Driven by a desire to give back and to offer educational opportunities to young urban learners, Dr. Charles Grandson IV, Interim Superintendent of the Malden Public Schools, reflects on his journey with education. He says his success is a “testament to what is happening every day in the public school systems across the nation.” In his case, though he had trouble and at one point could not read, his teachers did not dismiss him but did what they had to do to help him become what he is today.
Though Grandson never imagined he would be a superintendent or principal, he says he has always had a bit of a teacher within. This inclination was nurtured by important learning encounters that would shape his future. His mother, a single parent, arranged for Grandson to be schooled away from the crime close to home. In a school district closer to Georgetown, Grandson experienced a “different” kind of education than he would have had in his own neighborhood on the South East side of Washington D.C.
Throughout his schooling, Grandson cultivated a deep love of history and learning in general. First as a history teacher and now as an educational leader, he is an activist in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin and other founders of democracy. Education, according to Grandson, is “the great equalizer.” It can empower and draw out the greatness of every student. His work is to him a “gift that keeps on giving” and a way to, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, first empower …”informed and intelligent citizens, and, secondly, bring about the realization that we are all responsible for the trend of thought and the action of our times.” (Good Citizenship: the Purpose of Education)