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Speak up, he’s listening
The president of the state board of education is visiting Franklin County.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
When a state official rides into town for a listening tour, it’s often the case that he or she is looking for votes and, more to the point, campaign donations.
But David Foster is coming to Franklin County today for just one reason: to actually listen.
The president of the Virginia Board of Education will meet with parents, teachers and school officials at 6:30 p.m. today at the Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration on Technology Drive in Rocky Mount. He plans to stick around and take a tour of the center on Wednesday morning.
Foster said in an interview he’s interested in getting feedback on pass rates for Standards of Learning tests, school accreditation, graduation requirements and virtual schools.
“Any of that is fair game, and I’m sure there are things I haven’t even thought of,” he said.
He won’t be able to solve single-handedly many of the issues he’ll hear about. He’ll probably hear that a new grading system for schools should get a D for Dumb. He’ll certainly hear about state budget cuts that have forced schools to make painful cuts to personnel and programming. He might even get a lecture about the evils of state rules that require most schools to begin the academic year after Labor Day.
Gov. Bob McDonnell and state legislators are to blame for those policies. But Foster is in a position to influence how policies are implemented.
This is his first stop on a planned tour of the state’s eight educational regions. We appreciate his willingness to listen, and hope that folks in Franklin County will have something to say.
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