Alexandria School Chief Transfers Kid to Private School

Gregory C. Hutchings Jr.

Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., superintendent of Alexandria public schools, presided over the conversion this fall from teaching in-person to teaching online in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic. The effort seems to have been competently executed. Schools made sure that learn-at-home students were equipped with Chromebooks, partnered with Comcast to provide free internet to poor families, made training videos available, and set up a family helpdesk.

So, it was curious that Hutchings pulled one of his two children from Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School and enrolled her at Bishop Ireton High School, a Catholic school which, like most private schools, remains open and largely COVID-free.

When queried by T.C. William’s student news outlet Theogany, Hutchings said in a statement:  “I can confirm that our family made a decision to change my daughter’s school this school year. Decisions like these are very personal family decisions and are not taken lightly. This in no way impacts my absolute lifelong, commitment to public education, to which I remain as personally dedicated as ever.”

One cannot help but wonder… Is Hutchings concerned that his daughter will receive a less adequate education in an online environment? Alternatively, does he believe that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in an in-person setting to be exaggerated? We have no answers to those questions.

However, the Powerline blog, which picked up the Theogany story, was less reluctant to draw conclusions:

His decision, in the wake of school closings, speaks to his lack of faith in remote learning. And it shows that he has no fear that in-person learning will have an adverse impact on the health of his child or his family.

Hutchings draws a $236,000 base salary. He can afford to enable his kid to escape from remote learning. Other parents can’t. Their kids are trapped in a learning environment that’s inferior for many students and emotionally harmful for some.

America’s nomenklatura may be woke, but you can still count on them to take care of their own.

— JAB

(Hat tip: Too Many Taxes)

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13 responses to “Alexandria School Chief Transfers Kid to Private School

  1. Wake me when (if) the Washington Post covers this….or Virginia Mercury even.

  2. Imagine my surprise that such a thing could take place in Occupied Virginia.

  3. Nothing new about some people not practicing what they preached to others.

    Horace Mann was a prominent advocate for public schools in the 1800’s, and he served as the Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education. Despite his advocacy of public schooling, Mann did not send his children to public schools. See James G. Dwyer & Shawn F. Peters, Homeschooling: The History & Philosophy of a Controversial Practice (University of Chicago Press, 2019) at page 15.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      I never knew that. Wished I had for when I taught AP US History. Certainly would have included that little nugget into the lecture.

  4. Baconator with extra cheese

    Sounds like he is working on building a resume for the next Secretary of Education… his hypocrisy makes him a very attractive candidate!

  5. He obviously does not think that Alexandria’s public-schooling is good enough yet — emphasis on yet. His choice does not indicate that he will not try to make it excellent.

  6. I won’t criticize Mr Hutchings without knowing the situation regarding his daughter (which I will never know). Generally, some children can’t effectively learn online. Some can’t effectively learn in classes with large teacher:student ratios. Some need strict discipline. Alexandria is unique in that there is only one high school. TC is also unique in that it includes sophomores, juniors and seniors – no freshmen. Even with this, the school has an enrollment of 3,800. Adjusted to a four year basis that would be 5,066 students. It’s a big high school. Bishop Ireton has an enrollment of about 900 students across 4 grades.

    The real tragedy is that the BigEd public school monopoly has used political contributions to pervert the General Assembly against school choice in Virginia. BigEd does this contrary to the best interests of the students and wishes of the parents in order to consolidate power and minimize competition. The only real school choice in Virginia is for people with the means to shell out the money to send their children to private schools which better meet their needs.

    • Indeed, as a parent his first duty is to his child’s needs. Lucky for him he can afford it, and a choice was available. For the rest, gee, sucks to be them….

    • I agree RE: not criticizing Mr. Hutchings. Not only do we not know what issues his daughter may have had with on-line learning, we also do not know if perhaps there are other more personal reasons why he may have needed to remove her from that particular school. Also, it’s none of our business anyway.

  7. He did what was best for his kid, like any good parent would if they could find the means and way. Public education is dying in Virginia. Bad for kids in ever more places in Virginia, even the most affluent.

  8. And don’t forget the roots of anti-Irish bigotry in the Blaine Amendments that prohibited state tax dollars going to religious schools. Needless to say the bigots at the Post don’t talk about that.

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