It shows the the city is more divided than before. Not because more people are involved, but now they city council has been forced to take a side and, just by looking at it, it seems like it is Mayor Rawlings that cast the deciding vote. I'm not talking about order of votes cast. I'm talking about the perception that Mayor Rawlings is forcing and aggressive education agenda and is unilaterally making changes in communites that, at least on face, don't want it. The tie was broken and with Rawlings on the winning side, that's just how it looks. Spin is everything.
The live tweeting by the DMN was electric and I enjoyed seeing it as it developed.
As far as the decision itself, I'll go ahead and paraphrase myself from an earlier blog and say that whether you think people are right or wrong, they are adults and are entitled to their opinion no matter where they live. You can't force something on someone that doesn't want to, or you shouldnt rather. It seemed like a simple solution to just put the school in Councilman Medrano's district as he said. The "New Dallas" crowd seemed to agree with Kingston and Clayton following Medrano, but I wasn't there and don't know the thoughts they expressed exactly. I know there was some "glad kids are seeing democracy" type safe answers from folks, but I really need some Kingston quotes, and I need them yesterday. The guy isn't shy and calls things like he sees them.
I think the reason the people fighting against Uplift were not successful is their confused messaging. I think making this all about charters taking over the southern district was a mistake. I think if they had sat on the traffic and alternate locations arguments they could have come out on top. They need a better spokesperson. They need more unity. Most importantly, they need more numbers. The only thing they showed over the past week is that they are unable to get people to show up when it counts and that makes me sad because I know there are plenty more people that feel strongly about the issue than showed up on that windy access road yesterday. Not even half of the people that were at the community meeting were there. It's easy to ignore an idea when you only think a handful of people support it. Bill Betzen wasn't even there and he goes to EVERYTHING.
I'll end by saying all this winner/loser talk misses the boat because the people it impacts the most are the students and as long as all this back and forth continues, they are the ones who are going to be hurt. All my fake twitter gambling with Eric Celeste over vote counts means nothing if our students are still getting a sub par education. Superintendent Hinojosa and others are right. DISD needs to start competing and fast. Charter schools are a symptom, not the problem. I know it can. Now let's see if it will. There's no replacement for strong public education.
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DISD Trustee Joyce Foremen Has Community Meeting about Uplift
The fight will go on - DMN