“Help” From the Hapless

Petersburg has been operating under Memoranda of Understanding (“MOUs”) issued by the Board of Education since at least 2004.  Let’s take a look at what that state supervision has accomplished.

To start, here are the Petersburg and state division average reading pass rates for the period of the VDOE database.


Here is the difference between those two curves.


As of this year, the state average was 4.6% above the benchmark for accreditation in English; Petersburg was 14.9 points below.  Thirteen years of “help” (in fact, command and control) from the state didn’t help.

How about math?



The accreditation benchmark here is 70%.  The 2017 state average is 9.2 points above that; Petersburg is 17.8 below.

Let’s not fill up the Internet with graphs from the other three subjects; we’ll go directly to the average of all five:



The Board of “Education” could sue Petersburg for this ongoing, massive violation of the Standards of Quality

§ 22.1-253.13:8. Compliance.

* * *

The Board of Education shall have authority to seek school division compliance with the foregoing Standards of Quality. When the Board of Education determines that a school division has failed or refused, and continues to fail or refuse, to comply with any such Standard, the Board may petition the circuit court having jurisdiction in the school division to mandate or otherwise enforce compliance with such standard, including the development or implementation of any required corrective action plan that a local school board has failed or refused to develop or implement in a timely manner.

They have not sued any division, not even Petersburg.

Why not? 

If they sued, the Board would have to tell the judge what the division must do to meet the Standards of Quality.  Yet Petersburg (it seems) has done everything the Board demanded for thirteen years now and it hasn’t worked.  Manifestly (and as they themselves admit), the Board does not know (Sept. 21, 2016 video starting at 1:48) how to fix these awful schools.

(I have not embraced the alternative explanation: Petersburg did not do what the Board required.  In that case also, the Board would have to know how to fix those schools in order to sue.) 

In the face of the Board’s primal incompetence, the Governor should long ago have fired the members for malfeasance.  This is a massive failure of the government to govern.

$104.6 million (this year) of your tax dollars at “work.”