Gloucester County, Virginia’s Board of Supervisors seems to be headed in a more sensible direction than it has been for many years. If this governing body continues to make decisions on the side of what makes sense things will become better for Gloucester as a whole. However, there is one significant area where the governing body has little or no ability to apply sensibility or even successfully encourage it at this point. That area is the Gloucester County public education system.
The School Board is also a governing body whose primary function is to oversee the application and function of an effective public education system. Many sensible thinkers believe the fateful aspects of Gloucester’s public education system stem primarily from the fact that Dr. Howard Benjamin (Ben) Kiser was hired and allowed to manipulate the School Board into a tool to facilitate his own aspirations, desires and gains.
The Kiser’s, record in Gloucester includes; ignoring negative disciplinary trends within the school system; failing to ensure the effective administration of mathematics at Gloucester’s only public high school; creating an atmosphere of un-trust and low morale among Gloucester’s teaching staff; turning Gloucester’s public school system and School Board into political tools; creating animosity and dysfunction between the Board of Supervisors and the School Board; disregarding input from the Gloucester Community after a tornado partially destroyed Page Middle School; allowing the unnecessary and unwarranted demolition of needed and usable infrastructure; excessive and disproportionate spending; creating biased and non-transparent citizen committees; sending Freedom of Information Act and Records Retention Act protected information to more than one of his private email accounts and failing to provide such emails in response to FOIA requests;
manipulating Commonwealth of Virginia and Gloucester County Professional Service procurement procedures; placing his personal gain and ambitions above administering a quality public education program; failing to examine and correct significantly flawed accountability procedures intended to protect approximately 1.4 million dollars annually in school activities funds; and the list goes on and on.
Now the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia will have the opportunity to witness the workings of a Virginia K-12 public education administration failure as The Kiser now becomes Director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. This non-governmental position will enhance his ability to distort the sensible mind sets of public school Superintendents in every district throughout the Commonwealth. Well done Dr. Howard Benjamin (Ben) Kiser. Well done. As a member of the sensible thinking Gloucester Community I thank you for the excessive debt, the unfocused School Board, the disruptive school environments, the inadequate teaching at Gloucester High School and all of the other many wonderful knife in the back gifts you are leaving Gloucester County as you continue your journey to self gratification utopia.
Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr
Our Notes: We were asked to review an article posted last year and ask everyone the simple question, what has changed?