Teresa DeLoatch Bryant District 2 Representative Edgecombe County Board of Education Reflects on Service/Public Schools As She Is About To Exit Off The Board

Response: Bryant will be missed, she was always asking the right questions and challenging the system to do what she felt was in the best interest of the children.

BRYANT RELFECTS ON SERVICE/PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The past five years have been both challenging and interesting ones to say the least. All in all, however, I must say that it has truly been an honor to serve as the representative for District 2 on the Edgecombe County Board of Education.

Although I could never be accused of having a great love for children, I do have a great love and passion for ensuring that they are well-educated. This passion stems from the fact that I am a perfect example of the power of education in transforming lives. It is my heartfelt desire that every child in Edgecombe County be armed with a quality education when they graduate from high school no matter what career or educational path they choose thereafter.

Although I began writing this piece thinking I would do so from the perspective of a soon to be “former” board member, I ultimately concluded that writing the piece from the perspective of a parent might be enlightening and encouraging for the general public which has stood steadfast by our public school system in one role or another over the years.

One of the greatest responsibilities that I have as a parent is to ensure that my child receives a quality education. We started her educational career in private Christian school in Greensboro and continued that path when we first moved to Tarboro with her attending private Christian school in Rocky Mount. After I joined the school board in July of 2007, she enrolled at Stocks and spent a total of four years out of the five that I have served on the board in our public school system.

As many of you know, we chose to go back to private Christian school last year and I am so glad that we did because it taught me a lot. It taught me that my child knew and had been taught even more in our public school system than I would have ever thought. How did I find that out? Well, she competed and excelled in an environment where I could not have handpicked a more rigorous curriculum with children who had been in what I thought to be an idealistic environment since kindergarten. Another parent might attribute it exclusively to natural giftedness of the child or their own efforts but I am not so delusional. She competed and excelled because she had been taught and she had been taught well by those who toll in their respective roles in the Edgecombe County Public Schools. We are very blessed that for this school year she has been taught by some outstanding teachers in our public school system whose skills rival any of those that she has had before in private schools.

Accordingly, it is in this public forum that I take the opportunity to thank all of the teachers, administrators, classified and unclassified staff members in general with the Edgecombe County Public School System who have touched the life of my child and contributed to her growth as a student and citizen and who have done the same thing for so many other children.

The state of public education in North Carolina and our nation as a whole is a topic that we could debate on many pages of this newspaper. Yes, I am concerned daily about negative influences, behavior and all of the social ills that you hear about in the public schools. Of equal concern, however, is the prospect of my child leaving home and going off to college unprepared for many of the lessons that are learned in public school. Although I would hope that she would choose a respectable university such as NC State or Duke, there is another university that she has strong ties to and she could go there for goodness sake.

If I could erase all of the teachable moments that made me cringe when I have talked to her about them in her four years of being educated in our public school system, would I? Should I? The answer is no. I would not because I am preparing her for life. It is the truth that the decision to take a year off from public school was due in part to the issues previously mentioned but when I look at her peer group this year – how well they maintained – how much they obviously learned last year – I think to myself “did I do her a bigger favor or myself a bigger favor” by making the change.

Much is said about the role of the parent and parent activism in schools and in this context we often speak negatively about what we deem to be dysfunctional families and young parents’ involvement or lack thereof but the truth of the matter is that the activism of the parents who are married, who are educated, etc. should be a comparable matter of concern to the state of the traditional public school. We can all do more and should do more for our public school system and I challenge each of you to make your pledge now for what you will start doing in the fall for our schools.

In closing, I will say that which should come as no surprise to you. I am not an opponent of school choice. What I must also say, however, is that in my years of seeking out the best educational opportunity for my child, I have found no solution that stands out head and shoulders above any others. That goes for public schools, private schools, charter schools or home schools. They are all a mixed bag with both pros and cons and at any given time in a particular child’s educational career one may be a better solution than the other for the child and/or the parent.

This notwithstanding, I am proud to say that the Edgecombe County Public School System still has a great deal to offer, not only to the children who may not have the option of school choice, it has a great deal to offer those children who do.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you.

Teresa DeLoatch Bryant

District 2 Representative

Edgecombe County Board of Education

See related:

Teresa DeLoatch Bryant

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Edgecombe County Public Schools Board Chair Wanted The Board To Cut Their Budget Because They Were Asking Other Departments To Cut But Is It Really Necessary?

It was interesting that Ann Kent Board Chair was asking that the board cut professional training and travel expense because she felt the board asked other departments to cut and she felt it was only fair that they cut also.

Attorney Janice Davidson and Attorney Teresa D. Bryant questioned why Kent chose those cuts and then after much discussion they found out that some of the budget charged to the board is not all of their budget and consist of others. Once that was found out then it gave them a whole new outlook on looking at could the board cut themselves in other areas versus training and travel. Bryant asked why the board cuts not been looked at by those who did a study on all of the other cuts so therefore the board had not included themselves in the cuts.

The board cuts that Kent presented were not included in the present budget as presented but on the table for the board to vote up or down.

See video coming soon.

See related:

Breaking News: Edgecombe County Public Schools Voted To Close Roberson School The Home Of The Alternative School

Edgecombe County Public Schools

District 2 Board Member Teresa DeLoatch Bryant contacted the Daily Southerner to comment on the article "Schools Facing Budget Reductions."

District 2 Board Member Teresa DeLoatch Bryant contacted the Daily Southerner to comment on the article "Schools Facing Budget Reductions."  Ms. Bryant sought to clarify that what may be perceived by some as intense questioning by her on a subject is not an indication of what her position is on the subject.  While she does acknowledge that she engaged in such questioning at the board meeting, she wanted to note that she never indicated to anyone what her position is on the matter.  She does strongly believe that a recommendation to close the school should come hand in hand with a firm recommendation on how those students would be served if the school is closed. 

 

In addition, she wanted to clarify that she never thought that attendance or performance were irrelevant to an examination of whether the school should be closed.  In fact she thinks that this would be an illogical position for anyone to take when engaging in this analysis.  Instead, however, she stated that it is somewhat disingenuous to compare an alternative school to the traditional schools in these regards when we already know that many of the children who are being served by the alternative school have exhibited problems or deficiencies in various areas that will take time to improve.   

 

Simply looking at the numbers is too superficial of an analysis for her to make in the times that we are living in today when serious disciplinary and behavioral issues are rampant in schools.  Instead, however, she is concerned about how this will impact the students who attend the alternative school; the teachers and staff at the alternative school as well as how it will impact the teachers and students who are not in the alternative schools.

 

Reform or Retreat?  What will cost us more in the long run is the question that Ms. Bryant is pondering.

 

Response: Roberson School is in Bryant’s district. She should have concerns however the other board members should have concerns as well. See my other comments in the link below. But most of all look at the video of the meeting for yourself. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

 

See related:

 

Edgecombe considers closing alternative school – Rocky Mount Telegram 

 

Video/Pictures: Tarboro NC: Edgecombe County Public Schools March Meeting, Will They Close Roberson School And Cut Travel And Training Expense? How Does The Board Chair Get Away Without Attending The Mandatory 12 Hours of Training?

Bryant declines to seek re-election – The Daily Southerner

TARBORO — Teresa DeLoatch Bryant announced she will not seek re-election to the District 2 seat she now holds on the Edgecombe County Public Schools Board. The announcement came 91 days before the May 8 Primary Election and nearly a year after the first-term plus one year board member announced her resignation for personal and career reasons. She later rescinded her decision. (More)

See related:

Teresa D. Byrant

Breaking News: Teresa DeLoatch Bryant District 2 Representative Edgecombe County Board of Education Will Not Seek Re-Election

To: The Residents of District 2 and the Community at Large

From: Teresa DeLoatch Bryant

District 2 Representative, Edgecombe County Board of Education

In light of the quickly approaching start of the candidate filing period, I wanted to formally announce that I will not run for reelection this year. My professional conflicts still exist and while the personal conflict that caused me to submit my resignation during the 2010-2011 school year does not, I cannot be certain that in four years time, that conflict will not arise again.

Accordingly, the responsible thing for me to do, particularly since I am now aware that an appointment process could be very contentious, is to find another way in which I can serve our school system. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve but I must say that I do look forward to holding only one title – the one I consider to be the most important in our quest to educate children – Teresa DeLoatch Bryant, Parent.

See related:

Teresa D. Byrant

Board Member Concerned About Closing The Achievement Gap

I want to comment on the issue of board engagement with their constituents because it is a good one. Speaking for myself only, I can tell you that I count active "public" engagement as my weakest area of service. Yes, I talk to my constituents on the phone. I text them. They text me. I email them. They email me. As in many other areas, sophisticated forms of impersonal communication are dominating the interaction between some public officials and their constituents. It does not help that I am not a person who likes to do anything for show but I hold a degree in Political Science from NC State and I know that in the political arena, sometimes that is required in order for people to know you are working for them and on the issues that affect them and it also can inspire them to want to do more. In my letter to the three candidates for appointment sent the day after the July board meeting thanking them for their interest in serving, I told them that I would be contacting them shortly regarding forming a "real" Advisory Council for our district, in the hopes to improve in this area. Public solicitation of others who might be interested in joining will also occur before the start of this school year.

I am still studying the data regarding the achievement gap in our district and I am anxiously awaiting reports from the professionals working with us from DPI regarding their independent evaluation of the causes of this phenomenon. I do know already, however, that both the causes of this problem and the solutions are multifaceted. The first thing that we need to do is to focus squarely on the issue and I plan to push for that focus this year. In order to be effective, our mindsets have to be on helping eliminate the problem and not on laying blame. When we have teachers or principals who are struggling, we help them with what they need in order for their students to succeed. We have to take the same approach to our parents/grandparents/guardians who may not be doing what they need to do in order for their children to succeed. It will take a great deal of work at the community level for us to accomplish this critical piece of the equation but we can do it.

Teresa DeLoatch Bryant
District 2 Representative

Note: The above is in response to: “Edgecombe County Public Schools The Real Problem Keeping Black Students @ 30% Behind Their White Counterparts (Closing the gap statistics for Edgecombe)

See related:

Edgecombe County Public Schools

Edgecombe County Public Schools “BRYANT HAS NOT MADE ANY DECISION ABOUT 2012”

It has come to my attention that after reading Mr. Gray’s Letter to the Editor, some members of the public now believe that I have affirmatively decided to run for election in 2012 (because obviously that is the only way the voters will be able to address me). I have received a number of phone calls and messages regarding the same in less than a twenty-four (24) hour period.

I do not want the public to think that I am telling some people one thing and others another with regards to my intention to run. I have not told anyone that I have made a decision to run in 2012.

I provided a public response to Mr. Dancy’s question regarding what my intentions are in 2012 and I personally mailed that response along with a cover letter to all three candidates for appointment to the District 2 seat the week of our last board meeting. That response clearly indicated that I have not made any such decision.

Thanks so much for your continued support.

See related:

Gray: District 2 needs a black – Source: The Daily Southerner

Board Deadlocked On Appointment

Principals Hired For Princeville and Patillo Schools In Edgecombe County, See Resignations, New Hires, Transfers, Reduction in Force, Leave of Absence and Transfers/Reassignments For July 20, 2011

Edgecombe County Public Schools Resignations, New Hires, Transfers, Reduction in Force, Leave of Absence and Transfers/Reassignments For July 11, 2011