Ward 4 hopeful wants SOL improvement

Published 11:12 am Saturday, May 26, 2012

FRANKLIN—Ward 4 Franklin School Board nominee Sherita Parker believes more enrichment programs and tutoring may help improve the city’s low standardized test scores.

An analysis commissioned by The Tidewater News recently found that an average of 75 percent of Franklin students passed Standards of Learning tests in 2011, making the district second to last in the state out of 132 districts for SOL pass rates.

Parker believes enrichment programs focusing on reading comprehension could help.

“I don’t know what the reading scores were, but I know reading has always been an issue,” she said.

The 30-year-old Franklin native applied for the three-year seat to help make a difference in the lives of the city’s children.

“I wanted to do it because of my love of kids overall,” she said. “I wanted to give back to my community and the school board.”

The Pine Street resident is disappointed more residents didn’t apply for the five seats. Parker joins Cindy Fillhart in Ward 6 and incumbents Edna King, at-large, Glenn Hopkins in Ward 2 and Will Councill in Ward 1 as nominees.

“Our kids are our future,” Parker said. “I thought more people would want to assist to help prepare our kids for the future.”

Parker and Fillhart will be interviewed Wednesday at 7 p.m. by the City Council, which will make the appointment during a meeting in June. The interviews are closed to the public.

A 1999 graduate of Franklin High School and a licensed practical nurse at Tidewater Children’s Associates in Suffolk, Parker said she didn’t have an opinion on a grading scale implemented by school staff last year without the board’s permission that set the lowest failing grade for students at 60.

“I don’t know how to answer that right now,” Parker said. “I would have to know more about it.”

If appointed, Parker says she’ll have big shoes to fill taking over for School Board Vice Chairwoman Mona Murphy. Murphy on May 1 was elected to the City Council to replace Mayor-Elect Raystine Johnson.

‘She did a great job,” Parker said. “She’s been a good representative for the ward and I’d like to be able to continue that.”

Parker and her husband, Timothy, attend Franklin Baptist Church.