Writer: LCS must address achievement gap

The Virginia Department of Education just released data on SOL scores showing how the students either improved or declined in some areas. These statistics show an alarmingly high achievement gap between white and black students within these schools.

The achievement gap is something that Lynchburg City Schools (LCS) has been struggling with. It keeps increasing and black students are steadily falling behind. According to an article that was released in The News & Advance, the gap has varied depending on certain categories. Black students were at an average overall score of 45 for writing while white students were at an average score of 81.

Although the schools say they are making gains, they cannot deny the fact that black students are getting left behind. Having a younger African American cousin going through this school district worries me. I don’t want the disparity to increase and for him to get left behind. I want him to have the resources he needs to move forward and be successful.

LCS says that they will use the data to identify certain subgroups of students to provide them with resources. I hope that the Lynchburg City Schools will help the students who are falling behind and provide them with the resources and support that they need to succeed and close the achievement gap.

BRIANNA PATILLO

Madison Heights

Second chances

Moses, a leader of the people out of bondage. David, a man after the heart of God, and contributor of Psalms. Paul, a writer of multiple books in the Bible.

I could have (but intentionally chose not to) described these men as Killer Moses, a murderer; Ex-Offender David, a murderer; Felon Paul, a mass murderer who was a convict, inmate and offender a.k.a. Saul. Language is key! How many refer to the past violent felony convictions of these men when referencing them?

As it stands today, as powerful and impactful as these men have been in the lives of others, they would not be eligible to do many things on a local, state or national level. A question for those of you that live by, quote and teach the biblical scriptures penned by the aforementioned men: Would you trust them to read to your class, chaperone a group of children, mentor those who may otherwise end up on the same path? Would you rent to them and hire them in your business?

I would, especially since they have proven to be rehabilitated (from within) and an asset to the community. As President Trump said when he signed the FIRST STEP Act: “Americans have always believed in the power of redemption.”

KIMBERLY DYKE-HARSLEY

Lynchburg

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