Leading educator announces resignation
Lou Matthews, the director of Educational Standards and Accountability, announced his resignation yesterday and said Bermuda’s expectations for scholastic excellence are not being adequately supported.
Dr Matthews, who had served in the role since 2010, posted his resignation on social media.
After the announcement, Dr Matthews told The Royal Gazette: “We have such high expectations as a nation that are not matched by what we are willing to do to support children and families.”
The biggest wake-up call after his return to the island, he said, was “the magnitude of families and children who were struggling and at risk”.
Dr Matthews said teachers and leaders are today faced with more complex social issues than in previous years.
He added: “Moving the country forward in education in this environment will take much more of a deliberate focus on being restorative and responsive to the community.”
Dr Matthews said children, whom he called Bermuda’s infrastructure, required healthy school facilities, adequate resources for teachers and leaders, and an environment where leaders had more autonomy to be responsive.
“We are small enough that we can be more responsive — yet we are not.”
Dr Matthews said that he informed the ministry in early July that he would be leaving the position.
He added: “Most of my close friends will have been privy to my decision for months.”
In his Facebook post he described having “mixed feelings” over his departure.
Asked to elaborate, Dr Matthews said: “There is so much to do.
“I have worked with some of the most caring people and you hate to leave them with work unfinished. And the work of change is complex and messy — on a good day.”
Change, he said, meant “growing from the strength we have”.
“The reality is that there are many pockets in schools, offices, and classrooms where Bermudian educators sacrifice and work on behalf of children.
“There is no Superman to save us — only us. Let’s honour and build on that.”
Dr Matthews said that he had recently signed a contract to serve as senior mathematics consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, covering countries including Cambodia, Ethiopia and Nepal. He will also be a visiting scholar and administrator at Ohio State University, and will be bringing a Caribbean mathematics leadership summit to Bermuda in October 2018.
“It will be a busy year,” he said.
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