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The Virginia Department of Education has released its annual accreditation ratings. The good news, 40.9% of schools in Richmond Public Schools are accredited. The other news is that 40.3% are NOT. If those schools reflect the number of students in the Richmond this means that approximately 10,000 students are not receiving the basic level of education mandated by the state.
What do Chesterfield County Public Schools have that we (Richmond Public Schools) don’t? Once, when a 7th grade, African American, Richmond Public Schools student was asked this question she hesitated a bit and said, “Well, to be honest, they have more white kids in the classes. That’s why they do better.” These thoughts and feelings aren’t unique. Nationally, families of color feel teachers don’t try as hard when there are fewer white students in the classroom.
To solve this problem, some parents with goals for their children move as far into Chesterfield or Henrico County as their money will allow to get a better education. Others who cannot afford to move to the surrounding counties, use a relative’s address to ensure their child is getting the best public education possible. Many families are even willing to have their child placed back a grade when moving to the county to make up for the missing learning in Richmond Public Schools.
So what is the difference? I know what you’re thinking…must be the money. Not exactly. According to the Chesterfield Observer quoting the Virginia State Department of Education, Richmond Public Schools spends $4000 more per student each year than Chesterfield County. In some cases, students who were unable to get a quality education in Richmond somehow manage to learn and thrive when they relocate to Chesterfield.
Well, if its not finance, what is it? Over the next year, through engagement on social media, Taughtology will ask different variations of this question to get to the heart of the matter. Please feel free to share your thoughts on our polls. Help us make Richmond Public Schools a stronger choice for families. As you share with us, we share with people who have the power to change it.