RPS is failing

students’ potential

Editor, Times Dispatch;

I read with considerable interest the RTD story about Richmond Public Schools’ high school graduation rate, already the lowest in state, falling again. Sadly, this is no surprise; there’s little new in these reports, neither hopeful trends nor optimistic solutions. It seems that they invariably fall and the routine recourse is to arbitrarily change the way falling is measured.

I understand the primary reason for public school education is to prepare our young generations to succeed by providing them with the education needed to make a life for themselves, to support their own future families and to pay taxes to support our communities’ civic responsibilities. Obviously, we continue to fail at that. Moreover, it’s widely reported that too many who receive high school diplomas are not prepared to pursue what they hope for in their lives, and for those who drop out, the situation is even worse.

When our youngsters are not prepared to compete in job markets, or for leading self-selecting, self-respecting independent lives, how can we expect them to succeed — or more importantly, to not fail? It seems obvious the school system too often prepares virtual mistake-makers, unprepared to do otherwise. Richmond Public Schools are providing too few of our students with the abilities and marketable skills to get good jobs and make good lives for themselves.

Superintendent Jason Kamras tells us: “This data is not a reflection of our students’ abilities. It’s a reflection of our failure to provide them with the education they deserve.” He’s right on the schools’ failure part, but wrong when he tells us that these statistics aren’t a reflection of our graduates’ abilities; it’s their potential that his school system is failing.

Norton Rubenstein.


Readers share comments

on Redskins team

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

It was 1956 when I became a football fan and my team was the Washington Redskins. There were good times and bad times, but I never considered abandoning my team. What I remember most is the rivalry between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. It was awesome. The week before the game with Dallas, there were pep rallies — even in the workplace — and shouts of “We want Dallas!” One year, the Redskins only won two games and those games were against Dallas, and Dallas had a very good team that year.

When Dallas came to RFK stadium to play the Redskins, there was plenty of noise. There were metal plates on the floor in the stands that bounced up and down, and when the fans stomped on the plates, the noise was incredible. What has occurred over the past two decades is heartbreaking. When I watch the games on TV occasionally and see the stands with half the number of Redskins fans and many opposing team fans, I remember when no one could get a ticket to a Redskins game. Washington has been robbed of the fun and the pride they once experienced as Redskins fans. The blame falls directly on team owner Daniel Snyder and his general manager. Snyder needs to hire good people around him and keep out of the decision-making, period.

Judi Fleischman.


Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I’m writing in reference to the RTD’s Sport’s front-page article, “What happens now?” Bruce Allen, Redskins president, is noted as saying, “how people at every level of the organization, from the scouts to the game-day workers at FedEx, are aiming to build a winner.” If he’s trying to build a winner with game-day workers, no wonder the Redskins are 0-5. I’ve been to many Redskins games, concerts and soccer games at FedEx field. On just about every occasion, I have found a number of game-day workers to be rude, uninterested in helping and often standing around chit-chatting with each other while several entrance gates remain closed, leading to long entrance lines. And just as sad is the fact that in recent years there are more visiting team fans in the stands than there are Redskins fans — case in point, the recent Dallas home game. In recent years, the Redskins game-day experience is often one to forget, unless you are a visiting team fan who doesn’t mind long lines and poor service in exchange for a guaranteed win.

Greg Vaeth.


Candidates must stop

political trash talking

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I’d like to deliver this message to all candidates: If you are a Republican candidate and you bad-mouth a Democratic candidate, I am through with you, and vice versa.

Don Thompson.


Bashing opponents more important than issues

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

With all the politicking going on right now, one wonders who stands for what. We have a lot of local issues concerning our future. The results of these local votes ultimately have a huge effect on the future. But why is it that what we hear mostly is what the opponents are against, not what our candidates are for? Bashing the opponent apparently is the way to victory.

June Hoye.


GOP’s ironic response

to corruption charges

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I find it ironic and appalling that Congressional Republicans are so concerned about investigating corruption in Ukraine and so determined to obstruct investigation of corruption in the White House.

Laurie Morissette.


Impeachment inquiry

called a sham

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Article 2, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution gives the sole power of impeachment to the House Of Representatives. Not certain individuals in the House. Not a certain political party in the House. But the whole House of Representatives. If they want to impeach, the whole House should vote. This current “impeachment inquiry” is no more than a politically motivated sham reminiscent of the star chamber proceedings during the reign of Henry VIII. The Democrats have no case justifying a vote and they have stooped to the lowest form of life on this planet — they have no capacity for shame or embarrassment.

Dan Huston.


Navy Hill design called

‘boring, soulless’

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The architectural rendering of the proposed Navy Hill development posted on the RTD Opinions page dampens any enthusiasm for a project promoted as one of “high expectations.” The boring, soulless concept is the architecture of anyplace and no place, one that could easily be mistaken as intended for a Third World nation. The glass box is a tired design approach. It has given talentless architects the excuse to do nothing. Why should Richmond invest millions of dollars in a place that will have no sense of place?

We can do better than this.

Calder Loth.


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