Letter: Administration to blame for Chadds Ford test issues

To The Editor:

Letters1I was shocked and dismayed by the forced retirement of Mr. Mark Ransford as the principal of Chadds Ford Elementary School. He has done an extraordinarily job in his short time there. He brought the first, nationally “Blue Ribbon” commendation to our district.

While there may have been errors made in the administration of this year’s PSSA tests at CFES, the district’s administration must admit to being the major cause as they have failed to review and re-educate all individuals involved in administrating PSSA and other similar tests in our district.

I have also heard several rumors that improper testing procedures have occurred at all our schools over the last several years. No noticeable actions were taken. Due to numerous and widespread comments on this matter, I feel certain that there must be some truth to this matter that the UCF Administration has failed to share with the public.

I hope the administration makes the necessary corrections to the handling of all tests, at all schools in our district.


Bruce B. Yelton,


Editor’s note: Consistent with both our reporting and numerous subsequent conversations, Ransford was not forced to take retirement, but chose on his own to do so. And again, discussing it with multiple sources, including CFE parents, the events as portrayed by the district appear to be an accurate account. 

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  1. TE Resident says:

    Congratulations to the Unionville Baseball team for their upset win yesterday over the state champion North Penn team. They now face the Conestoga Pioneers tomorrow in Berwyn PA.

    Keith, let me know if you’ll be in attendance. I’m thinking that’s really not your thing, so removed from the big picture, but I’ll look for you and say Hi.

  2. My2cents says:

    Mr. Yelton,

    Are you aware that every year administrators and teachers have to be retrained to administer the PSSA’s? Are you aware that the state requires teachers and staff to watch a training video and pass a test to administer the PSSA’s? It is not the administrations fault that Mr. Ransford made the decision he did. Do I believe he had the kids best interest at heart?- YES Do I believe he did it because he wanted his school’s scores to be better? -NO He was a wonderful, caring principal but the administration can not be blamed for the decision he made. Hopefully, he will be remembered for all the wonderful things he brought to Chadds Ford and not for his one poor decision.

  3. TE Resident says:

    Keith Knauss doesn’t sit on the sidelines and look at the changes he’s instituted. High activity fees for parents, higher taxes for the tax payer, salary increases for the supt. who already makes more than the highest paid governor in the country but he wanted to save money by outsourcing the custodians, the least paid employees in the district. You can’t balance your budget off the backs of the least paid in the district especially when giving the highest paid raises.

    Tune in to Community Matters at http://www.pattyebenson.org. to read his comments.

  4. TE Resident says:

    You don’t make progress or institute change by sitting on the sidelines whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing your ideas.

  5. Kristin Hoover says:

    You’re right. The problem is the retaliation factor. I hope that Holly Manzone goes back to School Board meetings and speaks her mind. She now is not on the board and has no children in the District. She is already very disliked by Keith/Jeff/Vic and Sanville and there is no possibility of retaliation. She always listened to the people and understood what was happening. Bruce always goes to the meeting and can’t be impacted by what they do. Perhaps there will be others, but we don’t have to look too far to see what happens when you disagree.

  6. TE Resident says:

    Thank-you. Citizens, tax payers, residents and parents must bring the soccer game, PTO meeting, parking lot, grocery store and driveway conversations to committee and Board meetings so their voice is heard in order for their opinions to matter.

    Whoever controls the narrative, controls the perspective and therefore has the power. This is why supt. make more money than the highest paid governor in America. This is why administrators make more than twice what their counterparts in the private sector make, not including healthcare and pension.

    Administrators have easy, on going access to Board Directors. Citizens do not.

  7. TE Resident says:

    Whoever controls the dialog and perspective, controls the truth.

    • Kristin Hoover says:

      Yes. However, nobody controls the conversations that happen at the soccer games, after the PTO meetings, the parking lots, grocery store or the driveway. It is these conversations that will carry the day for the people of the District. It will be too late for Mr. Ransford who did nothing that hasn’t been repeated at every other school in the District. Ransford wasn’t personally liked by Sanville.

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