Public education has always been my priority and my passion. It is a complex issue with many facets. I know through my life’s work as a professional educator and my many years of public service as an elected official – there are no quick fixes or political ploys for the challenges that our schools face.
Norfolk Public Schools are not alone in the challenges they face. Across the nation school districts are dealing with many obstacles and barriers in educating our children. But Virginia and NPS are also on the leading edge of finding solutions and developing new practices.
With the close of the 2013 General Assembly session, there are lingering issues related to education. Two middle-schools in the 89th House District are marked for state intervention due to poor academic performance over several consecutive years. The schools would operate under a state-wide school district called the Opportunity Educational Institution or OEI. Details have yet to be provided by the Virginia Department of Education as to how a state operated school district will function. Our Commonwealth is one of the earliest states to take such action. We -- educators, elected leaders and citizens -- are in new territory regarding this approach to address chronic under-performance of individual schools.
My immediate concern is for Norfolk's children. I am working with local and state educators along with legislators and staff members to ensure that we achieve excellence in providing public education services.
And as always, I welcome your thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding our public schools, our communities and the concerns we share for our Commonwealth.