Caravati: School Board Chair to Blame

In yesterday’s monthly joint meeting of the school board and City Council, City Councilor Blake Caravati seemed to be chalking up the recent school troubles to poor leadership on the part of board chair Dede Smith. In today’s Progress, James Fernald writes:

City councilors and the School Board focused on low morale in Charlottesville’s schools at a joint meeting Wednesday, with one councilor laying the blame on poor leadership of the board.

Blake Caravati said part of the problem is comparatively low proposed teacher raises in next year’s school budget.

Several times during the meeting, Caravati questioned whether “Madam Chair” – Dede Smith – could “lead the board to make this budget work.”

Smith responded: “If you want to make me the scapegoat, fine.”

The board is meeting tonight. Presumably, the drama will continue.

2 Responses to “Caravati: School Board Chair to Blame”

  • I attended the school board meeting on March 31st. I watched the drama unfold and when it was over I thought, “What was the point in all of this?”

    Rick Turner walked in and somehow, got himself moved up to be one of the first speakers. I watched Dr. Griffin as Turner spoke. She smile and gave him eye contact. I certainly thought something was going on between them. Then, after he said his piece and stirred it up…he left. Next came the other speakers. If they were black, Dr. Griffin gave them eye contact. If they were white, she looked down. (Whose the racist here?)

    And what I observed was that for the most part, the speakers did not have school aged children attending the Charlottesville City Schools. I thought, where are those parents, black, white, purple and so on? Why are those parents letting others decide the fate of the CCS system? Is it due to apathy or are they just defeated from all this fussing and fighting?

    Further, as people spoke I thought, “What the heck is the point of what they are trying to say?” Over and over I hear anger with no point. Or anger directed at the racism in Charlottesville.

    Pardon me, is anyone concerned about our children and school system? Yes, we need more black teachers in the system and more blacks in administration? But we need a system that works and to work, we need black parents involved in their children’s learning. I know cause I see this daily. Conferences bring out the white parents. Few black parents come.

    And I for one, am getting tired of listening to all this about racism when what is needed is Black Males helping out in the schools and in the community. How many CCS schools have Turner or Johnson visited? Certainly none that I am aware of. What is Turner doing to help the children of this city besides ranting and raving? What programs does he support? What programs has he put in place?

    Finally, just cause Griffin says she is being targeted because she is black does not mean it is so. Why is it that she can run to Turner and he backs her without really checking how she interacts with those who she is supposed to lead? There are plenty of black people in the CCS system (who are not custodians ) that he could ask.

    I love the CCS system. I hope to be in it for a very long time. Turner and Griffin will not run me off. I don’t make a lot of money. I have a continuing contract that guarantees me a job year to year if I do my job. And I make 1/4th of what Griffin makes and that’s just fine with me.

    So, for Caravati to be upset with this mess is understandable. I am sure the whole City Council is quaking in their boots thinking they appointed the current school board for whom we have to thank for this mess.

  • Great writeup of the meeting, Upset — thanks for that.

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