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Bolling: Who Is Responsible for Failing Richmond Schools?

Let me preface this post with a clear and unequivocal statement. I am a strong supporter of public education. Jean Ann and I are both products of public schools, as are our children. We all got a great education in the public schools, but clearly, something is not working in the City of Richmond: More than two-thirds of Richmond students fail multiple SOLs (wtvr.com) [1].

In the 2021/2022 school year, more than 2/3 of students in the Richmond City Public School system failed to pass basic Standards of Learning exams. This prompted one School Board member to remark, “This is what failure looks like!” Correct!

The question is, who is responsible for these absolutely unacceptable results? Parents? Students? Teachers? Administrators? COVID-19? Who is responsible? The answer is, all of the above.

Parents are failing their children. Students are failing to focus on the importance of education, and clearly, something in the structure and delivery of public education in the City of Richmond is not working.

The bigger question is what can we do about this? No child should be trapped in a failed public school system. I sincerely hope that leaders in the City of Richmond can figure this out and do it quickly. If not, more drastic measure will be necessary.

Perhaps the state should step in and take over the Richmond City public school system? Or perhaps the parents of the children who really want to learn should be given vouchers so their children can attend private schools or parochial schools. All options should be on the table.

I say again, no child who wants to learn should be trapped in a failed public school system. We are better than this. There is no excuse for failing our children like this.