School Board And Superintendent Receive Scrutiny

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

Recently there has been much controversy over the achievement gap and citizens were not shy about voicing their opinions at the Charlottesville School Board meeting on Tuesday, February 15, 2005.

"Despite the best efforts of our educators I think we all agree there are a number of deficiencies in our school that point conclusively to the fact that the needs of many of our black students are not being addressed. Black students continue, for example, to be under-represented in our gifted an advanced classes, and over-represented in special needs classes," said one educator.

Some took it a step further and discussed a few of the allegations that have been circulating about racism in the school system.

Rick Turner, dean of African-American Studies at the University of Virginia, said "It's all part of a carefully orchestrated plan. Racist emails that [were] written to the school board chair and the superintendent, secret side bars, deceitful, incompetent administrators who allow themselves to be set up."

One educator said people are looking at it all wrong. "There is a very large body of evidence that shows that the achievement gap correlates to socio-economic status primarily," said Jeffery Russman.

He said negativity shouldn't be the focus. "They are utterly counterproductive and if there is any argument for a new system for a school board, it's the situation that you've created here," continued Russman.

Another educator said the reason why there was so much controversy was because the achievement gap has been passed over at the school board meetings too many times.

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