Citizens should view VDOE board videos

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To the Editor:

Videos of the Feb. 26 and 27 sessions between VDOE Board members and FCPS Board Chairman, Ms. Edna King (available online at are reminders of the significant school turnaround challenges facing the entire Franklin community. FCPS Board members will be expected to legally follow the VDOE Board’s roadmap. Former Falls Church City School Board Chairman Joan Wodiska challenged Ms. King and her Board to collectively view each video prior to their next combined session.

VDOE Board members will require Ms. King and her Board to act transparently and without excuses to better engage parents and the business community throughout the turnaround process. Such engagement according to VDOE Board members, is essential to any highly competitive school program.

City Council members should also view the Feb. 26 and 27 sessions and recognize the need for ongoing dialogue with the FCPSB. Frequent City Council/School Board interaction was a written pledge by Mayor Johnson to citizens during her last mayoral campaign. The capable and respected mayor has the unique platform to become a recognized cheerleader for a more competitive school environment. An outspoken posturing would signal to all VDOE Board members community resolve and encourage hesitant citizens to commit the time and energy that is required for a time-consuming, successful school turnaround.

VDOE Board members emphasized a strong public school program as essential for children to compete successfully and to ultimately find satisfying careers. Board members pledged their considerable educational talent to the turnaround effort. But similar to flood recovery, successful educational recovery eventually depends on local citizen desire and effort. With VDOE resources, a truly transparent and open-minded school board, a broadly engaged citizenry with a successful history of recovery, and competent school leadership from a new, well-qualified superintendent, Franklin can once again develop a highly competitive public school environment that becomes a source of pride to the community.

Chuck Lilley