WTVR6 aired a special report on Friday that perhaps offered insight into the differences between baseball and education in Richmond.
The comments of Mr. Paul Goldman, a local lawyer and one of the leading forces in Doug Wilder's historic campaign for Governor of Virginia are very insightful, and right on the money.
Goldman was quick to point out that the age of most of the school buildings in the city off Richmond are dated to before 1955, and actually make them obsolete. According to federal guidelines, "School buildings experience “rapid deterioration” into functional obsolescence after 40 years."
The truth be told, federal law says that structures 50 years or older are sufficiently ancient enough to be put on the federal register of historic sites. Added to this is the recent survey done by noted Virginia Tech Professor Glen Earthman and others that show deteriorated K-12 school facilities "significantly" added to the health and learning problems showing up in children in poor families.
This issue was made abundantly clear when the SOL scores were issued and 12 Richmond schools had failed. Knowing this, it is ridiculous for Mayor Dwight C. Jones to even contemplate building a baseball diamond in Shockoe Bottom at this time. He is just going to have to find another way to add a feather to his cap.
Mayor Jones' "Field of Dreams" doesn't need to come about at the expense of the children of Richmond. The children are our "Field of Dreams," and if we fix the educational issues that need fixing, our children will step up to the plate and succeed.