Was Sweet Briar's Board Rash or Reasonable?

Mar 13, 2015
Sweet Briar College

Sweet Briar College was founded in 1901 when Indiana Fletcher Williams left her entire estate, including the Sweet Briar Plantation, to found an institution in the name of her deceased daughter, Daisy. 114 years later, the school unexpectedly announced its closure – sending shockwaves through alumnae, academia, and Amherst County.  Did the board act prudently, or did it move hastily? 

Anti-Hunger Initiative in High-Poverty Schools

Mar 9, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack joined Virginia’s governor and first lady to announce an $8.8 million federal grant for an anti-hunger initiative in some of the state’s high-poverty schools.

The demonstration project will provide students in selected schools with breakfast, lunch, and after-school supper—as well as non-perishable food to take home on weekends and breaks.

A high level official in Richmond did something surprising this week.  Superintendent of Schools Dana Bedden apologized for an incident that occurred even before he took the job.  

The assembly at Huguenot High School began like a pep rally, but it quickly took on a serious tone as Superintendent Dana Bedden recalled how – in 2013 – all Hispanic students were summoned to the cafeteria.  Jonthan Villatoro was one of them. 

“In the past there had been several conflicts between the African-American students and the Hispanic students that ended in pretty bad fights.”

Sweet Briar College

The news that Sweet Briar College would close after 114 years of educating women caught many by surprise. But to one veteran educator, it's the culmination of a financial disaster wrought by rising costs, changing tastes, and more affordable alternatives.

Should they be signed into law by Governor McAuliffe, bills recently passed by the General Assembly would modify some of the scrutiny of school systems that meet state standards.  The state would also create a different method to inform parents of how well those schools are doing.

After educators lambasted the state's A-F grading system created a few years ago, lawmakers crafted a new method to measure school performance. Bill sponsor Delegate Tag Greason says this gives the Board of Education authority to redesign a more comprehensive school performance report card.