It’s Time To Hold The Albemarle County School Board And Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas Accountable


Albemarle County Public School Board Members: Top Row: Dr. Matthew Haas, David Oberg, Ellen Osborne, Graham Paige; Bottom Row: Jonno Alcaro, Judy Le, Kate Acuff, Ph.D., Katrina Callsen

Retired mathematics teacher Bill Munkacsy, a 12-year veteran of public schools, courageously wrote a letter to the Albemarle County School Board respectfully asking the board to reconsider its new grading policy.

After reading this letter and speaking to nearly 50 Albemarle County Public School teachers “off the record,” I have collected my thoughts and put them on paper. Please find them below:

(1). One Albemarle County Public School teacher wrote this letter. This math teacher highlighted a new policy that is reducing educational equity amongst students. This teacher said students are achieving markedly less academic achievement now than before the new policy was implemented by Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas’ administration. This teacher became disenchanted with ACPS in 2022 and retired early despite a 12-year public school career and an earned Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of California, Davis in 2006. This teacher now works in the private sector as a software developer.

(2). Nine other ACPS teachers agreed with the author of this letter. Nine other teachers cosigned this letter acknowledging their agreement with the author.

(3). ACPS has a massive shortage of teachers. Some ACPS teachers have quit their jobs this month alone. Many of these teachers have quit for lower paying jobs at private schools because they believe the professional quality of life is better suited for them.

(4). Private school students have homework that is collected, reviewed and graded. How is the new ACPS homework and grading policy impacting the educational gap within our community? From my standpoint, it is widening the gap, which is disturbing, demoralizing and destructive.

(5). Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas has threatened to “punish” teachers, bus drivers and support staff if they speak “on the record” to me or other media outlets. Teachers, in particular, are afraid to speak to me “on the record” about their work conditions. However, 47 ACPS teachers are courageously speaking “off the record” to me at this time. Think about that, everyone.

(6). It is beyond time to hold Dr. Matthew Haas and the Albemarle County School Board accountable. Their collective policy implementations, lack of educational vision and misprioritized allocation of tax payer dollars have birthed a poorly performing school system despite said school system ranking in the top 10% in per pupil spending across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

(7). For examples on how Dr. Haas and the School Board’s new policy implementations are negatively impacting students, please consider:

Albemarle County Public Schools rank in the bottom 11% of all Virginia public school systems for black third grade math students, according to SOL results posted on the Virginia Department Of Education website.

The results are even more concerning for ACPS third graders who are classified as economically disadvantaged students. According to SOL scores, ACPS ranks 122 out of 128 Virginia school districts for students who are economically disadvantaged, which is in the bottom 4% of all divisions within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In totality, just 29% of black students and 31% of economically disadvantaged third grade math students across ACPS passed the math SOL in 2022. Economically disadvantaged students are classified by all races. These students qualify for free or reduced meals at school.

The vast majority of ACPS leadership has been employed for more than a decade. Because of this tenure, leadership cannot pass the buck to a previous regime anymore; the results and responsibility absolutely fall on its shoulders.

It’s beyond time for parents and taxpayers to hold Dr. Haas and the Albemarle County School Board accountable. #EnoughAlready

Please read: 12-Year Public School Teacher Asks Albemarle County School Board To Reconsider Grading Policy


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