Welcome to DORO – Pull Up a Chair
We knew we had to be better; and that didn’t even always make us equal.” Sophia Nelson
In Pittsburgh, PA seventy-five years ago, a young lady worked hard. Turned in assignments, mastered subjects and proved that she was THE best in her class. Fanetta Nelson Gordon was set to be the 2nd Black valedictorian, following in her sister’s footsteps who had been the first two years earlier. [Story link] The principal thought that would be two too many and ordered a teacher to change Fanetta’s grade to a B, moving her ranking to 4th.
I can only imagine how painful it must have been to witness such cowardice and hatred by someone charged with the care and education of a school. What’s most telling – and challenging – to us today is the pride in accomplishment that the family held. She didn’t stop or say, “See the world is cruel.” Fanetta went on to earn two masters degrees and teach others. Unfortunately, today, those in the educator positions are changing grades in the opposite direction.
USA Today launched an investigation into allegations of test tampering and other cheating incidents in DC public schools. The driving factor behind the cases were dollars and good press. If true, those who pay the ultimate price of being ill-prepared for their future are the students.
Changing a grade to keep a talented Fanetta Nelson Gordon from her rightful place as 1st in class or to pass along a group of unready students does the same thing in both cases – it hides the truth. But even if it’s 75 years later as the video shows, the truth finds its way out.
WATCH the STORY: Fanetta Nelson Gordon named Valedictorian 75 Years Later
USA Today Story: Standardized Test Tampering Allegations in DC Schools