Recently, the Northern Virginia Daily published a front-page story, “PASS grades supervisors…,” which informs the readers that PASS, Parents’ Alliance for Strong Schools, has given a grade to this Board of Supervisors. Unfortunately, the article does not inform the readers who PASS represents and why it exists. This omission leaves the public with the impression that PASS is some form of unbiased review board with real credentials to bestow such a review on our supervisors. We are left to question the motives of PASS.

Who is PASS, what motivates them, and why are they qualified to rate our supervisors? PASS was started by professional Washington, D.C. lobbyist Dan Walsh to defeat two local conservative candidates who had pledged to hold the line on county taxes and government spending. Besides Walsh as president, PASS lists 14 additional members of its Board of Directors. However, the website does not provide any biographical information or affiliations of these individuals. Why were these particular people selected and who did the selecting? With this uncertainty, we are asked to give credence to their opinions.

Walsh states that PASS exists for one purpose: to maintain and improve the quality of the education provided to our children. If quality education is the goal, Walsh should be providing a grade for the educational process, not for which supervisor voted for his tax-raising agenda. Where is his voice regarding the lowering of the grading standards by 10 points? Where is his voice regarding the lowering of the accreditation standards? Where is his voice to promote choice in public education? Where is his leadership to promote a real dialog for public educational change and excellence?

Our supervisors need to be evaluated for their performance but there are far more criteria than three votes to increase school funding. Furthermore, PASS’ grading our supervisors is not helpful in informing the public on the state of our school system and quality of education it is providing. In my opinion, PASS gets a failing grade because its annual grade of supervisors is nothing more than a political stunt. The grade was not worthy of front-page coverage.

Stephen K. Curtis, DVM,