Here’s my opinion on our trustees: They all want to help kids but they can’t agree on how. It's a tough job that they all do for free. None of them get the respect or recognition they deserve, but I'm thankful that each of them makes the sacrifice to do this difficult job even when I don't agree with them.
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Fireworks at a DISD Board Meeting
DISD Trustees are out Allies, not Enemies
Oak Cliff DISD Trustee Town Hall
Lack of Participation in DISD Trustee Elections
Watching DISD Board Meetings
DISD Board Fails to Fire Miles
DISD Trustees scream at each other
What does good DISD Board Governance look like?
Top Ten Positive and Negative Moments in Dallas Education 2015
Positive 05: Trustees Stop By
Positive 06: Supportive Principal Negative 06: A Bad Spot Observation
Positive 07: Department Chair Respect Negative 07: Principals Lying
Positive 08: DISD Student Has Her Baby Negative 08: Parent thinks their child is stupid
Positive 09: Thanked by a Parent Negative 09: Blamed for a DISD Student Fight
Positive 10. Alex Hales and Retired Teacher Negative 10. Promising DISD Student Gets Pregnant
This is a long one, so click to read more if you want to see yet another break down of every trustee.
Bernadette Nutall, like Trustee Foremen, is largely misunderstood, but I do believe they both want to help kids. They don’t get along with the others as well so they are severely limited in their ability to do anything for the communities they care so much about. Their votes carry no weight, they fight losing battles regularly, and they are, often unfairly, ridiculed for their opinions. Their intentions are pure but it often comes out as silly to many of those who are paying attention. Much like the man they fought so hard against, these two have the same problem Mike Miles had and it’s that their delivery gets in the way of their message.
Dr. Lew Blackburn is the most malleable of the trustees. He expresses doubt along with Joyce and Bernadette, but he likes to be on the winning team so his vote doesn’t always line up with what he says in board sessions. A longtime public servant and Chief Business Officer of Texans Can Academies, some people say he's the one the knows the most out of any trustee, others say he profits off of the failure of students in his district. Personally, I believe that nobody stays in a position for 10+ years without doing some good.
Eric Cowan also falls in the middle but tends to be pretty firmly on the opposite side from Joyce and Bernadette. Calm, cool, collected, and often times trying to play mediator, Eric is a sometimes invisible leader that gets lost in the spats that break out in some of these meetings. He’s an interesting guy I’d love to sit down while he is still a trustee.
Dan Micciche is a trustee I enjoyed before I met him and respect even more now having talked with him. Out of all of the trustees, I think Dan listens to his constituents and Dallas education the most. He is paying more attention to the everyday educations than anyone else. This gives him a very excited energy in person. He has also made great personal sacrifices to dedicate his time to our students and the work he has done for students in his district speaks for itself. Also, kids having breakfast in the morning? Solid idea.
Nancy Bingham is the trustee I know the least. I’ve heard her accused of being kind of asleep at the wheel and functioning as a rubber stamp to policies pushed by some of the other more energetic members. I’d also like to sit down with her and hear what she’s all about. Everyone I’ve talked to that knows her tells me she is fiercely dedicated to our students, and, depending on how you view the policies passed by the board in the past year, you agree with those folks.
Dr. Edwin Flores also talked with us during the last campaign season. A returning trustee to the board who took a term off, he’s a family man that is not only committed to the academic success and civic engagement of our students, but of his own children as well. I’d love to follow up with him on his return to the board.
TEA Commissioner Mike Morath will be leaving us soon which will no doubt be a sad thing for some and a very exciting thing for others. Mike is no doubt the most polarizing member on the board. I’ve heard him called a mad scientist, a wizard, a gambler, and this is all just inside my head. I loved talking with him about the bond and I know that Mike Morath has a deep love for our kids that is rooted in faith and rich personal experiences with our students. Sometimes he comes off as a cold numbers guy and it’s certainly easy to see why this is the case. His manner in board sessions is less than traditional, and I’ve at times been curious as to whether or not he has taken his shoes off or has begun to play on the internet. That said, if I was in his position I’d likely be doing the same thing or worse which makes me respect him more. His attention is more on the kids and less on the adults. Makes sense to me.
Miguel Solis is by all accounts a rising star, not just in education, but in Dallas politics in general. There’s not much to say about this guy that hasn’t been said by anyone and everyone in the city has already said or is saying. I consider him a friend. I see him walk the walk of being involved and staying active in his district. He visits his schools, he tries to teach when he gets the opportunity, and he’s remarkable for having accomplished what he has thus far. I’m excited to see what else he has planned for our students.