Hodges: More accountability needed

In America it is customary for leaders to come before their constituents to answer questions about policies, decisions that were made, goals etc. For example, the President of the United States does this for the American people, coaches of sports teams answer questions after the game for their fans, and even CEOs answer questions from their shareholders. And yet when it comes to our children and the leaders who run the Loudoun County School System (what is more important) there is no forum for asking and answering questions. They get a pass. This needs to change.

Dr. Zeigler, who received a degree in Educational leadership; needs to show more. He has said on several occasions that LCPS leaders need to have more “conversations” with the community. As far as I can tell there have been none, only one-way 60-second comments made by concerned and passionate parents and other tax-payers at bi-monthly School Board meetings. And there are no responses to those remarks, no feedback — just stares. Dr. Zeigler and members of the school board have also said during committee meetings that part of the reason for the recent turmoil between LCPS and the community is because there is a lot of misinformation being communicated. Well I have an antidote for that, come before the public, explain what is going on and answer questions.

I called the school system a few weeks ago to ask specifically if either of the two main leaders, Dr. Scott Zeiger or Board Chair Brendan Sheridan have answered questions from the public at any time over the past difficult year and the answer was no. I then asked if there if there were any plans to have a series of town halls, like other counties have had (Alexandria, Arlington, Prince William, Fairfax to name a few) to help clear up any misunderstandings that may be occurring regarding things like the LCPS 8040 policy or the Equity framework or Covid precautions and the answer again was no.

I propose that town hall meetings be a requirement for LCPS leadership. They should be held on a quarterly basis and led by the Superintendent and Chair of the school board, with rotating board members and principals. Perhaps this could help to heal the community, to reduce mistrust and misinformation and keep us strong and united moving forward. Our children deserve nothing less.

Chris Hodges

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Academic Excellence
Ensuring that rigorous academics take center stage will be one of my top priorities. I will tackle the issues of learning loss, lower standardized test scores and modified grading policies that are damaging to our children’s progress and serve as a roadblock to college acceptance.
Safety in Schools
I am acutely aware of the critical role safety plays in schools. Our students, teachers and staff deserve to feel secure in their learning environment. It is the responsibility of the school administration to be pro-active, transparent, and accountable in creating and maintaining a safe school environment. I am committed to working towards this goal and ensuring safety remains a top priority in our schools.
Parental Rights
I agree with the experts in education who say that parental involvement is crucial for achieving the best educational outcomes for children, especially in public schools.
When teachers, administrators, and School Boards recognize the rights of parents and collaborate with them to educate their children, they can help their students succeed. The key to success lies in working with parents as partners rather than against them.
Teacher Support
My aim is to ensure that teachers are not only heard but also feel supported, allowing them to focus on teaching as their top priority. It is my duty to represent the voices of both the students and teachers, and I approach this responsibility with great seriousness. Knowledge and education are the basis for all things that can be accomplished in life. Teachers provide the power of education to today's youth, thereby giving them the possibility for a better future.
Tax Dollar Prudence
The tax payors of Broad Run work hard for their money and they want to know that whether they have children in LCPS or not their tax dollars are being used judiciously. I commit to taking a hard look at the LCPS budget each year and make sure the money is being used wisely and efficiently and that the priority is based in the classroom.
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