I read the front-page DMN story today about the home-rule movement for DISD, and I thought, “Oh, man, they still don’t have their messaging together.” Here’s how the story in the paper wraps up:
Rawlings and the group said they did not have a grand vision for a DISD charter. When asked why the community would support a plan that hasn’t been outlined, some group members said the effort would give the public a blank page and lets them write the future of Dallas ISD.
“The power is the blank page,” Rawlings said. “The citizens for the first time get to decide what they want to do.”
What? They have no vision? The power is the blank page? No, no, NO. People are going to hate that. This effort is being funded, in part, by a rich guy in Houston. As someone said in our comments section yesterday, rich guys don’t give money so that we can practice democracy. What’s the agenda, and why is it being hidden? That’s how people will react to that lack of message. Tell me you want to lengthen the school year (as opposed to spreading it out, a distinction that the DMN story fails to make clear). That’s your goal. Tell me we’ve got to compete with other nations that all have longer school years. Make that your message. Or pick another one and hammer that. But pick one.
That’s what I thought after reading the story in a hard copy of the paper. Then I went online to find the link for this post, and I watched the video that the DMN provided with their story. And there’s Mayor Mike Rawlings making an impassioned speech, flat-out preaching, telling us that people are fleeing the city because our school district isn’t getting the job done, pointing out that incremental change won’t fix the problem. And then I thought, “Wow. I think I just got a little choked up. Give that guy a bigger platform. Let him make the case. Because when he puts it like that, I’m in.”
UPDATE: The paper has come out in support of the home-rule movement.
(Note: apologies for making you click through to the DMN site to watch the video, but their system makes it impossible to share video using WordPress.)