Failing to Fix the Unfixable

Cranky (aka John Butcher) is on a tear these days, most recently exposing the Virginia Board of Education’s ineffectual effort to fix the City of Richmond’s broken school systems.

The Richmond’s schools are in turmoil. According to the state board, 27 of the city’s 44 schools are not fully accredited. The school board has booted out the district’s superintendent, who only two or three years ago had been highly touted, for reasons that remain opaque. City and state bureaucracies are moving ponderously to address the deep-rooted dysfunction. But so far, the only product of the teeth gnashing and foot dragging is a “Memorandum of Understanding,” which, in Cranky’s jaundiced eyes, “does nothing but create busy work and a ‘rough draft’ plan that is not a plan.”

Cranky proceeds to dismember the MOU like Jeffrey Dahmer rended his victims. The MOU, he suggests, is vague, redundant, intrusive, and unenforceable. Worst of all, he writes, “VBOE does not know how to fix Richmond’s broken school system. They don’t know what to tell a judge that Richmond should be made to do, so they don’t even contemplate exercising their authority to sue.”

If you want to find yourself laughing and crying at the same time, check out his post.

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5 responses to “Failing to Fix the Unfixable”

  1. “Like Jeffrey Dahmer rended his victims” — a fine image of efficiency indeed — until we remember that the victims being rended here are school-kids.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    The trouble with Butcher and company is that is that there is a target rich environment for those who want to focus on exposing problems …but I much more appreciate the folks who then say ” and perhaps this is a better approach” which in some of these cases – is a tough nut. But you could pick VDOT or a dozen other state agencies to point out the “dysfunction” but at the end of the day – what do we really get out of reading his analyses?

    If your attitude is that govt sucks and you process to show ‘another example” – what is the point? I’m not defending Richmond schools.. nor Petersburg nor VDOTs PPTAs debacle, etc.. but every once in a while it would be refreshing to hear Butcher regale us with a success story.. just saying…

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Combine white flight with concentrating poor and projects and you get something the schools alone cannot “fix” and Richmond not unique at all.

  3. S. E. Warwick Avatar
    S. E. Warwick

    What if all of the Millennials living in Richmond were to send their kids to public schools and do all of the supportive things that parents in the counties, where the “good schools” are? Engaged parents volunteering in the classroom; sending their kids to school ready to learn; not tolerating disruption that punishes all students; and working with school officials to find a path to excellence could turn the tide.
    Government mandates are not the answer.

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