Let Me Sum Up
How Mayor Mike's magic petition will help the children of Dallas
Talked to someone in DISD this week about the mayor’s new can’t-miss education plan, the one designed to help the embattled school system overcome the enormous challenges it faces every day.
Whaaaat? You haven’t heard about Mike Rawlings’ new plan to help DISD? What rock have you been under, silly goose? Oh, my, it’s a wonderful strategy. It has everything: big pictureness, heart-warmidity, iPad compatibility (for the kids), je ne sais quoitude.
It’s a petition. An online petition. One you can sign. By typing your name.
What do you promise to support by signing this online petition?
That’s the brilliant part.
You promise to support the children. Not the adults. Not the old people. The teens, the tweens, the annoying 10-year-olds — pretty much everyone under 18 and above toddler age. The children.
Don’t believe me? Think that’s too “out there,” too “controversial” to be believed? Oh, ye of little faith. Come with me into the cyber world, and let’s read it together! “Every Dallas Kid Deserves a Great Education” the petition begins. I believe that is the petition’s headline, because why else would every word be capitalized? No matter — I agree!
Let’s read on: “They are all our kids.” Whoa. Gonna need a minute to digest that; also probably need to re-file my taxes and claim 158,000 dependents. “We Cannot Wait.” Don’t understand the New Capitalization Rules, but That’s Okay! Tell me what action to take, Mayor Mike!
[Author’s note: You get the idea. I’m pretending to be excited by this so as to mock it. Next the petition lists five tenets with which no one disagrees — like “Dallas cannot be a great city without great public schools” — the boldest aspect of which is that none of these complete sentences ends with a period. Then it gives the wording of the petition itself, which ostensibly says we’re all for quality and positive change but really is a poorly written and thinly veiled political backing of superintendent Mike Miles’ reforms. Back to the conceit of the column.]
That was fun and inspiring! I’m so glad I’m for change and quality. I know this is a big concern of all the North Dallas money people who have been so angered at people complaining about Miles’ reforms. They’re hoping this gets those reforms back on track and keeps mean John Wiley Price and the naysayers off everyone’s backs!
Which, to be truthful, I don’t understand. Because behind the scenes, most of the principals marked for discipline have been approached about accepting other positions in the district, given chances to find other jobs, or already announced plans to resign. By the time Mayor Mike and his friends Ctrl-F5 their ways to the petition, the actual number of principals who are terminated will seem pretty reasonable. The deal is done, in other words, and they missed the boat.
But good intentions are good! In fact, perhaps good intentions will inspire — and this is a long shot, I know, but hear me out — actions that matter or can someday make a difference. For example, investing heavily (in time, money and public attention) in early education programs, the ones that have no immediate payoff but are vital to changing the long-term educational prospects for a large urban district (as even Steve Blow knows).
You can call DISD and find out which ones you can support and how to do so. You can support public policy groups that fight for such causes. Or you can just let your representatives know cutting $223 million in pre-K programs since 2011 may not be the smartest idea ever.
Sorry, went a little negative Nellie on you. Let’s get back to my friend in DISD, the one who stands to benefit from the good intentions and strong quality change status quo-ing of Mayor Mike’s petition. What does he say?
Well, after he rolled his eyes so hard he bent the fabric of space-time in the room, he simply said, “Are you fucking kidding me?”
But the Bush Library is so cool.
Another 30 killed in Iraq bombing. That makes 279 killed in one week. That's 2006 levels of violence. Time to worry. news.yahoo.com/car-bomb-other…— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) May 22, 2013
You really need to read the Texas Tribune’s important stories on John Carona. Then you need to summarize them for me, because I’m very busy right now.