Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

February 14, 2012

Davis sets the record straight

Assistant superintendent speaks out following grading policy controversy

VALDOSTA — The new grading policy for grades third through eighth released by the Lowndes County school system in January has stirred controversy locally and even nationally.

Dr. Troy Davis, Assistant Superintendent of Lowndes County Schools, said, “It’s been a hard two weeks for my family.”

After the Times’ article on Feb.1 addressing the grading policy, Davis claims his reputation has been tarnished.

“I can’t go in our schools at this point because we have teachers who think I told (the Times) that I blame them,” said Davis. “At no point have I ever thought that, said that, nor will I.”

According to Sharon Galloway, Teaching and Learning K-5 and Special Projects Executive Director, the statements expressed in the Times were not accurate and contradict the beliefs of the school system and the system’s teachers.

“We are all about the kids,” said Galloway. “We have very strong feelings about our children being successful.”

Galloway feels that teachers were directly affected by this situation.

“I don’t think there would be anything more upsetting to an educator than the implication of that statement,” said Galloway.

Davis said in an interview Monday that in his previous statement, “assigning a grade of zero is equivalent to giving up on a child,” it was not his intent for that to be interpreted as a child has no accountability and it was also not his intent for that to be interpreted as deflecting fault or blame on the teachers.

“The backbone of our success rests with a classroom teacher,” said Davis.

Davis explained that he is a product of public education and is very proud of that fact.

“It is because of those teachers and my parents that I am where I am,” said Davis. “I am a product of those very teachers.”

Davis said that he places blame on no one.

“I want all my colleagues and parents to know that I do not blame teachers; we are in this together,” said Davis. “If there’s ever any blame, I’ll take it ... It will never be on the individuals that we work with.”

As for the new grading policy, Davis said, “You can pick any topic, this topic, that topic and I think when it comes to children you cannot let them fail. We have to find the reason why they’re not mastering the standards or content, there’s a reason and we have to find it and we have to try all of us together to find a way to fix it.”

Davis feels that everyone has to find a way to make sure children are successful

 “That’s what I meant,” said Davis. “As a community, parents, teachers, family, we’re all in it and that’s what I was saying.”

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