Tag Archives: James Sherlock

Virginia’s Changing Public School Demographics – COVID Edition

by James C. Sherlock

Virginia’s public schools underwent significant changes in enrollment between 2018-19 and 2020-21.

The figures for this school year have yet to be released.

In the three-year period ending 2020-21, Virginia public schools saw a decline of 37,775 students, a loss of 2.9%.

The racial and social-economic demographics also changed. The numbers and percentages of Hispanic, Asian and mixed race children bucked the overall trend and increased. Continue reading

Change the Law to Attract the Best Charter School Organizations

by James C. Sherlock

A key part of Governor-elect Youngkin’s campaign message was bringing more charter schools to Virginia. He wants to attract the best charter schools, and he wants to get started on day one.

The path must start with changing Virginia law — in 2022. Fortunately there is a model law available from which to jumpstart that effort. Legislators will have to start immediately to prepare a bill for the 2022 session.

It will take a bipartisan effort to pull it off in a way that can make the changes permanent. By “bipartisan,” I am not talking about winning one Democratic vote in the Senate. Successful charter management organizations (CMOs) won’t expand into a new territory where they see political risk.

Bipartisanship on this issue is possible because the state of some of Virginia’s urban schools is so demonstrably horrible that they sentence children to lifelong struggles. It is exactly those children whom the best charter schools have rescued.

There are good people on the Democratic side that will join in an effort to attract proven-successful charter management organizations to Virginia to address that issue specifically.

The unions will squeal, but I think most Democrats in the General Assembly will look what the teachers unions did for Terry McAuliffe and choose what is best for the children. Continue reading

Day One Powers of the Governor – Removal of Members of Boards and Commissions

Glenn Youngkin Photo Credit: NBC News

by James C. Sherlock

The left routinely reminds us that elections have consequences.

Well, indeed they do.

People ask what can Glenn Youngkin really do on day one of his administration. The answer — more and more consequentially — than is commonly understood.

I have written here repeatedly about long term corruption in the Board of Health and rigid and relentless progressivism in the Board of Education.

Those boards are very powerful in Virginia. They are charged with both writing regulations and oversight of the underlying departments. The current members of those boards need to go — en masse.

The new governor has the power to make that happen. Continue reading

Candidates Matter

by James C. Sherlock

Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe proved that candidates matter, even in blue states like Virginia.

Jack Ciattarelli and Phil Murphy in yet bluer New Jersey have proven it again, no matter how that dead even race turns out.

I wrote here in early May that Glenn Youngkin and Jason Miyares would not only win the nominations, but go on to win the general election because of the education policies of the Northam administration.

I was proven right about that.

In the same column, however, I predicted that Terry McAuliffe would “read the room” among Virginia voters and ask Northam to fire his education leadership team.

I was wrong. McAuliffe doubled down. I am very happy he did not take my prediction as advice. Continue reading

By Failing, Progressives ‘Win’

by James C. Sherlock

Progressives in America have perfected the art of winning by failing. 

They create demand for more government with devastatingly destructive government programs badly run.  

It is the idea of control and the money it brings policy makers from rent seekers rather than the management of programs that attracts them. Plenty of progressives make fortunes playing the strings of the government program violins they have created.

Ask Terry McAuliffe.

When those policies inevitably fail to produce the promised results and simultaneously restrict human achievement, the Left considers that a feature not a bug. That is the job, for example, of many prominent ed schools.

As insurance of failure, the Left has perfected incompetent government. It creates opportunities for yet more government control.  

Pure alchemy. Continue reading

Youngkin Takes the Lead

by James C. Sherlock

The Real Clear Politics poll average has Glenn Youngkin in the lead for the first time.

Nice job, Glenn.

Terry, thank you for being perhaps the worst retail politician Virginia has seen since Ken Cuccinelli.

The Stunning Wealth of UVa’s Nonprofits

by James C. Sherlock

As an alumnus of the University of Virginia, I like to check in occasionally to see how my alma mater is doing financially.

Not the actual University, but the wealthy and proliferating nonprofits set up for its off-the-books support. When I say wealthy, I mean $13,568,527,649 wealthy.

OK, rich.

All of them tax exempt. Continue reading

Terry McAuliffe as Governor Aggressively Denied Charter Schools to Poor Minority Children

by James C. Sherlock

Terry McAuliffe demonstrated as governor that he will fight public charter schools.

He will oppose them regardless of the lifelong costs to the students of some truly pitiful Virginia public schools, many with majorities of minority students.

When governor, he vetoed a major attempt by the General Assembly to help those kids.

Indeed, not a single charter school has been approved by the Virginia Board of Education since the McAuliffe administration took office in 2014. Two, subject to reauthorization by hostile Boards, have closed.

He and his supporters in the unions and the ed schools consider the children be acceptable collateral damage to their policy preferences. Continue reading

Richmond Public Schools Deploy Extraordinary Resources at MLK Jr. Middle School


by James C. Sherlock

Virginia School Quality Measures have shown Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Richmond to be perhaps the worst public school in Virginia.

Richmond Public Schools (RPS) is flooding it with more adult supervision, instructional resources and student assistance than I personally have ever seen in such a school.

MLK Jr. has about 600 kids.

MLK Jr. Middle School has on this year’s staff: Continue reading

The Loudoun Way — School Rapes by a Member of a Progressive Protected Class

Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj

by James C. Sherlock

Any time you think there is only one system of justice in America, consider these two stories I offer below, one a progressive dream and the other true.

The true story will show some progressives care more about their dogma than kids.

And any time you think only big city progressives don’t give a damn about child victims of crime, like in Chicago or New York, read the true one below.

It is underway in Loudoun County. Continue reading

Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI+) Pilot – Hidden Data, Disappearing Value — Thanks for Nothing

by James C. Sherlock

This is a follow-up to my Monday report on VPI+, a federally funded four-year pilot program to assess the value of the Virginia Preschool Initiative.

Today we will discuss what was not reported to the public. We will also assess the dreadful results of the pilot participants after those kids graduated and went on the kindergarten and first grade.

Clearly, SRI International (main report) and RAND (cost-benefit report) were directed not to disaggregate the results of the data they collected by division and school. Those, of course, are the levels that give parents enough information to evaluate the program.

What was revealed, at the very end of the main report, was that disadvantaged kids participating had made learning gains compared to their disadvantaged peers who did not attend, but

“like other state public preschool programs, by spring of first grade the differences were no longer statistically different.”

That heart-breaking outcome was left un-assessed.

The mandarins at VDOE (and perhaps the federal DOE) appear to believe that pre-school is too important for parents to get involved.

If given full information, some might challenge the program or decide it is not appropriate for their own children in their local school district.

Like the domestic terrorists some of them are considered in certain circles to be. Continue reading

McAuliffe Lets the Cat out of the Bag

by James C. Sherlock

Current Virginia law and Terry McAuliffe cannot coexist.

“A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.”

Code of Virginia § 1-240.1. Rights of parents.

“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Terry McAuliffe, Sept 28, 2021

Let’s walk that forward. Progressives all over Virginia and the nation were horrified. They consider McAuliffe’s words to be dogma. But they wish he hadn’t exposed it so publicly. 

During an election bid.

So, now that the cat’s out of the bag, let’s experiment with changes to  § 1-240.1. Rights of parents and see what it takes to make it comport with progressive thinking. Continue reading

Nursing Home Ads Pose As Official State Advice

by James C. Sherlock

The Virginia state government has a Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. 

Who wouldn’t want one of those?  

But in the case of recommending nursing homes, it would be better if it would either stop or fix its broken system. Which it pays a nonprofit, VirginiaNavigator, to run.

It is offering nothing more than free, self-written advertisements for good and bad nursing homes alike under the guise of a state recommendation to seniors. Continue reading

Virginia’s Self-Inflicted Nursing Home Crisis – Part 5 – The Best facilities in Virginia

by James C. Sherlock

To show you the list of nursing facilities that I would use to begin a search for one for me and my family, I have built a spreadsheet of the very best facilities in Virginia.

Because they are available, I made it a true list of all stars. Five stars composite rating and not a single individual rating below four stars.

There are 40 of them, surprisingly and welcomingly spread around the state. If you read my previous posts, or read the notes on the spreadsheet, I don’t have to comment extensively.

Eight of them are for-profits.  So it can be done. Continue reading

Virginia’s Self-Inflicted Nursing Home Crisis – Part 4 – the Worst Facilities in Virginia

by James C. Sherlock

Today we are going to take a look today at a snapshot of Virginia’s worst nursing homes as rated by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid services.

Medicare rates 54 of the total of 386 nursing facilities in Virginia as overall one star out of five.  By definition of the way that Medicare compiles records and assigns scores, they have been bad for a long time.

Don’t use them. If you have any friend or loved one in one of these places encourage them to re-locate if they can. Either way, visit them often. It helps.

The ratings are established in considerable part by the inspections conducted by the Virginia Department of Health Office of Licensure and Inspection.

Continue reading