. They will come in and put us in the right direction. I will take my blame for where we are.”

McLemore later tried to summarize how the schools got here.

“It is not the school board. It is not Dr. Belle, she is experienced. It is our students,” he said. “The students are the reason we are failing?”

After looking around and no one else stepping up to talk, King said “I think that your conclusion might be good based on what we said.

“But I hope we will see this as a community problem. We’re not saying it is the students, or the teachers or the principals, but we as a community have a great deal of work to do.”

When asked, Belle said that the issue has been reconciled in respect to the teachers and administration members cited for not having proper licenses in their specific areas.

Nichols said she thinks what happened with regard to the teachers was that principals were placing teachers in areas they were not licensed to teach, and now, she added, the principals have to go through human resources before reassigning teachers.

“When hired, they were hired in positions in which they were certified,” she said. “For some reason, without getting into personnel, the principals thought that they would work better elsewhere, and some have proven that.”

Cheatham said that last year the city council was told there was one person working out of his or her area, but now they are finding out it is more.

“I’m wondering if the board is getting good information to be good management directors,” he said.

As far as the central office positions, Belle said that some of those people had been there longer than she had, and she was surprised to find out all of a sudden their not being licensed was a problem.

FINAL COMMENTS

Not every school board member gave final comments. In fact, Ward 4’s Sherita Ricks-Parker and Ward 5’s Jeanette Austin didn’t say anything during the whole meeting.

Dawna Walton, ward 6 board member, had pointed out earlier that there were 10 people in question for working out of certification.

“The reason I was telling you that it was 10 and not 13 was not to say it was better,” she said. “Ten is still too many. I agree with Will (Councill). We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. I wish we were not in the position we were in, but hopefully we can work together and get this right.”

Councill said the numbers in regard to the Standards of Learning scores were bad, and they have to get them better.

“It is not the lack of work teachers and the administration. I wish I could tell you why it is the way it is,” he said. “I’m not going to point the finger. It is not the kids. All kids can learn. We are going to work hard to bring this school system back the way it used to be and the way it deserves to be.”

King rounded up the three final comments made by school board members.

“We are going to move ahead, but we need your support,” she said. “I invite you to attend our school board meetings. We do have citizen time that you can sign up for.”

McLemore said he hopes the new plan would be successful, but that he had his concerns about the leadership, though he didn’t blame Belle, he blamed the school board members — specifically some of the long-term members.

“I’m not happy with where we are. I think that unless we make changes in leadership, we are destined to continue the same route,” he said to applause. “If the leadership was proper, the state would have never had to come in here.”

Cheatham joined McLemore in challenging the leadership.

“I’m not sure if we’ve got the right coaches,” he said. “Sometimes, there are coaches in systems, who are otherwise great coaches, but they don’t mesh in for whatever reason. Sometimes they go somewhere else and they are great coaches, and the old team gets a new coach in, and all of a sudden everything works.

“I am extremely disappointed, and also with the parents in the system. I see very little parent support for their children. They are not pushing their kids to read, write and to learn math.”

Burgess said it is a lot like when the flood came (in 1999), and he had to get his business back up and running.

“For the next year, I barely slept,” he said. “I was in crisis mode. I worked myself to death. I got it up and running, but it wasn’t easy. The schools are in crisis mode. We can’t act like everything is running smooth, it has to be all hands on deck.

“Make sure you are focused and giving us 100 percent,” he said to the school board members. “We can not afford to lose any more children to failure.”

Ward 5 Councilor Mary E. Hilliard said that it takes a village to raise a child, so she hopes everyone will support the schools despite the problems.

“No one is perfect,” she said. “If it was a perfect world, we wouldn’t be here. But everything critical that will go out of this room, and is printed in the paper, is doing nothing but destroying Franklin.

“I say, all of us, let’s roll up our sleeves, and do what we can do.”

Ward 4 Councilor Mona Murphy said she was one of the people with longevity that McLemore talked about, and she added he didn’t know everything that was going on then.

“You don’t know it if you were not there,” she said. “There were a lot of things happening.

“As I looked out, into the audience,” she continued, “I saw a lot of people snickering, laughing, people part of the community and the school system itself. It may be bad, but let’s all do something.

“I’m not ashamed. I want to do the right thing. Dr. Belle and the school board, I support you.”

Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn closed, concurring with Burgess on his analogy.

“My business was also in the flood,” she said. “I had to roll up my sleeves, work and get very little sleep.

“I guess I look at Franklin as a whole. Franklin has a bright future, but we have to get this right. We have to get the children educated for our entire city to succeed. Without that arm, Franklin won’t succeed. We have to buckle down and understand that they are in a crisis situation, and we have to support them.”

  • rock

    It is past time for a change, Yes, we need support but not from our current superintendent and Ms. King. They have had more than enough time to see some improvement.She is clueless on what to do on her own and that is why Richmond is coming in to help. She was an inexperienced superintendent when we hired her who has taken our school division to new low levels while working Mondays through Thursdays and being back home on Fridays to Sundays. Yes, it has hurt her by never being fully part of our community!How is she going to roll up her sleeve like the mayor and Mr. Burgess said needs to be done when gone most of the time. Ms. Hilliard talks about it takes a village to correct the problem but does not mention hardly any low disadvantage parents being at the meeting.The ones there that cared where the ones who pay the real estate taxes to keep the schools open for other kids. Yes, they have a big say on what is done since the other parents do not seem to care. Mona Murphy was upset that people were not happy with current state of schools. She should be. Up until 2 years ago she was on school board and was part of our problem as well as leading the charge to lower our standards with no grade below a 60 that was barely defeated after the superintendent tried to sneak this on us. She still to this day will not comment on why she did this.Our school charter has said we will provide a quality education for all kids but a good number of these kids go elsewhere because of our schools. The superintendent will not tell us how many of these kids do this and how much this outflow to other schools cost us. It will shock you!The city council 5 minute rule per council person to interview people interested in a school board seat has back fired in their faces and now look what we have. Finally,it is time either in December or January to let superintendent know if we are going to renew her contract.This is the best kept secret in Franklin! I urge everyone to call their school board representatives and let them know IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!P.S.It was said we need more volunteering in the schools. Did not the Elementary school try to cut back the Book Buddy program last year? You figure!

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  • independent

    J Nichol, because our children are disadvantaged, they need the best of the best to help them succeed. Our disadvantaged childen are depending upon you to make sure they have a leader who is more than a placeholder…who is more than adequate…who does more than blame…and to put it quite simply, they are depending on you to provide them with a leader who is MORE.

    They need a leader who is dynamic, and who is willing to engage our entire community to find solutions, one who has ideas of his/her own, one who is willing to stand up and openly discuss the problems that exist. They need a leader who is blind to the racist attitudes of both sides and one who is also committed to improving not only Franklin City Public Schools, but the City of Franklin. They need a leader they can look up to as a role model and who makes them proud to be a student in Franklin.

    After going to the joint meeting the other night, it appears that the idea of needing stability may overrule the idea of strong new leadership. It appears that some believe that ‘good’ superintendants will come in and save the day for our leader that did little to improve our situation in three years of on the job training.

    At the end of the day when the ‘good’ superintendents leave us and we are on our own, will we be able to do more for ourselves than we did

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  • independent

    J Nichols, the point that needs to be made here is that there are several divisions in Virginia who have very similar demographics, similar economically challenged and ‘at risk’ populations… but much better performance on SOLs. Has Dr Belle shared that info with the school board?

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  • Kmart3008

    @broman, yes I saw the video. I can’t speak on FHS in the years of 79 or 83. I got to FHS in 84. I recall several classes not being offered at FHS that were being offered at SHS to include Vocational courses. At that time most of FHS standard classes were equivalent to SHS remedial level courses. Thus FHS being behind the 8 ball back then. In recent years my son graduated with HONORS from FHS only to go to college and not be fully prepared as it relates to math, physics and computer language courses. Kids from other area high schools such as Maury, Booker T, Oscar Smith, NA were fully prepared for college in these areas.

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  • Kmart3008

    @ Simplifyingit, the homes that were sold was not at a loss. Selling the homes were not meant for a profit by FRHA! Being a City of Franklin resident myself I am familiar with the homeowners. I gives me great pleasure to say these people are still living in there homes after 9 years. To say the homes were not taken care of is incorrect as well.

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  • DBenton

    School Board members need to take time to dig into the numbers, and not simply nod their heads and follow like sheep. One look at FCPS test scores since 2009 will tell you all you need to know about the total failure of our current administration. Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself. The scores are pitiful!

    Board members – you are doing our children a disservice if you fail to act in their best interest. YOU are the people who, by State law, are charged with providing a proper education for our children in Franklin. Each of you need to get serious about the task at hand, or resign immediately. Our children deserve nothing less! They are depending on YOU!

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  • JustWondering

    Your not hour

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  • JustWondering

    JNichols, points well taken. My caution to you would be for you to make hour comments in depth in public meetings like you did here because one walks away with two different conclusions based on the two different comments, the one quoted in the paper and the one in these blofs and which one will most people read? You strije me as intelligent well read and concerned about children so I ask you why is the board (seemingly cause I won’t say I know for sure) letting the superintendent dupe them with new plans that aren’t reslly new and aren’t really plans? Is the board asking teachers and principals what is REALLY going on in the schools? I do think the board gets a story that is far from the truth. I am not even sure Dr Belle knows herself or if she just takes the word of her staff which ain’t necessarily a lways true. But I will also say that cannot be an excuse because the board hired her to know and to make sure right things are happening. I tell you JNichols they are not!

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  • jnichols

    Sorry for the typo-error (‘mean’ instead of ‘me’)need to practice what I preach in the classroom. PROOFREAD! Know I will be grilled being that I am an educator; but hey, we are human too.

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  • jnichols

    JustWondering, my statement that “educationally disadvantage students tend to score lower on standized test” is based on educational literature that I have had the opportunity to read articles in educational journals based on studies and research. Please allow mean to share a couple of excerts from those journals with you.

    Economic Disadvantage, Children, and Family Life

    Economically disadvantaged children enter school with less developed cognitive skills than their peers and then make lower grades and test scores, take lower level course work, and ultimately obtain fewer degrees (Barker & Coley, 2007; Duncan, Brooks-Gunn, Yeung, & Smith, 1998; Peters & Mullis, 1997; Raver, Gershoff, & Aber, 2007). Thus, economic disadvantage can derail the trajectories of educational attainment on which long-term socioeconomic attainment is predicated. Many structural mechanisms for these patterns have been identified (Arum, 2000; Bernhardt, Morris, Handcock, & Scott, 2001; Leventhal & Brooks-Gunn, 2000). Developmentalists have elucidated how the risks of economic disadvantage are also rooted in interpersonal contexts (McLoyd, 1998). Such research is exemplified by the family socialization (or process) model, which theorizes that the effects of economic stratification are filtered through family dynamics. In short, the stresses of economic hardship disrupt parents’ lives in ways that alter the organization of the home, family relations, and the psychological well-being of family members. Such changes are then manifested in child maladjustment (Elder, 1974; McLoyd, 1998). Although occasionally criticized as blaming poor parents for children’s troubles, proponents of the family socialization model have argued that it captures how parents and children are both victims of economic stratification (Huston, 1991).

    Whose Problem Is Poverty?
    Richard Rothstein

    It’s no cop-out to acknowledge the effects of socioeconomic disparities on student learning. Rather, it’s a vital step to closing the achievement gap.

    In my work, I’ve repeatedly stressed this logical claim: If you send two groups of students to equally high-quality schools, the group with greater socioeconomic disadvantage will necessarily have lower average achievement than the more fortunate group.1

    Why is this so? Because low-income children often have no health insurance and therefore no routine preventive medical and dental care, leading to more school absences as a result of illness. Children in low-income families are more prone to asthma, resulting in more sleeplessness, irritability, and lack of exercise. They experience lower birth weight as well as more lead poisoning and iron-deficiency anemia, each of which leads to diminished cognitive ability and more behavior problems. Their families frequently fall behind in rent and move, so children switch schools more often, losing continuity of instruction.

    Poor children are, in general, not read to aloud as often or exposed to complex language and large vocabularies. Their parents have low-wage jobs and are more frequently laid off, causing family stress and more arbitrary discipline. The neighborhoods through which these children walk to school and in which they play have more crime and drugs and fewer adult role models with professional careers. Such children are more often in single-parent families and so get less adult attention. They have fewer cross-country trips, visits to museums and zoos, music or dance lessons, and organized sports leagues to develop their ambition, cultural awareness, and self-confidence.

    Each of these disadvantages makes only a small contribution to the achievement gap, but cumulatively, they explain a lot.

    I’ve also noted that no matter how serious their problems, all disadvantaged students can expect to have higher achievement in better schools than in worse ones. And even in the same schools, natural human variability ensures a distribution of achievement in every group. Some high-achieving disadvantaged students always outperform typical middle class students, and some low-achieving middle class students fall behind typical disadvantaged students. The achievement gap is a difference in the average achievement of students from disadvantaged and middle class families.

    I’ve drawn a policy conclusion from these observations: Closing or substantially narrowing achievement gaps requires combining school improvement with reforms that narrow the vast socioeconomic inequalities in the United States. Without such a combination, demands (like those of No Child Left Behind) that schools fully close achievement gaps not only will remain unfulfilled, but also will cause us to foolishly and unfairly condemn our schools and teachers.

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  • JustWondering

    Just wondering about this “plan.” Ha! New computer programs? Nope, Morton has had iStation sibce Bev Rabil days. Why was she criticized and NOW a program she brought in us a new plan? UVA brought in by Bev Rabil. Same story as iStation – not new. Do I need to continue? Staff development? Where’s the plan? Ask staff about that last minute mess just yesterday! And Belle surprised about personnel mess? That’s not new either! Wish I could honestly say that I was surprised by this “plan” and the board buying it hook line and sinker. Just wondering – am I the only one who recognizes this sham? I’m really starting to rethink her poor leadership. If she can keep selling woof tickets and the board and city keep buying them… Well? And board member Nichols how can you say econ disadvantaged children score lower? You are an educator. Come on now! Oh Franklin Oh Franklin!

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  • Maxdoubt

    I encourage anyone interested to go to doe.virginia.gov and look for the agenda for the Oct. 24th meeting. Agenda item “F” contains a 99 page document detailing the causes leading to the Academic Review.
    Some items of interest mentioned:
    “Over the past six years FCPS has received $1,329,183.00 in school improvement funding. The majority of the support has been for J.P.King Middle School, which has received $495,716.00. The funds have been used to support improvement in reading and mathematics at the elementary and middle schools…” (page 8)
    Pages 63-69 give details about last years review of the schools, the recommendations made by the VBOE and the follow up on those recommendations in April of this year. This litany of failures to comply with the recommendations indicates serious problems either in the inability to make the required changes or the lack of initiative to make the changes especially in Morton and King.
    The most puzzling moment of the recent joint meeting at PDCCC for me was Dr. Belle’s response to a question about what a Division Level Review would entail. When asked to tell the City Council what the city can expect to actually occur during the review she flatly stated that she had “no idea”. Think about that. Her division had been threatened with a Division Level Review 5 weeks prior to this meeting. Her school division was placed under a Division Level Review 7 days before the meeting and she has “no idea” what the review process actually is. Is she not even curious about what her division will undergo? Pages 16 and 17 of the document I have referenced here has the details of exactly what FCPS will undergo during the Review. Why wouldn’t she want to know that?

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    • DBenton

      Attachment A of the DOE document referenced above (beginning on page 10 of 99) outlines EXACTLY what will occur during the Division Level Review to be conducted by the State. How could Belle have answered the way she did at the joint meeting? She most likely had this info already in hand, provided by DOE. If not, anyone worth their salt would have done some research in advance of the joint meeting, knowing that such a question would be asked.

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  • Resident

    There seems to be one very important thing that I have not seen brought up during any of these discussions, that is switching to an elected school board where the members can be held accountable for not doing what is right for the school system.

    If I remember correctly from previous articles, Franklin is one of very few communities in Virginia that does not have an elected school board.

    How about it School Board and City Council, what does it take to get this done ??

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  • shocked

    I guess the majority of the parents in FCPS were not interested in attending this meeting? Go figure!!

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    • Councill

      Councilwoman Mona Murphy said, “As I looked out, into the audience, I saw a lot of people snickering, laughing; people part of the community and the school system itself.

      The people laughing and snickering were her political enemies.

      In regards to the schools, there are three white groups fighting for political dominance.

      White group 1: Members of the White/Black alliance.

      White group 2: Councilman Don Bligh supporters. This group is made of former and present school employees, and people seeking revenge on Councilwomen Hilliard, Murphy, and Mayor Ashburn.

      The councilwomen fought and defeated many of these people over the last 15 years. The councilwomen have lead a boycott and utilized the race card against former school board members. The councilwomen have also forced many of them and their friends out of jobs in their quest for political dominance.

      White group 3: Former Mayor Jim Council supporters. This group sees the current City’s leadership as inept and want to save the ship before it sinks totally. Most of the White members of the Black/White Alliance belonged to this group before Mayor Councill shot himself in the foot pushing for Navy flyovers of their homes and businesses.

      Many White people wonder why Blacks are not out protesting the current school problems?

      The answer to their question is this. Blacks know Chairwoman King, Mayor Ashburn, and Councilwomen Hilliard and Murphy. They trust them. They are depending on them to do the right thing and correct the situation in a way that will benefit them. The Black community supports the White/Black Alliance.

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      • wahoohick

        This is nothing but a sick perception of the situation of things going on in Franklin right now.

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      • SandMan

        Don Bligh? How about Don Blythe?

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  • DryRain

    Belle has NO PLAN, the State has a plan. King has no idea what to do or what is going on.
    In others words here we go again, listening to the same ole same ole. This is the same thing they both say every year.
    Belle is only in it for a pay check.
    King is only in it for prestige.
    Sorry kids that is what happens when two narrcisstic people are in charge, and they know no one can boot them out as long as they have each other.

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  • simplifyingit

    one important factor lost in all this is………………the city council and it’s dept heads slowly over the last 15-20 years bought up real estate and turned it into low income/public housing which holds parents that don’t parent. In turn you get students with no direction or ambition. Turning your school into what we have today. Until the city gets out of the real estate business and becomes less state/federal grant dependent the future has no bright light.Businesses aren’t coming either.

    Simply put(hence the screen name), our city council and leaders of the past are partly to blame.Simply put, until COF no longer owns rental/public housing or seeks grants that they themselves consider “free money” we are stuck. There is no such thing as free in the world….someone earned it and someone payed for it. But our city leaders don’t realize that or at least thats the view from the outside.

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    • Kmart3008

      What are you talking about? What properties has the city council had a hand in purchasing for low income public housing/rental property? Why do you say the city is in the real estate business?

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      • simplifyingit

        several on walnut,chestnut were purchased by the city renovated with grant $$$ and sold, at a loss, to low income families that didn’t take care of them. The FRHA is a city dept. and look at it’s holdings, costs, and grants received compared to monies receieved from tenants not on govt assistance. That’s just a few that i know about.

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    • Observer26

      FRHA is not a city department. They are funded and operate under federal HUD policies.

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      • simplifyingit

        Hired by city manager….run by city——city dept although it may be fully funded by HUD. Yes…..it’s a job that you have to apply for through the cities personnel office. but hey if you look at it through your glasses there are no city depts, they’re all funded by some govt entity.

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      • Kmart3008

        You are correct.

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    • Kmart3008

      You are absolutely wrong!!!! FRHA purchased 7 homes in the city limits of Franklin with HUD funds back in the late 90′s early 2000. These homes were rehab with FRHA/HUD funds and sold under an approved homeownership plan back in 2004. Your confusion is regarding a partnership agreement between FRHA and the City of Franklin as it relates to the “Home Program” To begin you need to understand funds for the “Home Program” is based on a consortium of different localities. (Franklin, Suffolk, Isle Wight, Southampton) NOW, as a means to build revenue for the City of Franklin a partnership was established where as funds were set aside for the 7 homes for purpose of down payment and closing cost assistance, if needed by the new home owners…..There was a cap of $3000 and there was guidelines that needed to be meet for a person to receive these funds. FRHA is in NO Way associated with City Personnel and NO ONE from FRHA is hired by the City of Franklin Personnel. FRHA is NOT a city department. Monies received by FRHA is in NO WAY attached to the City of Franklin. You are confusing memorandum of agreements between the two enities as being one or part of the other. You are very much wrong in regards to your comment. BTW, what I have shared with you is from first hand knowledge.

      Suggest Removal

  • employee2

    If I remember properly, the descent started soon after Belle arrived. I do not believe that you need to look any further. The fact that she has not moved to Franklin, shows her commitment to doing the job.

    Suggest Removal

    • Kmart3008

      I have read several comments from you and a couple of others that simply have no substance. You are ranting about the school system but your so called solution to get rid of Belle and King would not be an immediate fix!! Now, who would replace them and/or serve as interim until a replacement can be found? Do you meet the qualifications to be superintendent? If so, step to the plate!! FCPS was behind the 8ball when I was a student back in the 80′s. However, you didn’t have SOL’s back then and schools wasn’t as competative for funds. Far as Belle living in Franklin, if that is not a requirement for her job, Why move there and Why is it of concern to you? Corrective Action Plans (CAP) exists in the workforce. Allow the VDOE and FCPS to do their jobs. Belle will be gone when its time for her to be gone just as Dr. Farmer is was gone when it was her time.

      Suggest Removal

      • broman

        Did you watch the BOE meeting posted here recently ? Two board members basically told Belle and King (without being rude) that it was time for them to go. Retaining inept leadership is like driving with your eyes closed. No, it’s not a quick fix, just an obvious first step in the right direction. I graduated in 79 and a sibling was there until 83 and I don’t remember the 8 ball. But I see it there now.

        Suggest Removal

      • employee2

        I lost my taste for Belle and King when I saw the VDOE video. When one questioned the VDOE rep as to who had signed-off on one of the items, it was a self report item. Interpretation: someone lied, most likely believing that it would never be discovered. Most jobs I have held have a clause in the employee handbook, that would allow for termination for falsified documents.

        Suggest Removal

  • Typhoon

    How can Belle and King face City Council and say things are going to be better? They can help the school system and the City by resigning, as long as the two remain the schools will continue to falter.

    Suggest Removal

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