Letter: Schools Heading In Right Direction

Letter: Schools Heading In Right Direction

To the Editor:

School Board elections are in danger of being overlooked (quite literally: make sure you turn over the ballot to see the school board candidates on the reverse side) during this election with so many offices on the ballot. I would like to highlight one of the District B candidates: Marc Williams.

Marc is running for his second full term on the School Board and I urge my district B neighbors to vote for him. He, with his fellow board members, has put student academic achievement first, created a strategic plan that won the Magna award from the American School Board Journal, instituted a K-12 curriculum that promotes higher-level thinking, supported the successful transformation of T.C. Williams from “persistently lowest achieving” to our current first-time ever accreditation, and demonstrated fiscal prudence by lowering the cost per pupil by 12 percent in the last four years.

Marc listens to citizens and has been very helpful to the community. He has a great grasp of the details and many documents that come with running our school system. I have seen him in action at School Board meetings and he is able to really question school staff and challenge them when necessary.

Marc is the only District B candidate with kids who have been at T.C. and this is indeed valuable experience. Currently 3,200 students are at T.C. and as a high school parent I want to make sure that someone on the board has first-hand knowledge from the family perspective.

I have been actively engaged as a parent and volunteer in our public schools since 1996. I can attest that right now things in ACPS are the best I’ve ever seen them. We still have room for improvement but the level of rigor and the quality of the teachers has gone up, student academic achievement is on the rise, and families are happy. There has been a lot of teacher turnover at TC in the past two years and we are now attracting uniformly great teachers using best practices. I don’t hear people complaining about burned-out teachers at TC anymore; at back to school night this year parents were buzzing about how happy their kids are and how impressive the faculty is. We’ve always had some great teachers at TC, but now I hear parents saying: “I can’t believe that my kid likes all of his teachers.”

In each of the three school board districts only one incumbent is running so we are guaranteed to have six new people. While it’s always important to elect new public officials with fresh ideas and perspectives, I hope that the three incumbents — Marc Williams, Helen Morris (District A), and Ronnie Campbell (District C) — are reelected to provide some institutional memory and continuity during the transition to the new board.

Priscilla Goodwin