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I heard that one of the Hanover School Board members is retiring after 36 years.  It sounds like, based on this editorial, that Sue Watson was dedicated and we should deliver a hearty thanks for a job well done.  I am not in Ms. Watson’s district so I cannot apply for it.  BUT, some thoughts in case the Henry District position comes up for consideration:

1.  Elected School Boards:  I favor elected school boards because the present board is neither accountable nor is it accessible.  How many Hanoverians know their board member?  How to easily contact them?  If they stood for election, they would be more accountable and accessible to the people and parents.  So I would use my position to campaign for that very issue.

2.  International Baccalaureate:   I have blogged on this and I am not convinced fully that IB is bad but it might be a waste of money and time. From the Concord (NH) Monitor:

The district pays $9,500 for each school whose teachers are being trained to teach according to the I.B. method, or about $58,000 annually. The cost per school will decline after an initial period is over and officials from the program visit the district and see if individual schools have met the program’s instructional standards.

I would check this out extensively, especially now that we have a new superintendent not on the international board of IB.

2A.  I am glad to see the reference to developing “world citizens” removed from the mission statement; let’s make our kids solid American citizens and they will be a benefit to the nation and world.  There would be a balanced approach to the UN and other world agencies; with every child understanding that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and how it brought rights to all sorts of people through law.

3.  The budget should be checked out line by line to remove waste of the taxpayers’ money.

4.  The school year should be modified that if we do not us any or all of our snow days, we get a rebate toward the end of the year as Henrico did when they took off last Friday.  Also, we should schedule events to avoid in the elementary schools the post-SOL “party” for several weeks at the end of the year.

5.  I would stop supporting the No Child Left Behind by asking for money.  Yes unfunded mandates ought to stop.  But I would prepare a minority report asking for the abolition of the Federal Department of Education (other than the civil rights division that can be moved to Justice), NCLB, Race to the Top, and other educational nostrums from DC.  Time to stand up.

6.  I would continue to volunteer at Pole Green and expand that to other schools in my district.  And keep my eyes open!  I would encourage parents to contact me – even if they did not live in my district – to keep me informed of developments, both positive and negative.

7.  No programs with a political agenda behind it in our schools – whether right or left wing.

8.  I would support to the greatest extent possible a curriculum similar to the Texas State Board of Education adopted several years ago.  I also would remove from science clubs and curriculum references to global warming and/or climate change presented as fact.

8A.  I would want Hanover County students to be able to deal with these issues (among others) by the time they leave high school:

Why did the American Revolution succeed when the French Revolution and Russian Revolution failed?

Why no similar revolution in Great Britain?

The hidden Hispanic Heritage – the attempt to colonize Virginia before Jamestown.  What possible results if the Spanish had succeeded?

Was Lincoln right to resist Southern secession?  (Or phrase it another way, were the Confederates foolish or illegal?)

How about the tactics of the Northern generals?  Were they consistent with one who said “with malice toward none and charity toward all?

Problems with evolution (if we can avoid legal issues).

Our religious heritage as a nation and discuss whether modern court decisions are true to that heritage.

Do we need a Federal Reserve or the income tax?

Was the Spanish-American War necessary or just imperialistic?

Should we have gotten in or stayed out of WWI?

9.  I would ask the board to adopt a resolution asking our US Senators to reject the UN Child Treaty.  Here’s why!  (and here and here, too!)  A treaty depriving parents of rights over their children is clearly germane to education.

10.  All student dramas should be closely scrutinized to avoid anti-social and defiant to authority plays such as Grease and Footloose being performed in the schools.

11.  I would support good teachers and administrators and get behind them when they act properly.  BUT, I would not necessarily take staff’s word for discipline.  Also, I would do away with the Draconian punishments for non-weapons and some prescriptions, punishments that are no longer mandated by VA law.

12.  I would make sure our custodians and school bus drivers get the support they need.  We need to make sure bus drivers are paid properly for ALL the time they are on duty.  I would also request the Commonwealth’s Attorney and Sheriff to make prosecuting passing stopped school buses a top priority and politely ask him (or her) for a report on how that is going.

13.  ALL school employees should know their legal rights under state and federal law.  I am opposed to any sort of unionization or collective bargaining but I do support benevolent associations or similar.

14.  Until the ruling of the Fourth Circuit prohibiting public prayer in the Name of Jesus is overruled, I will not participate in the board prayer session.  I will walk out during the prayer as a protest at each meeting.

I am sure this manifesto will render me ineligible for any appointment.  But we must be true to ourselves.  We do not need a school board member who is in love with “progressive” public education.  Rather, we need a school board member who is skeptical about public education but until the day of liberation comes for our children, one who believes in the children of Hanover must get the best education possible with the least amount of the nostrums from Washington, DC (or sometimes from Richmond) that the law will allow.


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Lizeth Nilles says:

    Real excellent info can be found on weblog . “I don’t know what will be used in the next world war, but the 4th will be fought with stones.” by Albert Einstein.

  2. Madhu Agrawal says:

    In India we also deal with Callido learning which provides an interactive online course which gives you the key skills and complete confidence to succeed in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program and make the most of it. Also helps you in IB Subject Selection: Which subjects are better to choose? The IB is a wild ride – are you prepared?

    Leave a Reply “ibdp preparation”


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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