BOE hears ‘same old song’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WINTON – The information is good.

Now, what is being done about it?

That was the question of three members of the Hertford County Board of Education Monday night when they heard a report about the status of the school district.

Hertford County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Debbie Harris Rollins presented a summary report from a team of nine specialists from Virginia Commonwealth University during Monday night’s regular school board meeting.

The report stemmed from 42 days spent in the district examining the school system and its methodologies.

The staff from VCU listed positive events currently going on in the district and also listed some challenges the school system had.

Dr. Harris Rollins stressed the importance of taking a look at the information beginning at the classroom level.

“When the teacher goes in the classroom and shuts the door, that is where the rubber meets the road,” she said.

After her report giving the views of the VCU staff, board member David L. Shields spoke.

“We come up with good ideas, but we don’t seem to implement them,” he said.

Board member Ronald G. Baker added, “We’ve seen every word in this document before. Next year we can have Yale do a study and put their name at the top and it will say the same thing.”

J. Wendell Hall said the information coming to the board about positives and negatives had been the same since he took his seat more than six years ago.

“I went back and looked at the last three curriculum audits,” he said. “They had the same information. I hope this time we make this a working document.

“How do you eat an elephant,” he asked. “You start in small bites. What I want to know is how far we’ve gotten into implementing these suggestions.”

Dr. Michael G. Basham, superintendent of schools, said the staff was working on specific goals suggested in the report.

“We are making progress,” he said. “We have begun walk-throughs to help provide feedback for our staff. There will be further things identified as we move along.”

Hall said he was glad to hear specific items of the report being addressed.

“These are good practices, but they have to be implemented,” he said.