Dec. 6, 2021
In a document apparently aimed at a CMS Board of Education under fire for disarray in its schoolhouses, veteran educator Kenneth Simmons says he can make a difference, if only the school system would allow him to do so:
“On many instances in the past, I have attempted to share with you my program to improve schools in need, thus improving student behavior simply because students improve their behavior when they see their school improve,” Simmons wrote. “Our students aren’t feeling it because our schools are not making it happen.
“The solution to the problem is as old as time. Sankofa reminds us that it is not ‘taboo’ to go back into our past and fetch that which made a difference. CMS has documents of my successes at several challenging schools in the past where. not only did the students, staff and parents rally behind the school, but so did the community. Presently, it appears that our schools have abandoned mere legacies.
“Once again, and even though I said it the last time I reached out to you, I will not offer myself again. However, please know that I can assist you immediately in improving student behavior through improving student attitudes through improving the overall school environment. Allow me to assist you with the most needy school in the system in order to create a prototype for systemic change. Such an agreement does not have to be seen as another pile of work to be inflicted upon the staff but a much needed breath of fresh air permeated wholistically with a “w” throughout the entire school program.
“I am fully aware that many community groups and organizations are approaching you on a daily basis in their quests to be of service during these trying times. CMS cannot afford to continue and ignore its citizens when it is obvious that help is needed. We are all surprised that the University of Virginia has not yet been summoned to eject it tidbits of jargon weighted with researched-based evidence before picking up a check and leaving the system as it found it.
“I am probably the only school principal to have retired and to have never been allowed to come back and contribute to CMS. At the same time, I am the only school principal who has been assigned to as many challenging schools with as many turn-arounds depicting well documented proofs of successes for students. Because I publicly have sworn that any school can be turned around, familiar “forces” have closed me down as they have done so many times to others in our nation’s history.
“I look forward to your reply.
Kenneth A. Simmons, M ED.
The letter, sent to more than 50 public officials, organizations and community leaders, is here as written, in a PDF file.