I read with amusement your self congratulatory remarks regarding the outcome of the Mt Vernon District election. As you ran unopposed and as 21% of registered voters participated, I would caution you against using the election results as an endorsement of your effectiveness. Just ask Stephen Hunt or Janet Oleszek what the Fairfax County residents thought of their tenure on the School Board.
I also find it alarming and disturbing to see you invoke the politics of Abraham Lincoln to aid your cause. Lincoln was a man who lawlessly and ruthlessly suppressed his political adversaries, odiously and malevolently violated the exalted ideals of substanative due process, and utterly disregarded the constitutional limits of his office. Perhaps you and your colleagues on The School Board intend to do the same. Since students and parents are prohibited from recording the minutes of their disciplinary hearing, since the hearing officer has the right to limit the amount of time parents and students have during their hearing, and since the hearing office upholds all principal recommendations for expulsion, it seems that in fact, FCPS students are denied basic due process rights.
Mike Grasso has, on a number of occasions, asked you some extremely important questions that continue to go unanswered. I would also like to know the following:
Why doesn’t FCPS perform air quality tests on their trailers and why don’t we have a plan to get rid of them like Montgomery County MD Public Schools is doing?
Where is the documented cost savings from the Administrative building on Gatehouse Drive?
Since FCPS withdrew their threats to defy NCLB in testing our ESL students, what steps have you taken to improve education and test results from these students? When will you release The Minority Dropout Report? Why does FCPS lag other school districts in VA in narrowing the minority achievement gaps? Who from the SB or Dale’s office attended The Education Trust’s Courageous Choices Workshop this past weekend in DC? Why are no FCPS schools receiving recognition from this group for progress in reducing the gap? We don’t seem to be getting a lot from our per pupil spending.
Who on The School Board directed the MSAOC to create a report blaming parents for failures in minority underachievement? Why would we want this independent group to be appointed by Jack Dale and lose its independence? Where is the drop-out data that has accompanied this report for the last thirteen years? It sure looks like FCPS is trying to hide something ugly.
Why are minorities disproportionally suspended and expelled from our school system? Why doesn’t FCPS keep per school data on suspensions? What happened to Target 9 to reduce suspension and how do we know what schools to focus on when we don’t keep per school data? How come no one at FCPS audits the School Safety Report Card Data that goes to VA DOE?
This is just the beginning of my concerns. Parent apathy has worked in your favor thus far but the tide is turning. Parents are tired of the lack of leadership in this school district. Parents are tired of the lack of accountability from our elected members. Parents and students are tired of the lack of representation of our interests.
I am pleased that the voters of Mount Vernon District have once again elected me to represent them on the School Board. It is an honor that I take very seriously and I work hard to be deserving of their support. I recognized long ago that I am far less than perfect and as a public official that those imperfections will be obvious to many people. As Abraham Lincoln almost 150 years ago, “If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how — the very best I can. And I mean to keep on doing it to the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me will not amount to anything. If the end brings me out all wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
I will keep working very hard and make the best decisions possible for you and ALL of the residents of my District and the students of
. Every action and decision involves trade-offs and as long as the people of
believe I am making the best ones possible, I will continue to serve them. I will also continue to do my best to personally respond in a timely way to the many hundreds of constituent communications that I receive each week.
I welcome your attendance at each of our meetings, as you did this past Thursday. I commend your willingness to step forward to invest the time and effort required to advocate for the issues important to you.
Voice Mail: 571.423.1086
Dianna DiPasquale, Administrative Assistant
Subject: WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE FC SCHOOL BOARD
I do not like to be a pain, but either I get no answers or only half answers. Several constituents in your district have complained to me that you do not respond to their emails. WHY? Are they pains also? If this job is to much for you, you have choices you can make.
I will take your advice and attend all meetings and review school board information in order to become a very informed constituent.
If you think that I am going away, you are mistaken. This is only the first inning with eight more innings to go.
Advocate for a better FCPS system,