"Rather than seek common ground with the mayor and
City Council, the members of the city School Board
chose to behave like spoiled brats."
With the notable exception of 2nd District School Board member Kimberly B. Gray, the members of the Richmond School Board are proof that Mark Twain nailed it when he declared: "In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made school boards."
Harsh? Yes. But absolutely accurate, considering that for the past three and a half years, this School Board stubbornly has ignored all criticism and concerns about its leadership. In repeated displays of pigheadedness in the face of abundant facts — for example, a 2011 dropout rate of 14.1 percent and a four-year graduation rate of less than 60 percent — it continues to blather about its "steadfast commitment to achievement."
The recent budget debacle is a fine example. Rather than seek common ground with Mayor Dwight C. Jones and City Council, the members of this board chose instead to behave like spoiled brats and accuse city officials of slighting the children. Never mind that the mayor, City Council and taxpayers already have allocated more than $200 million for the construction of four new schools and paid for more than $25 million worth of improvements to bring the city's public schools into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act — Superintendent Yvonne Brandon and her board sent a budget to the city with a gaping $23.8 million hole in it.
Never mind that per-pupil cost in Richmond, which stood at $13,040 in 2011, is among the highest in Virginia. (Click here to read the rest ....)