RPS board holds emergency meeting to address SOL scores

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 11:40 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2022 at 5:25 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tuesday night’s emergency meeting started off with public comments from many in the community who told the board they did not want to see superintendent Jason Kamras removed from his position.

Following 30 minutes of public commenting, Karmas went into a presentation to better explain the division’s low SOL scores and how it compared to the state.

He said state-wide SOL scores are down in every subject and are a result of the once-in-a-century disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Kamras went on to explain while RPS saw declines in every subject, the division outperformed the state when it came to subgroups of students in subjects like math.

Those subgroups include Black, white, Hispanic, and students with disabilities.

“We need to be even more creative even more strategic and be even bolder while we advocate for additional resources,” Kamras said. “Toward that and as the board and I have discussed I’m looking forward to presenting my innovation and acceleration plan in response to our data in October.”

Kamras also explained while it’s important to look at SOL scores, it’s also important to look at the growth assessment given last fall by the Department of Education and how it stacks up to spring SOL scores.

Data shown during the presentation shows there has been growth in subjects like reading and in math.

“Now we’ve heard about the scores and I don’t accept them and there’s no way to spin it they’re not good. I’d like to make a motion for a couple of items,” school board member Kenya Gibson said.

Gibson expressed she wanted to action immediately and motioned for the division’s curriculum to be internally developed by the end of this upcoming school year and phase out bought curriculums.

She later explained she’s heard from teachers who have gone through so much change in recent years and are concerned with the curriculum.

Karmas said a change like that would be one of the most tectonic the division could face.

“But to argue that this is a response to too much change quite frankly does not pass basic common sense,” Kamras said.

The motion failed to pass and the school board went into closed session and later adjourned.

Removing Kamras from his position was never brought up during the open meeting.