Silence isn’t golden

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Friday, we published a story detailing why five public schools in our area did not make Adequate Yearly Progress during the 2008-09 school year. School officials in Franklin and Isle of Wight County gave detailed answers as to how those divisions planned to address areas that needed improvement.

Unfortunately, despite several e-mails and phone calls, we still have not received a comment from Southampton County School Superintendent Charles Turner.

Turner’s silence is disturbing, considering Riverdale Elementary School didn’t make AYP during its first year of operation and fell short in five of the 29 target areas for AYP — the most of any public school in our area. Riverdale’s predecessor, Hunterdale Elementary School, didn’t make AYP for four of the last five years. Most unsettling, only 61 percent of black students at Riverdale passed math. That figure is the lowest achievement mark in our area, excluding students with disabilities.

To be fair, the division’s overall AYP scores have improved since last year, and the division itself earned AYP status. But while we are thrilled to share the division’s successes, it would be irresponsible for us not to inform the community of its shortcomings.

It is part of Turner’s job to tell the public what the division is doing to improve the schools. Southampton, especially Riverdale, parents should be outraged by his silence.