The news out of 3700 Ross is the hiring of Paula Blackmon, former chief of staff for Mayor Mike Rawlings, as the “cabinet” member charged with “overseeing intergovernmental relations and community engagement.”
Blackmon is quoted as saying “This isn’t about Mike, and it’s not about me, this is about the 157,000 children of DISD.”
Mayor Rawlings says that Ms. Blackmon will do “a great job of helping our kids get a better education.”
For $140,000, the price of three classroom teachers, somehow a public relations manager will help your child and mine get a better education.
Will Ms. Blackmon be there to notice my child has worn the same dirty clothes to school all week and take her aside to gently ask how things are going at home? Will Ms. Blackmon notice that your child squints at the whiteboard and is on the wrong page more often than not and send him to the nurse for an eye check? Will Ms. Blackmon be up late tomorrow night marking references for a presentation tomorrow on the Holocaust? Will she volunteer for Science Club or sign up for Saturday tutoring?
I do see how Paula Blackmon can steer the conversation concerning DISD within the community and with the business groups that control the money, and consequently the power, in Dallas. That could be a good thing, if what you are seeking is approval, money, and power.
I just don’t see how that has anything to do with educating my kid or any other. Do you?
Meanwhile, Mayor Rawlings comments on the Miles controversy du jour, saying “I’ve looked at this pretty closely and I find this is heavily personality driven. Someone might disagree with my point of view (and say) that it’s fundamentally at a deeper level – that it’s about we don’t want reform. That’s not what I sense.”
Has it occurred to the mayor or to Mike Miles, or even to Paula Blackmon, that it’s not “reform” that is not wanted, it is Mike Miles’s Broad driven, teacher blaming, cookie cutter brand of reform that is not wanted. And believe it or not, children will be educated whether Mike Miles is in Dallas or not, as long as there are teachers in the classrooms, whether it is because of or in spite of his “personality.” His personality is not an issue to the students (as apparently it is to the mayor), but having an experienced, caring teacher is.
When will the focus be on the kids and not the adults? We can only wait, and hope.