By James C. Sherlock
I have watched all of the public sessions of the Governor’s Chronic Absenteeism Task Force.
The structure of the task force, and its proceedings, are fatally flawed.
Lisa Coons, Virginia’s Superintendent of Public instruction and chairwoman of the task force, has, likely unintentionally, stacked the deck. That panel is completely dominated by the progressive worldviews of Attendance Works and FutureEd.
I offer as evidence the “resources” for the first meeting on October 24th. Every single one uses Attendance Works or FutureEd for its expert assessment. Then consider the agenda, discussion guide and this slide deck used on November 7th to set the stage for deliberations.
Those meetings will not encourage debate, but rather suffocate it. The process as it exists seems destined to coronate failed progressive ideas.
Progressive pressure reached the point that a member of the panel, Dr. Keith Perrigan, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent and President of the Coalition of Small and Rural Schools of Virginia, on November 7th felt it necessary to apologize in advance for seeming to be an “ogre” to the rest of the panel.
Because he spoke in favor of enforcement of truancy laws.
Superintendent Coons, generally thought to be a good steward of her position, needs to change that environment and the makeup of the task force or they will get more of what Virginia has already experienced using progressive approaches.