Dear Fairfax County Resident:
We value your opinion and would appreciate your taking a few minutes to answer a short survey about FCPS by clicking https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/community11 . This survey will close on September 9, 2011.
Thank you very much,
Fairfax County Public Schools
Candidates running for School Board should take notice as should voters!
When you read this FCPS survey, it seems personally crafted for vulnerable School Board incumbents who are seeking re-election.
I’m guessing we’ll see the messaging points from this “survey” appearing around the third week in October in the form of FCPS press releases as well as School Board incumbent messaging to voters.
Late October is usually the point when parents begin to really zero in on candidates and the issues before election day. Dr. Dale and the current School Board Chairman – whose own campaign is in big trouble – will certainly create every opportunity possible to get free earned media coverage as they release the “results” from this carefully crafted “survey.” In the process, Dr. Dale and these vulnerable incumbents (Strauss, Moon, Smith & Storck) will hope voter attention is short and not focused on the serious issues brought to light in the past few years including:
$$$$ SPENDING $$$$: Excessive Administrative Spending – approved by School Board incumbents – which has outpaced student enrollment growth.
DISCIPLINE REFORM THAT FALLS SHORT: School Board members who voted NO on parental notification so that children can be interrogated and coerced into writing a confession before parents or guardians are notified that their child is in trouble
GATEHOUSE II: Who could forget the widespread, public outrage in 2007 when School Board incumbents voted to spend $130 million on a second, plush central administration HQ for themselves while so many FCPS kids sat in trailers? Thankfully, the Board of Supervisors killed this decadent proposal.
CLIFTON ES CLOSURE AND FOIA VIOLATIONS: One of the county’s most popular and successful elementary schools was closed this year despite serious questions about the data School Board members used to justify this misguided decision. Related to this vote, FCPS ineptitude also resulted in an expensive court case this year.
CLASS SIZE, AP/IB FEES, INCREASED SPORTS FEES: School Board incumbents supported Dr. Dale’s proposals to increase class sizes and implement expensive fees imposed on students and families RATHER THAN cut FCPS central administrative spending first.
UPPER-LEVEL HONORS COURSES: Superintendent Dale is not an elected official. He is appointed by the School Board and his decisions on major policy and curriculum changes should be approved by elected School Board members. The School Board’s lack of oversight on this issue and the phase-out of these upper-level, high-school honors courses – without an actual vote by our School Board – is simply inexcusable.
FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN IMPLEMENTATION: It is ridiculous that School Board members took four years to bring FDK to the remaining few schools who did not already have FDK. While these taxpaying families went without FDK, the School Board expanded the FLES (foreign language in the elementary schools) program and instituted a new program called the Priority Schools Initiative at a cost of $2 million. School Board incumbents should have fulfilled FDK for everyone before taking action on either of those programs. If they had, our county could have had FDK for everyone a lot sooner!
LACK OF TEACHER INPUT: It’s no secret teacher morale in Fairfax County has been at an all-time low, and it’s not just pay-related. Teachers don’t feel their opinions matter. Under this current Administration and School Board, teachers have so little say in the curriculum and policy decisions that affect how and what they may teach. In addition, they are overburdened by administrative demands that leave less time to do what teachers do best – teach.
Voters, if you want real change to keep this school system great, do your homework this election season and study the full records of these incumbents. There is a plenty of material there since members like Strauss and Moon are well into their second DECADE each of service!
Challengers – get out there and knock on all those doors in your district. By meeting voters face to face, you’ll get the real story on how parents, teachers and taxpayers feel about Fairfax County Public Schools and how you can deliver real results that matter to the community! It’s only 70 days to November 8th. This is what campaigns are all about!
Related Blog Posts:
- VA Board of Education DENIES FCPS Waiver Request (August 17, 2011
- Louise Epstein Responds to Janie Strauss’ Comments in Washington Post (August 15, 2011)
- Fairfax County School Board’s Discussion on Honors Courses (July 20, 2011)
- Another Bad Headline for FCPS in the Washington Post – thanks Janie Strauss! (July 18, 2011)
- FCPS Flexing Its Muscle to Kill Upper-Level Honors Courses (July 7, 2011)
- My Letter to the Editor About Janie Strauss’ Vote Against Parents (June 26, 2011)
- Janie Strauss & Ilyrong Moon Point Fingers on Failure of Parental Notification (June 10, 2011)
- School Board Partying That Goes Too Far (June 3, 2011)
- From Chicken Little to Santa Claus (May 16, 2011)
- That “In the Dark” Feeling (May 12, 2011)
- Serving Up Some Crow for FCPS Officials on School Renovations & Additions (April 9, 2011)
- School Board Member Janie Strauss’ Sanctimonious Stretch (April 7, 2011)
- Political Jiu Jitsu for 2011 School Board Elections (March 23, 2011)
- “Race to Nowhere” Documentary Spurring Debate & Solution Possibilities (March 11, 2011)
- Subpoenas Issued to Full School Board & Top FCPS Officials (February 18, 2011)