RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Public Schools (RPS) School Board held an emergency meeting to discuss data released by the state Department of Education showing that test scores in the district have continued to drop. School board members skirmished with Superintendent Jason Kamras and each other in an attempt to find a solution.
Three school board members called the meeting but multiple others said they weren’t even aware that the meeting was happening, nor had they been informed of what would be discussed.
“Yes, we do need to talk about this, yes this is a matter of urgency,” said 7th district member Cheryl Burke. “But my question is, what is the expected outcome this evening?”
Emily Kavanaugh, the mother of an RPS student, attended the meeting with her daughter. She told 8News that she believed the recent SOL scores were a reflection of the school board’s own failures.
“We have seen failure after failure by the people who make decisions for our students,” Kavanaugh said. “I am calling for our elected school board to please resign.”
Before the meeting, there was speculation as to whether or not Kamras would be fired as a result of a preemptive statement made by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. At the emergency meeting, Kamras said the last three years of a global pandemic had put everyone in unprecedented circumstances.
“Does that absolve us from any responsibility for student outcomes? Of course not,” Kamras said. “But it would be equally misguided to ignore all the ways the community has suffered over the last three years.”
The emergency meeting went into a closed session on personnel matters for the later half of the session. The specifics of what was discussed are currently unknown, however, Kamras told 8News that there would be public comment tomorrow on Wednesday, Aug. 24, as to what went on behind closed doors.