Letter: A Matter of Accountability

Letter: A Matter of Accountability

To the Editor:

Dan Storck, the current Fairfax County School Board member who is running for Mt. Vernon supervisor, does not have a very good record for Mt. Vernon Schools delivering quality education when compared with other Fairfax County school districts for school accreditation and preparing seniors for college. Also, a reminder of Dan Storck’s voting record for family life education.

  • School Accreditation: The Virginia Department of Education bench marks for accreditation are based on standards of learning achievements by students with 75 percent for English and 70 percent for math, history/social science and science. Despite the low benchmarks, there are 17 schools out of 195 that received accreditation with a warning. A school receives this rating if pass rates are below the achievement levels required for full accreditation. Mt. Vernon stands out as not very good when compared with other school districts. It has five out of the 17 schools or 29.41 percent including West Potomac and Mt. Vernon High Schools. Five of the nine school board member districts have schools that received warnings. Two have two schools, one has one school, Mt. Vernon has five schools and the rest are in Lee District. The two Mt. Vernon high schools have had education problems for some time as reported by the media from time to time. Where is Dan Storck, the 11-year School Board member, to let such failures continue?

  • Seniors Prepared for College: There are 26 Fairfax County High Schools. Of that total, West Potomac High School ranks 15th with only 39 percent of the students prepared for college and Mt. Vernon High School ranks at the bottom with one other high school with only 20 percent of seniors prepared for college. The American College Test (ACT) measures academic achievement in English, math, reading science and writing (optional). “The ACT standards relate to test scores to the types of skills needed for success in high school and beyond.” Again, where is Dan Storck, to help ensure that all high school students receive a quality education no matter what FCPS they attend to give students a chance for success after high school?

  • Family Life Education (FLE): This is a reminder that Dan Storck voted against an overwhelming parent opposition to changes in family life education and transgender identity and without having essential information such as whether the FCPS changes aligned with Virginia Department of Education Standards, budget implication, staffing changes, etc. to make informed decisions particularly on controversial issues. And, what is worse, Dan Storck’s vote to change FLE deleted the opt out provision for parents. Without such provision, FCPS would be taking over parent’s responsibility for their children family training with a one size fits all approach. No one in FCPS has the expertise to effectively deal with the huge diversity among families because of nationality, culture, religious beliefs, family values, etc. Thanks to the School Board member’s leadership from another district who made the motion to include the opt out provision in the FLE, the responsibility for children family life is left to the parents where it belongs. The opt out provision requires the Superintendent of Schools to ensure that all parents who have children in FCPS receives an opt out form and to report back that the parents have received the form. Also, to provide a link where parents can view the lessons.

Dan Storck has been a FCPS Mt. Vernon board member for a number of years, so why are there schools in Mt. Vernon still not delivering quality education to all students no matter what school they attend? Keep Dan Storck’s above poor record in mind when you go to the polls in Nov. 3 to elect a Mt. Vernon supervisor. Let’s hold the elected officials accountable for their actions and inactions.

Frank Medico, Mt. Vernon