Richmond’s Real Scandal

It just keeps getting worse. At least 280 students have been disqualified from receiving a high school diploma after a Richmond Public Schools review of student transcripts and irregularities in the granting of high school diplomas. At best only 810 students will qualify to attend graduation ceremonies — and the number could be smaller, the school board has learned. Only 507 seniors are currently “on track” and 303 are considered “likely” to graduate, reports the Richmond Free Press.

Twelfth grade enrollment in the fall of 2018-19 in Richmond Public Schools was 1,212, according to Virginia Department of Education statistics. How is it not the biggest scandal in the Commonwealth of Virginia when half the city’s seniors might fail to graduate? We’re not talking half of all those who entered high school, we’re talking about half of those who made it to their senior year!

Here are the racially-oriented social justice issues that Virginia media reported on over the weekend, as found in VA News:

Virginia SCLC to Tour State In Response to Gov. Northam Blackface Scandal

Many Virginians Still Want Atonement for Racist Photo, Actions

Wexton Calls for Resignation of HUD Secretary Ben Carson

Norfolk Community Remembers Sacrifices, Injustice of Black Veterans Buried in Historic Cemetery

And then there was this from the Wall Street Journal… Civil War Battlefields Lose Ground as Tourist Draws

Actually, that was a pretty lackluster weekend for Virginia’s SJW media. But the fixation of Virginia politicians, racial advocates, and pundits on racial symbolism — Civil War statues, governors posing in blackface 35 years ago, places named after Confederates, long-past racial injustices — compared to the under-reporting and under-analysis of massive institutional failures today is mind-bending.

Did Virginia’s segregationist regime do any worse in educating African-American youth 60 years ago than the Richmond Public School is doing today?

Did Virginia’s segregationist regime do any worse to perpetuate scandalous living conditions in crime-ridden, poorly maintained housing than the public housing authorities do today?

When will the media figure out it’s not 1959 anymore? When will African-American political and civic leaders insist upon holding accountable those who are wrecking Richmond public schools in 2019?

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10 responses to “Richmond’s Real Scandal

  1. Genuinely curious to understand how this breaks down by school as well. I doing they’ll share that, but I’d bet one or two high schools was hit particularly hard by this, and you’ll be able to see it in the YoY graduation numbers.

    It’s an utter travesty that this situation exists, but I’m grateful that Kamras and team are identifying the issues, seeking help, and driving accountability.

    • Karmas does deserve some credit. Just remember, though, that he’s cleaning up the mess created by his predecessors. Give him time, he’ll create his own messes — messes created by ideological rigidity rather than administrative incompetence.

  2. The fact that someone in RPS is making this an issue rather than continue hiding it – is NOT a scandal. In fact, by reporting this, they ARE being accountable.

    So we have this truly idiotic question that asks if things are better now than when segregationists ruled Virginia? And it’s a white guy asking this question. Maybe we should ask black folks if things are better now than then.

    Bottom LIne – you cannot deny people a decent education and then expect their kids and grandkids to grow up well educated or if you expect that they should and it’s the schools fault if they don’t then there are some issues with some folks thinking….. and maybe they “fail” also but in a different way.

  3. I’m closer to Washington DC than Richmond and closer to the ongoing saga of the schools in DC, which at times has been no prettier than in Richmond. The District, like Richmond, is constrained by jurisdictional boundaries from merging urban and suburban schools. But the long range trend in quality of education extrapolated from recent years seems to be upwards in DC schools, and black citizens’ demands for accountability are certainly part of that turnaround; a massive influx of charter schools is another part; and increased parental/taxpayer pressure on the traditional schools in gentrifying neighborhoods is another part. Is Richmond on track to learn from its neighbors? Where are the charter schools and the tuition grants to fund private alternatives?

  4. “Where are the charter schools and the tuition grants to fund private alternatives?” Acbar asks.

    Yes, that is the Real Scandal. That lack borders on criminal neglect.

    • Virginia is one of the few places where charter schools need the local school board’s permission to get started. Virginia is also one of only four states where unlimited campaign contributions are allowed. BigEd is a big contributor. There are no coincidences here. Our state legislature has been bought and paid for.

      Eliminate the unlimited money in Virginia politics and all of the problems become solvable. Fail to do that and none of the problems will be solved.

      Virginia is America’s most corrupt state.

  5. since I did receive a comment from Jim about the idea of “segregationists” doing any worse job on education blacks – which I think the question itself is odious – because if you ask black folks that question AND you look at MOST blacks circumstances today compared to segregationists days… all I can say is geeze…

    We have a continuing legacy of generational poverty that has it’s roots in slavery, segregation and massive resistance and all “charter” schools are – if they don’t take and educate these kids in poverty – all they are is another variant of separate schools for some while essentially abandoning the other kids who cannot get it those schools or if they do – those schools don’t do any better job of educating the harder-to-teach than public schools – because it’s MORE than just “education”.

    We have reasonable success at educating most kids who parents are well educated. – where we fail – in public and private schools is with kids whose parents are not well educated and often as a result – are also economically distressed.

    No school – public or private has shown consistent success at educating this demographic – and let me say one more time – ANY school that demonstrates success at this – public or private – I’d vote to fund them with tax dollars. But it cannot be cherry-picked kids – it has to be the exact demographic that we condemn RPS for. When I see THAT demographic succeeding in private schools – as pilots – I’m on board.

    Until then – we need to be honest about it – and we’re not especially when we make iane comments about segregationists and public education.

    • As usual, no facts, just indignation that anyone would ask the question.

      I’m not saying segregated schools were better than Richmond schools today, but I am asking the question. What percentage of blacks graduated from high school 50 years ago, 40 years ago, 30 years, 20 years, 10 years, versus today? What is the trend line?

      What esteem was a Richmond high school diploma held in the job marketplace 50 years ago, 40 years ago, etc.?

      Have educational standards for blacks in Richmond schools gotten higher, gotten worse, or stayed the same?

      Without prejudging the answers, I’d like to see the data.

  6. And I’m responding to the idea that blacks fared no worse under segregationists and racist than they do now under RPS which is a totally ridiculous – just over the top – premise.

    In our own lifetimes, we saw how racists in Virginia dealt with public education for blacks by closing down public schools and redirectly tax money to de-facto white-only “private” schools .

    When they did this – they fully intended to NOT educate blacks to the same standards as whites – and as far as looking for “metrics” of that era – keep in mind that was BEFORE NCLB required such metrics!

    Finally, we’re focusing on SOME blacks in economic/parental distress when we have a much larger body of blacks who very much are well educated and have good jobs and kids going to college! The problem is we still have stubborn vestiges of those earlier eras of slavery, jim crow, segregation, and massive resistance and it’s just ludicrous to compare then and now.

    And it’s not just RPS – if you look at some of the Henrico schools that border Richmond – they reflect similar conditions of poverty and large numbers of blacks in those schools. They fly under the radar on this because we typically look at entire school districts where metrics are a composite of the good schools with lower schools.

    Once more, there is no question than RPS has some serious issues but lets be clear if RPS was run by segregationists of old there would be no data collected and really no schools provided… it would be a Richmond with nothing but private schools with mostly white students – tax funded of course.

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