The Aug. 1 letter to the editor from David Eaton, vice president of the D.C. Board of Education, is interesting in that it doesn't say very much. At least not much of substance.
Mr. Eaton speaks loosely of "the wisdom of the board." How can anyone consider a board wise that permitted D.C. School Superintendent Andrew Jenkins to assume office on a one-vote margin? Didn't that board know that Mr. Jenkins had to fail with a disgruntled minority literally betting he would fail in order to justify their dissenting votes? All of the pieces were neatly in place to help Mr. Jenkins fail long before he assumed the office; and one suspects that Mr. Jenkins knew that also.
Mr. Eaton speaks of "stability" now reached through the board's decision to go forward with Superintendent Jenkins through the balance of his term. Really now! How wise is it to retain an official who knows that the only reason the board is tolerating him is that the expense of dismissing him (at this time) is prohibitive? How does the board expect him to feel working under those conditions? Wouldn't he be motivated to give a stronger performance if he knew in advance that there would be a possibility of being retained should he show some great surge of genius in leadership during the remaining days of his term? And if he's so hopelessly inadequate, how in the Eternal's name did he get the job in the first place?
And finally, what happens to the children who now know that the board is permitting a person it obviously lacks faith in to direct the preparation for their lives? Will children believe that the board is considering them first, as it ought to, or last as has been the practice for so long? Is it the "wisdom of the board" to disregard the effect that such colossal blunders have had on innocent children. Is it the "wisdom of the board" to just let them suffer?
VASSAL M. MARCUS Washington