Dr. Lynn Spampinato is exactly what we need in the Virgin Islands. If I were to question her abilities in any way, I might question why she is not smart enough to turn down the job of Education Commissioner as several local educators did. The ignorance that regurgitates from talk radio these days is enough to make anyone throw up their hands and consider this territory too far gone for improvement. Every local educator has tried their hand at running this system. Now let's give someone else a try – we have nothing to lose. We have hit rock bottom.
We don't need someone to make nice, to say 'just keep doing what you've always done'. Her task is not to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Her task is to build an educational system that gives us reason to be proud.
Yes, senators are going to hear from their constituencies about more stringent demands, broader curriculum that prepares our students for the modern world. Yes, teachers and administrators are going to gripe about the demands of a richer curriculum, less busy work, more training sessions and greater accountability. Yes, students might complain about more work, higher standards, different ways of doing things.
And when we hear all those complaints we are going to know that Dr. Spampinato is doing what she came here to do. A change agent is just that – someone who brings change – frequently change we don't like. In the petty politics of most educational bureaucracies school boards, teachers' unions and politicians have so much at stake that no one can win.
Hopefully Dr. Spampinato will be able to fulfill many of her goals because technically here she answers to only one person – the governor who will make every effort to help her succeed in providing our children with the quality of education they deserve. All we have to do is GET OUT OF THE WAY and support our children they will tell us what is working.
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