As a long time supporter of Dr. Ruby Simmonds, I am really sad to see her demise [as commissioner of the V.I. Education Department; however, I called for her resignation months ago. She could have avoided the embarrassment because it is obvious that she was in over her head. She could have gone out with grace.
However, I think her replacement by the assistant commissioner, albeit temporarily, is also a mistake. The Education Department needs a massive personnel overhaul, a return to basics, an enforcement of standards, a leap into the 21st century, and much, much more. All those curriculum developers, superintendents, deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and half the teaching staff need to follow Simmonds out the door.
When I went to public school on St. Crook many years ago, we had large classes (I even did split session at Central High) and no computers, but I am very proud of the accomplishments of our generation. We learned because we had people like Agatha Sargent, Anita Morehead, Alicia Suarez (now Attorney), Nilsa Bough, the Schusters, and many more who taught, and taught well. We had parents who, despite economic shortcomings, cared; and we had administrations like King-Luis [Cyril E. King-Juan Luis] who had the youth at heart. People like Darwin King and Roland Benjamin of the defunct Youth Commission picked up where teachers and parents left off.
What's going on now is a damn shame and if it takes an outsider to put a stop to it, so must it be. I find it unconscionable that these people can collect a paycheck and sleep at nights. Appealing the revocation of accreditation – that is not fixing the problems! It's almost criminal (misfeasance, malfeasance, or outright dereliction of duty – take your pick). Education must be one of our three top priorities.
The other two must be taking care of this crime problem and getting rid of the administration. Ladies and gentlemen, we have completed our descent into third worldism and should be landing soon.
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