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Comments on Dr. Spampinato's Failed Nomination

Dear Source:
I've been following the situation regarding the V.I. Senate's rejection of Education Commissoner nominee, Dr. Lynn Spampinato, and was surprised as to why some people were dismayed at the outcome of the nomination process. Since when does one's past job performance not be taken into account when being considered for a job? Past performance should always be considered, especially for such an important position. This should always be the case, whether the person is white, black, brown, yellow, or green. No one should be exempt from this type of scrutiny.
Because we don't live in a perfect world, I would be the first to admit that Dr. Spampinato's failed nomination probably had a little bit to do with race. While race should never be considered in deciding whether or not someone is capable of performing a job, we all know it happens everyday throughout corporate America, and on all levels of federal, state, and local government. Although this practice is commonplace, by no means am I suggesting that it is right or even acceptable, because it is not. Sadly, while race may have played a parted in Dr. Spampinato's failed nomination, I feel this was not the compelling reason why she was unsuccessful in becoming the next Education Commissioner. But since we are on the subject of race, I am pondering this question. Would people on the Spampinato bandwagon be upset and outraged if a different nominee with the same past performance, who happened to be of another race, had been rejected for this position?
I believe, Dr. Spampinato's past performance and resulting questions about some of her previous positions were the reasons why the Senate ultimately rejected her nomination. The Senate's reservations about the Dr. Spampinato were justified and not misguided and simply could not be diminished.
The position of Education Commissioner is not one where you should give someone a chance, as some have suggested, to see if that person is going to be successful. We should have full faith and confidence in all areas of our top educator. We are talking about the lives of the children of the Virgin Islands, as well as the territory's future. Educating our young people is not a game of chance where we roll the dice and hope for the desired outcome that we want. The stakes are way too high, to play this type of game.
The education of our children has been neglected for far too long and it's about time that we put greater emphasis on who we allow to fill our top education post. Hopefully, the Senate can use this same enthusiasm used in Dr. Spampinato's nomination process to ensure that only a highly qualified individual with a proven record, regardless of race, can begin the process of changing our struggling school system.
Tisha Tutein
Washington, D.C.

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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