Carver Elementary’s ‘enemies are internal’

8/16/2018, 6 a.m.
Re Letter to the editor, “Carver Elementary’s success became ‘a target on its back,’ ” Free Press Aug. 9-11 edition: ...

Re Letter to the editor, “Carver Elementary’s success became ‘a target on its back,’ ” Free Press Aug. 9-11 edition:

Like many others, I could not have been more disappointed in the behavior of teachers and administrators over the Standards of Learning debacle, especially because I was a student at Carver Elementary School the very first year it opened.

I reflected on the wonderful, committed and honest teachers who have served Carver’s children over these many years. It may be referred to as the “peanut” school because of the genius of George Washington Carver, but our teachers “sowed” many acorns into us which grew into mighty “oaks” of responsible citizens, professionals and community leaders serving in many capacities across this country and around the world.

Sadly, Mr. Preddy Ray seemed to blame everyone except the alleged perpetrators in the SOL scheme. He even asserted that 9-year-olds could not be counted on to tell the truth. Children know what winks and smiles mean, but they wouldn’t have the moral maturity to discern the surreptitious nature of the scheme behind those winks and smiles. 

Children cannot “stand tall” when their own educators diminish the quality of education and their moral strength by teaching them that success is assured by cheating. 

The educators’ behavior did not just cheat the students out of an honest measure of their academic abilities, but it cheated them out of greater self-esteem, a greater sense of honesty and a greater drive for excellence.

No teacher or administrator can calculate the level of diminishment these children might experience in subsequent years of their lives.

Sadly, the ones who most strongly believe that Gilpin Court kids cannot learn as well as others seem to be their own teachers, otherwise they would not have succumbed to teaching them to cheat instead of teaching more pertinent subject matter.

Sadly, Carver’s enemies are internal. Children cannot “stand tall” as long as their own teachers cut their learning legs out from under them. These alleged conspirators have one primary agenda — their own jobs and well-being. Teaching, evidently, is not their agenda. They are the failure, not the children!

Carver was great before the SOLs and it will rise to greater success in spite of this unfortunate incident. Current and future teachers must be reminded that children are in school to learn, not lie.

The wider Richmond community has poured so much into this school and remains proud of its many accomplishments. We shall overcome.