The vote to pick not Dr. Lew Blackburn was the least surprising thing ever. The motion to literally change Dallas ISD board rules to try to prevent it was more surprising than the reality that 5 trustees would decide to remove someone that literally voted against themselves in the TRE discussion.
While the president doesn't have the power to unilaterally mandate something like a TRE happen, this was a very clear signal to Dr. Blackburn and those who voted against a TRE. I would go as far as saying this was humiliating for someone who has been on the board for two decades.
This was the Dallas ISD board version of being told to "Go sit in the corner and think about what you did."
The big surprise here is Dan Micciche assuming the mantle of President. It's a pick I have been waiting on for years now. I have to say that I'm excited and optimistic.
As a leader Dan has always been quiet. He doesn't like to hear himself talk and he certainly doesn't just say any nonsense he can so that he gets the opportunity. He is a person of substance. He knows how to read, interpret, and understand district data. He doesn't feel the need to talk just to stay relevant. Those of you who watch board meetings regularly have seen President Micciche wave his time to comment because he doesn't feel the need to rehash and repeat the things that other trustees say.
I have never seen him be discourteous or dismissive of any of the other trustees. Often labeled as a swing vote himself, Dan truly thinks about each issue without bias and makes the decisions, popular or not, that he believes are in the best interest of kids. I predict he will be similar to former president and trustee Eric Cowan. Calm and collected, but firm when necessary.
Again, solid choice. I'm glad he has finally decided to assume the position he could have several times before.
Hopefully this episode of Dallas ISD chronicles doesn't mean we're about to have a year of 5-4 votes on everything. I'm almost certain that it won't be, but you never know. It all rests on Dr. Blackburn. Regardless of why he voted against putting the TRE on the ballot, his decision has caused nothing by confusion and ridicule. I hate to see that for Lew.
These are his legacy years. Twenty years on the board is something you want people to look at with awe and respect. As we often see in sports and entertainment, sometimes people stay to long. They live long enough to see themselves become the villain (yes, I quoted The Dark Knight). It was a bummer when Mike Tyson started getting knocked out all the time. Troy Aikman getting a million concussions a game, throwing interceptions, and fumbling all over the place was sad. I don't want people to look back at Dr. Blackburn's career and say "that's that guy that wrote an article in support of something then voted against it. What's wrong with him?" You want people to remember you for the positive decisions you made for students, not task forces that never did anything or the graduation speech you've been giving every year for the past decade. That's not how you get a school named after you following your retirement. That's not how you cement your place in history. That's not how you leave behind a legacy so impressive that children for generations want to grow up to be just like you. That's how you end up, at best, forgotten. Now, it's not the end of the world. Most of us won't be remembered beyond our current generation, but I believe Dr. Blackburn would like to be. There's no other reason you would keep running well into your second decade of service. Plenty of leaders choose to step back and support the next generation at this point in their career.
There is a silver lining here though. Lew didn't get where he is today by being crazy. I really believe the next three years of Dr. Blackburn will be his best yet. He's an intelligent leader with more experience on the board than almost all of the other trustees on the board combined. I believe in Lew, but this was a rocky start to this latest three-year stint.
Audrey Pinkerton's vote was also a shocker, especially considering how many people have yelled at me over the past few months about her being her own trustee and a deeply knowledgeable fighter for her community. She is new to the board and missed an opportunity to distinguish herself as a true champion for her district. not by voting to allow the TRE on the ballot, but by allowing her constituents to decide what to do with their money. She decided that she knew better than all of district 7 which is exactly what that vote means. The trustees that voted against the TRE made the calculated decision that they knew better than their constituents and that they were too <insert negative word here> to see the "right" side of the debate, so they decided to prevent them from making the "wrong choice." I believe she is even smarter than I have heard. I hope she'll respond to invitations to chat someday. I'd be willing to just sit and listen. I want to know her. I want to believe. It is just weird to me for an ELECTED OFFICIAL to PREVENT AN ELECTION.
There are a great deal of benefits to having a election. Two sides prevent their case, people do their own research, and then everyone gets to cast their vote for the idea they think is best. This was a golden opportunity to incentivize people to pay attention to Dallas ISD, learn how education funding works not just in Dallas, but in the entire state, and make the personal choice to invest their tax dollars in the future of our students. That opportunity was stolen from all of us.
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