It is time to lead

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To the Editor:

We community citizens entrust our children, our hard-earned tax money and our good faith to the public school system to provide a quality education with competence, professionalism and integrity. The cover news story in the Sept. 15 edition of The Tidewater News has revealed initial facts showing that our trust has been misplaced—and that warning signs should have been heeded years ago. Indeed, our days of silence, acquiescence and even denial must end if there is to be any opportunity for a meaningful course correction.

Tony Clark’s frank commentary in the same edition should further stimulate much-needed and long overdue leadership on the part of the School Board (especially) as well as on the part of City Council and others in various positions of leadership across the community.

For this coming weekend’s edition of The Tidewater News, I have submitted a commentary composed before the paper’s revelations last weekend to focus on how our public school system should be partnering with its community to achieve full success. It may be that our community leadership will need to take the initial steps, however.

It will be a gross mistake to assume that the VDOE, working closely with FCPS, will be sufficient to remedy the crisis in our system of education to the extent needed. Instead, resources from across our entire community must be garnered in a collaborative partnership to support and enhance the work of FCPS.

Such an effort is vital to the future success of our community. But leaders in the areas of economic development, law enforcement, existing business and industry, and social services are best-positioned to explain how and why.

Howie Soucek