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Voter News and Issues ~ Helpcom.net - Who Really Runs Virginia Beach's School Board?
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Who Really Runs Virginia Beach's School Board?
Posted on Wednesday, March 01 @ 11:17:03 MST by annoregni

Revisionist Message via  the Pilot ? Anonymous writes "Editor’s note: On February 27, 2006, Mr. Edwards was sent an e-mail affording him an opportunity to make a response to the editorial that follows: “Below please find a very rough draft of what we are placing in Syndication this Wednesday. We would like offer you the opportunity to make a response or comments.” As of the time of our Syndication of this editorial we have not received any response from Mr. Edwards.

On Saturday, February 25th, 2006 The Virginia Beach Tax Payer Alliance [VBTA] presented me with the opportunity to hear Virginia Beach’s School Board [“Division”] Chairman, Daniel D. Edwards [”Edwards”], present a twenty minute, for the lack of any other delineation I will call it a, “State of the School District Report” [“Report”]. The Report was followed by a Q & A session [“Q&A”]. I found Edwards’ report to be far more revealing about the state of the school board than the school district, as will become evident, I believe, in the following narrative.

This narrative will only address three areas [emanates] of Edwards’ Report and the Q&A that appears to me to touch and concerned those areas. The three areas are [1]the status of the search for a new school division superintendent for Virginia Beach, [2] an increase in the population of school age children [“available youth”] in the Lake Edward section of the city, which Edwards says necessitate the building of a new school to serve them. Edwards noted, prior to this revelation that a new building needed to be built to serve this population, that the division’s student population had declined and [3] the use of consultants in the emanates referenced above.

During Edwards’ Report he commented that the Division needed to replace many of its antiquated facilities and add to its brick and mortar inventory but current financing formations prevented the Division from attending to these needs. Edwards used the Lake Edward area as an example for the need to add to the Division’s bricks and mortar.

During the Chairman’s prepared comments he stated that the available youth population of the Lake Edward area had increased dramatically. Edwards further said that he and the Division had no idea where the available youth had come from. However, during the Q&A, when an assertion was made, by a representative of a voter news and information think tank, that the increase in the population of school age children in the Lake Edward section of the city had come about due to:

• The “urban renewal” activities of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake,
• the activities that Supreme Court Justice Thomas described in his dissent opinion in Kelo v New London as “Negro Removal”
• the activities that E. Michael Jones in his book, The Slaughter of the Cities, described as “Ethnic Cleansing”
• The Lake Edward area was one of the few areas in the region that offered to the citizens displaced by the “urban renewal” activities of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake
• subsidized housing [federal section 8]
• low income housing
• substandard housing

Edwards replied that the “urban renewal” activities of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake was certainly a contributing factor to the increase of the student population in the Lake Edward area.

This leaves me with the question, why did Edwards in his prepared Report state that it was unknown where this available your population in the Lake Edward area had came from, but acknowledged that he knew the source of the increase population when the above assertion was made? Why did Edwards attempt to conceal from, no make that mislead, the VBTA and its guests? Edwards only acknowledged that the increase in the student population in the Lake Edward area was due to the “urban renewal” activities of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake when directly confronted with the issue. There is something not right here, the Division Chairman holding back from those who elected him the cause and effect of the “urban renewal” activities of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake on the school population and resources of the City of Virginia Beach. Edwards held back on the ugly truth, that the practice of racism via Redevelopment and Housing Authorities has caused the influx of available youth to the Lake Edward area. This very issue was being addressed by the division as far back ten years ago when the division was teaming up with the Tidewater Council of the Boy Scouts of America [BSA] to provide after school activities for the youth of Lake Edward, this is a topic for another time.

What I find really troubling about this issue of the cause and effect of the “urban renewal” activities of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake on the school population and resources of the City of Virginia Beach is that Edwards, the division’s school board [“Board”], the deputy superintendents, the division’s professional staff of B.A.s, B.S.s, B.F.A.s, M.A.s, M.S.s, M.B.A.s, M.F.A.s, Ph.D.s, Ed.D.s, etc. ...[the dotage] making the assertion that they can not ascertain where this increase of student population in the Lake Edward Area came from ~ let me explain to you why it find this troubling.

When a student enrolls at a school a sign up/intake form is completed. This form contains where the student is currently living or is going to live in the division, the name of his former school [to facilitate the forwarding of his records], his race, etc. .... This information is complied by the school which forwards it on to the division which in turn prepares its reports to be forwarded on to both state and federal officials. These reports enable the division to receive funds from both the federal and state governments for various taxpayer funded programs.

In addition to this available information, as far back as 12 years ago the division teamed up with the Tidewater Council of the Boy Scouts of America to survey the school population. The information obtained from the students by BSA [age, sex, race, interest, neighborhoods, etc. ...., were collected and compiled by the PAVAB district executives, officers and Commissioners of BSA and passed on by the local BSA council to the division in computer reports.

The division has had available to it for many years, in many forms, the who, what, when and where of the student population, this appears to me to be contrary to the assertions Edwards made in his report.

The division, under the supervision and direct approval of the Board, hires the division’s professional staff of B.A.s, B.S.s, B.F.A.s, M.A.s, M.S.s, M.B.A.s, M.F.A.s, Ph.D.s, Ed.D.s, etc. ... that should be able to take this raw data and prepare useful reports for the governance of the division. From Edwards Report and his responses during the Q&A it appeared to me that the division’s professional staff of B.A.s, B.S.s, B.F.A.s, M.A.s, M.S.s, M.B.A.s, M.F.A.s, Ph.D.s, Ed.D.s, etc. .. can not do what they were or should have been hired to do. This leads me to the deduction that the board is not fulfilling its obligations to the students, their parents, the classroom teacher, the school principal - and his staff to hire qualified upper management. The board is failing us all.

These issues of the division’s professional staff of B.A.s, B.S.s, B.F.A.s, M.A.s, M.S.s, M.B.A.s, M.F.A.s, Ph.D.s, Ed.D.s, etc. . . . not fulfilling their utilizations for which there were or should have been hired became very evident during both the Report and the Q&A. Edwards revealed during his Report that the Board hires consultants to provide the curvature that the Board and its upper management professional staff of B.A.s, B.S.s, B.F.A.s, M.A.s, M.S.s, M.B.A.s, M.F.A.s, Ph.D.s, Ed.D.s, etc. . . . cannot or refuses to provide.

This brings me to the topic, the selection of next division superintendent. In Edwards’ Report he gave the VBTA and its guests many details that related to the continuing search for a new division superintendent and the Division’s use of outside consultants in this endeavor. During the Q&A the question was asked of Edwards:

• What was being done to assure that the candidates recommended by the outside consultants
• Were not under investigation or facing criminal charges
• as in the case of the retired General selectee
Were not racist
• as in the case of the Baltimore county selectee

Edwards response was to deny that the superintendent from down south that is facing criminal charges for irregular funds controls, and the superintendent from Baltimore County, who was found by a Georgia federal court, while he served as a division superintendent in Georgia, to have engaged in practices that were racist, were never offered contracts with the division. These statement run contrary to the local media news reports that attributed comments to Edwards and other division spoke persons that these two selectees had been offered the job of Division Superintendent.

Edwards went on further to state that the Baltimore County selectee was not a racist and that any oversights in background checks of any candidate by the consultants would have been discovered. What Edwards omitted in this response was when the oversight would have been detected and corrected and who would discover the oversight. Fortunately, in this instance, we have an answer, the Virginia News Source made the discovery. This is scary as VNS does not have the staff to go behind the Division and clean up their messes, nor should they have to.

I find Edwards’ retorts to the questions on the selectees put to him very troubling. I will only address the matter of the selectee from Baltimore county. A international civil rights organization e-mailed Edwards, every member of the School Board, every member of the city council, and all of the city’s constitutional officers a copy of the Georgia federal court’s holding that says that the selectee from Baltimore county had engaged in racial practices that were biased. This information was also provided in a breaking news story on the Virginia News Source [VNS] and may be found in its online data base.

It seems that the Virginia News Source is better at deep background checks that the dotage of the division or the consultants the division hires. Maybe the division should hire the Virginia News Source to do its background checks.

The bottom line here is that the School Board is doing a poor job hiring its top management team if this team cannot track where its students are coming from, screen candidates that have dubious backgrounds and has to hire consultants to do the job that top management was hired for or should have been hired to do. We should be prepared to hear in response to this narrative the division’s rejoinders along the lines [1] we never hired anyone to determine when and where we need bricks and mortar, or [2] we don’t have people qualified to determine the qualifications of a superintendent candidate or [3] we don’t have people qualified to determine if we need bricks and mortar or where to put the bricks and mortar.

Should we hear these responses we should ask the board, why not? We should further tell the board that your people, who hold education certifications from the State in accountancy, supervision, superintendency, and various oversight disciplines are by the nature of those certifications uniquely qualified to make those judgements as well as any outside consultants. I would go so far as to say our local people are in fact more in tune to the local needs than the outside consultants and accordingly could do a better job selecting superintendent candidates or where to put bricks and mortar than the outside consultants. If they can’t, they need to be replaced.

It a good thing that the voters of Virginia Beach have the opportunity this May to replace Edwards and any other member of the School Board who wants to place the responsibility of accountability on consultants rather than themselves."

 
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