Recipe for a worthwhile meeting

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tonight at the Regional Workforce Development Center of Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin residents will have the opportunity to attend a joint meeting of City Council and the School Board. Several such meetings have taken place in the last 15 months, but recent developments regarding the school systems’ performance and the divisions’ status of review with the Virginia Department of Education have added an element of urgency previously lacking.

Indeed, as Franklin has become only the fifth system in the Commonwealth since 2000 to be placed under division–level review, and the first since the City of Richmond in 2005, a sense of urgency is one of many things required.

Three other things necessary for tonight’s meeting to be a worthwhile gathering are: significant citizen attendance; meaningful and probing questions by members of city council directed to all members of the school board, not just the chair and superintendent; and spirit of transparency on the part of the school board and a willingness to answer tough questions.

Should all of these ingredients be present tonight, it could possibly be the recipe for a successful and informative meeting. If any are missing, this meeting will be nothing more than a dog-and-pony show like the ones that have come before.