Don't blame Dede Smith


The HooK: LETTER- Don't blame Dede Smith



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Holiday 36

Several things need to be said regarding controversy of the

Charlottesville school Superintendent [April 21: " Checkered past: Embattled Griffin knows controversy"].

Everyone likes to blame teachers and schools for the achievement gap– we expect them to solve complex problems in our society and then blame them when they don't. It's easy, but not very helpful.

Studies show that some children arrive at first grade having mastered four times as many words as some others their age, so teachers are already facing the problem before they even start.

Dede Smith has unfairly been made the scapegoat in this difficult situation. I met her when her daughter performed in my children's theater, and Dede is one of the most intelligent, dedicated, and compassionate people it has been my pleasure to have been associated with.

The way some folks, including the mayor and some of the press, have laid most or all of the blame at her feet is appalling.

We should all work to address these problems, but to blame a truly fine person like Dede Smith for them is both unfair and discouraging to anyone who would like to try to help address them.

Maybe we can all move forward in a more positive spirit.

Peter Ryan




100 2nd st nw . charlottesville va 22902 . 434.295.8700 . fax 434.295.8097 >> buy HooK schwag

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