More On the Rogers Situation: Because, Really, Is Anything More Important?

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Great. Tell me you're sick of journalists talking about journalists. I was too. I was perfectly ready to drop L'Affaire Tim Rogers -- whether or not he used his clout as the editor of D Magazine to get his kid bucked into a preschool program ahead of qualified poor kids. But Mr. Rogers feels a need to keep stirring the pot, so I feel a need to stir back.

The question is whether Rogers used his connection with Jon Dahlander, the head of media relations for the school district, to get his kid into a preschool program at Hexter Elementary. The program is federally subsidized and designed for disadvantaged children. Rogers' kid is not disadvantaged. There was a big waiting list of poor kids when Rogers's kid got in.

He has been contending on the D Magazine blog that his child did not get in ahead of the children on the waiting list, even though his kid got in and the kids on the list are still waiting. He has a very complicated theory about how this works, and some of what the district has had to say over the last 24 hours might seem to give credence to his theory.
But remember this, Dear Reader. The school district is also trying to absolve itself of blame in this matter, which does, after all, involve federal funds, as in the phrase, "a federal case."

I spoke to school officials on background yesterday. Their best story was this: that when Rogers e-mailed Dahlander to bitch about his kid not getting admitted to the program, there was no formal policy on hand to decide when and how to admit tuition-paying kids like Rogers's child to the program.

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We can say with nearly absolute authority there's almost certainly no truth to rumors, if such rumors existed, that this man uses impoverished pre-k children for forced manual labor in his home.
Rogers and the district have all kinds of stories about how many slots were open at any given point in time and how many children were on the waiting list. That's all over the map.

The district told me that Rogers's child could be bumped out of the program at any time when a qualified child showed up to take that slot. I asked why they would run things in such a sloppy, potentially damaging way for the children, especially for Rogers's child. Why risk kicking the kid out at mid-year?

Why not tell the Rogers family no? Then go to the waiting list. Recruit those kids into the program. And fill the slots with kids who can stay at the school because they are qualified and belong there.

I was told there was no procedure for filling the slots. And of course, from that, DISD extrapolates that it has committed no offense.

Yeah. Well. Into that void Mr. Rogers traipsed, and he did it by going to Dahlander, whose difficult job it is to deal with the media.

Dahlander is not a pushover for us, by the way. He's very loyal to the district. He can and will call and make trouble for a reporter who has written something he thinks is unfair to the district. He's a good guy, but as a reporter you keep an eye on him too. He's got some teeth.

In this case, he tried to make this thing go away the easy way. The quiet way. Then it was Rogers, incredibly enough, who outed the whole thing by going on the D Magazine blog and mentioning that his kid got into the school.

Rogers is angry, and I must say his anger seems to have less to do with feelings about himself than about his child. He is angered by the suggestion that his child took a slot away from a poor kid.

That's the one question I have been able to ask Dahlander: I asked him if he took a slot away from a poor kid and gave it to Rogers's kid.

"Absolutely not," he said, with some feeling.

I understand how they feel, both of them. I just don't happen to believe it. I believe that's exactly what happened.



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69 comments
Hoosier Daddy
Hoosier Daddy

It's still about the blackmailing, snarky, weasel of an editor twirp, Tim Rogers. Who cares about the DISD policies and politics. Rogers threatened, intimidated, and blackmailed a public official of the DISD and interfered with state and federally protected programs involving public tax dollar. He should go to jail, and he deserves all the ridicule, humiliation, and taunting from readers, journalists, and pundits alike. What kind of douche-bag get caught in a embarassing public scandal like this. Everyone should mess with Mr. Rogers. He brought this ridicule on himself with his cheesy explanations.

trudat
trudat

I can see why Rogers wants his kid to get in a good education program that will make him smarter....he won't get it from his dads genes....

amoonbear
amoonbear

This is just another example of a lack of operational policies and procedures at DISD. I guess it is because they concentrate on the academic part to the exclusion of just a few little rules and regulations (of course academics is the intent as it should be). This attention to detail (I always had to do this when I was in school - and guess where I went to school - Hexter!) could help streamline a few things and might possibly make neighborhoods happier and things run a little better. What a concept! I, too, must be getting old, oh,yeah, and I was taught that you became wiser when you got older and, oh yeah, I'm not a journalist but I do have a degree and I'm very avid reader of all things that have to do with Dallas.

We love Hexter and we love our neighborhoods. I hope DISD will work on developement of policies and procedures so that it is not always having to respond to incidents that detract from the other strides it is making.

Die schadenfreude
Die schadenfreude

People, make the most of this opportunity and don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. How often in life do we get the unique opportunity to mess with a snarky, arrogant, self-righteous and pretentious know-it-all Editor of cheap shabby grocery check-out line rag like D-Magazine. Show no mercy because an opportunity like this only comes once in a lifetime.

Please note that Rogers’ fellow colleagues at the DMN and Dallas Observer are making the most of their opportunities to truly mess with Tim and humiliate him as much as possible like a college fraternity pledge hazing (in sort of a good natured way.) So why shouldn’t we? (If you don’t believe me, look at the photo they used for this article of Mr. Rogers. I wouldn’t want him to be my neighbor.)

Everyone should have a good laugh at Tim Rogers’ expense. Only a bonehead like him would be caught in such humiliating scandal. Show no mercy. Watch him squirm like the little worm that he is. Give Mr. Rogers his comeuppance!

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

Here is the real problem -

There is no more "media" left in this town that matters.

The Dallas Morning news is a feckless, flaccid, impotent carcass.

The Dallas Observer is the little engine that could, and does, with no real juice in the city (Sorry RW)

D Magazine matters to about 10,000 people.

So Tim is used to swinging his big D Magazine hammer to get in to see doctors, or reservations at a hot restaurant, or get tickets to the opera, and uses this juice in the community of the 10,000 people who care about what D Magazine says.

Then he steps outside his constituency of the Dallas 10K, and thinks he is fucking Jimmy Breslin or Mike Royko, and drops the Big D 10K hammer on some poor shmuck form the DISD, expecting that it will be kept in the Big D 10K, and that they will act as if he were in in HPISD, or at ESD.

So someone at the flaccid carcass DMN reads Tim's blog posts and smells blood. And what possible motivation should this DMN writer have to care about ethics, or truth, or a complete story? Is this writer going to get fired for fucking with someone from the D Magazine. Hell no! Because while Tim SERVES The Big D 10k, he is NOT part of The Big D 10k.

The DISD folks , after caving initially, think to themselves - "fuck this guy who leveraged me".

and

The DMN writer thinks - "Fuck this guy. he's not part of The Big D 10K, so I can go after him all I want, and not worry about my bosses at Belo running into him at the Dallas Country Club or Hockaday/St Marks fund raiser.

Tim is pissed becuase The Dallas 10k elites, who he serves so well, just reminded him that he is not one of them. If this were some highly connected, Dallas 10k guy, this story would have been killed by the DMN editors before it ever saw the light of day.

JimS
JimS

lemonoldie: so screw the kids? Some of those kids, born to screwed up parents, might be wonderful productive adults, given a chance, and, at the very least, might wind up less screwed up and les of a burden on society than their parents. the program is for the kids, not the parents. why do you think it's subsidized. which do you think costs you more as a taxpayer -- pre-K or prison?

Lemonaioli
Lemonaioli

If the reason that the kids are disadvantaged is because their parents aren't bright enough to be assertive when necessary or know how to raise their kids or ask the oodles of resources for help, then it's no ones fault but the parents. Geez, if you're an adult, it's time to take responsibility for you and your kids. Use your brain. If you're wondering about something, ask questions. Don't be so passive!

No excuses! And I do think DISD is the most culpable in all this. When will the district get it together?

Whatever, Tim
Whatever, Tim

I would like Tim Rogers to address why, after the principal told the family "no", he contacted Dahlander and described the principal as being unhelpful.

What kind of you-know-what does that?"I know this will cause trouble for her, but so what?"

I don't care about Tim's math about spots, nonspots, number of kids, etc.

I care that this guy didn't get his way and he was willing to disparage the principal in retaliation.

And then asking for stats about the kids in his email.

THAT'S what's offensive, unethical, and, frankly, douche.And then to say how much he likes the principal.Whatever, Tim.

Blake
Blake

The debate has come down to whether extortion, even binky baby extortion, is a proceeds-dependent offense or not.

Side A says, So what if the bitch believed that if she dint come across I'd carve my name in her forehead, but look: no proceeds. No cash, no nookie, no carving. You produce one red cent or one curly hair I got off her, and you win.

Side B says, Nuh-huh. Just making the bitch believe you was gonna carve your name in her forehead if she dint come across is enough. 30. End of story. Fork time. Call HR. Call Watkins.

So, is binky baby extortion a proceeds-dependent offense or not?

guest
guest

Jim nailed this yesterday when he essentially said that if you are a known media personage, you don't have to explicitly ask favors to get them. Rogers most definitely knows this.

Everyone knows not to pick a fight with someone who buys ink buy the barrel. The obvious corollary is that anyone with anything to lose from bad press bends over backwards to keep media types happy. This happened, whether Rogers asked for it or not.

knottygirl
knottygirl

I have no idea how many kids are waiting for the pre-K program at Hexter or any other DISD school. I do know that one family pulled their child out of our expensive private preschool a couple of years ago to put him in the preK program at the same elementary school his older brother attended. No strings were pulled, but it did strike me as strange that a well-to-do family whose child already had a spot at a great (though pricey) preschool could qualify for that DISD program designed for disadvantaged kids.

Tim Rogers
Tim Rogers

There are 501 openings in the district, Jim. There are 171 people on the wait list. None of them is waiting for a spot at my daughter's school.

If you don't like that "theory," then do this: produce one needy child who was denied a spot at Hexter so that my daughter could go to school. All this pot stirring, and yet not one parent has stepped forward to say, "They told me my kid couldn't go to pre-K." Why is that?

Find that parent, Jim, and you win.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

I don't think the actions taken by Rogers would be questioned as much if it wasn't for his history of using his position to get even with what he perceives as personal affronts. I'm sure everyone remembers the litterbug incident when he published the supposed offender's name in a blog post by doing a license plate search. There were other posts like that which for some reason have been deleted from that blog. With those incidents I can understand why an official would bend rules to avoid a confrontation. Not saying that was Rogers' intent but a person who's job is to deal with the press would be very aware of his actions in the past.

JimS
JimS

DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander has called with two corrections to an earlier comment of mine. He says the money involved in the pre-K program we are talking about here is state, not federal. And he says the school district has been going to parents and attempting to recruit them into the program since the inception of the program. That would make my earlier suggestion --that they were not out recruiting -- wrong. I believe him.

JimS
JimS

Suburban Idiot: you have it nailed. The other thing is this: DISD is trying to talk about qualified kids whose parents are not bringing them to the slots. But with all of these programs for disadvantaged kids, a basic assumption is that their parents won't be aggresive about getitng their kids into the program. That's how kids get disadvantaged. The point is to help them around the obstacle of their own parents. With the TAG programs, for example,the only way DISD has ever kept its ethnic ratios right is by getting out and knocking doors and making sure enough minority kids are recruited. They can't take the federal money, throw their hands up and say, "No poor kids showed ujp," and then spend it all on Tim Rogers, which is really what DISD is doing here. Some fed needs to look long and hard at this deal.

Phelps
Phelps

I figure that anyone who is willing to buck to get his kid sent to a government indoctrination center as young as possible gets exactly what he deserves.

cheapold geezer
cheapold geezer

Preschool programs? Tommy rot. Just more government daycare welfare. If Hexter is such a great school as Mr. Rogers claims why notwait until the kid is kindergarten age and enroll the kid in kindergarten. By the end of the first grade the kid should be able to read and write his ABCs. Read Dick and Jane and get along reasonably well with his peers. Oh, but wait. could there be exterior motives in all this. Perhaps DISD sponsored day care.for $500 dollars a month is a pretty good deal for college grads to tend to your kids with the security and equipment that the DISD and the Feds have in place for these preschoolers. I would say that the Rogers family were pretty damn smart to pull this off. How many more parents are paying DISD for day care for their rug rats?

Joeblow1078
Joeblow1078

JimS: Serious question. Should this story be about TimR, or should it be about the DISD's failure to have a system to match students with open slots in the pre-K program? You are focused on TimR, which seems to be because you care more about getting into pissing contests with other publications than you do about reporting on the news. This point is well illustrated by your story, which takes several swings at TimR, and concludes with your unsupported belief that TimR's kid took a slot away from a poor kid. Why don't you actually analyze this issue, do some investigating, look at the evidence and tell us why you believe this? I'm left with the feeling that you believe this because you don't like D Magazine or TimR, which isn't very helpful for me as a reader.

It seems like this story boils down to a couple issues:

1: Why are there open slots and qualifying needy kids on a waiting list? Only the DISD can answer this question, and it is a question that needs answering. One possible explanation is that needy kids on the waiting list signed up only for particular schools that are full, but they are unable to travel to other schools with open slots. Have you looked into this theory? It sounds plausible, but I would like to see some facts supporting or rejecting it (and even better, a possible solution). It also seems possible that the DISD never bothers to ask parents if they are willing to provide transportation to another school that has open slots. The one thing I do know is that TimR has nothing to do with it, no matter the source of the disparity.

2: Why does the DISD have no policy for allowing non-needy children to participate after all the needy children are either placed at their choice school or confirm they are unwilling to travel to a school with an open slot? The law clearly allows for this, but it seems no one knows how it is supposed to happen.

You may object to being forced to look at the difficult questions before taking shots at TimR. After all, he did call someone and complain, he is the editor of a large local publication, and the person he called might reasonably want to keep him happy to avoid negative press or to garner positive press. But that is the difference between your publication being useful and informative, or simply being a vanity press. Either you look at the difficult issues that matter or you don't. I have no use for pissing contests.

I also don't think the "Rogers Situation" can be viewed in isolation, even if you reasonably decided to focus on TimR. If the answer to question #1 is that there are in fact needy children that would have gladly taken the place of TimR's child, this is a very different atmospheric than if there are not. You can't just assume that fact, it either is true or not true. Your "belief" is of no use to me without the facts. Of course, depending on the answer to #1, it may be that there are needy kids that would gladly have taken the spot, but that TimR had nothing to do with the needy kids not being placed at Hexter. After all, there still is one more open spot at Hexter. Without TimR, it might just be two empty spots.

As to #2, this is where TimR's situation might matter. If there is no policy for allowing other kids in to the program to take otherwise empty seats, then the default answer of administrators is going to be no. Most of us would probably have taken the no, found a private school, and kissed the DISD goodbye forever. But some of us would have talked to someone else to get an explanation. TimR didn't get an answer he wanted, so he asked someone else. This normally would be fine, but it is very possible that by virtue of his position and of the unique relationship with Dahlander, he got an answer the rest of us wouldn't have. Or maybe some of us would have also been able to cut through the red tape (it does happen, even at the DISD I assume). I don't know how to solve that. TimR clearly should be allowed to advocate for his children, even if he is the editor of D Magazine. But system wide solution, the solution that actually matters to your readers, is to create a clear policy that doesn't require cutting through lots of red tape. Again, TimR didn't create the problem, although his situation casts a light on it if anyone bothers to look.

Steve
Steve

This is probably a stupid question, but was there anything stopping the DISD from upping the number of available slots available in the Hexter area to compensate for Tim's kid? It just seems awfully convenient that there's one more available slot, kind of like someone increased the number of slots just enough that they could say Tim's kid wasn't pushing a qualified kid out.

Meh.
Meh.

I'm a former private school admission director, so I've been in the situation of "powerful" parents making inane threats (real or perceived) against a school.My take on it - DISD screwed up. End of story. By caving to one parent's demands, you set a precedent that you're willing to bend the rules for others as well. DISD doesn't seem to have a set protocol for when these wait-listed kids (or, more accurately, their parents) have to make a decision about attending PreK. I have zero sympathy for DISD being in this situation. I also don't really think it's any big deal. If DISD is willing to pull a child out of her PreK space in the middle of a school year, that's a huge problem - but that's for another day.I also think it's ridiculous if there are disadvantaged kids who live outside of Hexter's boundaries that get to attend before the kids in the neighborhood - but that's probably another argument as well.Really, what this whole saga has shown is how DISD needs to get their shit together so their attendance/enrollment requirements aren't susceptible to the whims of a perceived "bad publicity" threat.

Uppercase Matt
Uppercase Matt

I don't actually think we should have any government-subsidized pre-K programs at all -- all they're really trying to do is put a better face on the public paying for daycare for poor folks. The idea that any middle-class guy can also get government-subsidized pre-K is even more ridiculous. Rogers claims he's paying his way at $400/month (or was it $500/month?) -- that isn't anywhere close to retail in Dallas. Even if we as a people think it's good policy to pay for daycare for the poor kids, we shouldn't be paying for daycare for an upper-middle-class magazine editor's kids.

JimS
JimS

By the way, nobody in our business can type.

JimS
JimS

DallasBA: Your question is only a fair question because you are not, I assume, a paid news person. Any official other than Dahlander might have been OK for Rogers to call. Dahlander is off limits for a personal favor, because he's the media guy. He's the one guy you can't call as a media person and ask for a personal favor. And note, if you will, that Rogers' email to Dahlander asked reporter questions about the number of kids in the program, etc. That is bold and bald language intended to convey that this situation might turn into a story if Rogers doesn't get the answers he's looking for. It's not subtle. It's right there on the page: Gee, if my kid is being treated unfairly, maybe children all over the world are being treated unfairly, and I maybe I need to do a story about it. It's the kind of thing reporters do all the time to get seated at restaurants. That's juts sleazy, but this situation just happens to be a a little bit bigger. Rogers' email puts Dahlander in a position. Rogers is saying, this is personal for now, but it could turn into a story. Dahlander has to figure, how do I keep it personal and prevent it form becoming a story. You may not get this, because you're not in our business. But everybody in our business does get it.I can guarantee you that at most good newspapers, Rogers would have been fired days ago.

Garggle
Garggle

As a father figure, Wick has been leaving Tim high and dry during this issue. Paging Adam Pitluk....

Call the DA on this
Call the DA on this

Good idea. Keep posting blogs about notifying the DA about a criminal investigation into blackmail, extortion, or “shake-downs” of public officials. I would mention fines, criminal indictments, and spending serious time in a “federal penitentiary” with a 300 pound cell mate named Mongo. Show no mercy, folks, because the snarky Mr. Rogers has been asking for this day for years, and it has finally come. No one deserves it more than this arrogant, snarky, and conceited lazy journalist. Mr. Rogers is learning, first hand, what it’s like to be the recipient of extreme bullying, threats, and intimidation. Doesn’t feel so good if you’re on the receiving end, does it Mr. Rogers?

Whatever, Tim
Whatever, Tim

Your analysis is spot on.Tim is not part of the crowd; he serves them.

This same Big D 10K likes the way DISD is run. It benefits many of them financially. They are directly responsible for backing school board member and superintendents who will continue the mismanagement and fraud that benefits the Big D 10K.

The DA also knows who butters his bread so he doesn't seem inclined to investigate the mismanagement and fraud in DISD.

Meanwhile the taxpayers, content with bread and circuses, just keep wondering why their taxes are so high for such a terrible school district. Sadly, they are too distracted to demand investigations and accountability for the 1 billion dollars that flows through DISD.

Taxpayers will get a bill again when the uneducated kids are turned loose on society.But as long as the Big D 10K can profit from DISD without consequence, nothing will change.

cp
cp

yeah so basically, sit down, shut up and do what I say? That's what DISD parents should be doing??

Guest
Guest

And if she was unhelpful?

Jay D
Jay D

Really Mr. Rogers? There were no needy children on Hexter's waiting list just as there were no students in Rep. Eddie B. Johnson's congressional district qualified for the Congressional Black Caucus scholarships...other than EBJ's own grand-children and children of EBJ staff.

Hoosier Daddy
Hoosier Daddy

The “Rogers situation”—a “federal’ case

By the way, I have to disagree with you on one point. If you read the 92 page OPR internal investigation (see http://dallasisdblog.dallasnew..., Hexter’s Principal, Jolee Healey, definitely turned down Rogers’ child for the PreK program. It’s on the bottom of page 12 in the OCR report which states: “Jolee Healey advised OPR that she had several conversations and E-mail contacts with [presumably Mr. and Mrs. Rogers] in which Healey told [Rogers] that there was not much hope that [Rogers’ daughter] would be able to enroll in a Hexter PreK class.”

She reported the matter to Steerman, and soon after, Healey was threatened and intimidated by the bullying and rather nasty Tim Rogers who she said he E-mailed her a threat to write a scathing exposé on Hexter and the DISD if his daughter didn’t get into Hexter’s preK program. Only after that, did DISD officials change their minds and allowed Rogers’ daughter into the program. By the way, this threat was the only reason for allowing Rogers’ daughter in that state and federally protected spot at Hexter.

Any way you look at it, that is blackmail, extortion, or a shakedown, depending on which phrase you prefer to choose. Thanks Tawnell Hobbs, Jim Schutze, and especially Tim Rogers for not letting this story die. By the time all this is said and done, Rogers may have to serve his term in a “federal facility.”

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

This will soon be a moot point. The Texas Legislature thinks pre-K programs are worthless and has eliminated them in their draft budget. Apparently they think all those studies showing at-risk kids who participate in pre-k programs kids are far more likely to do well in school and actually graduate are rubbish. They seem to believe that high school dropouts will have no problem getting jobs so that old people can continue to suck the health care system dry and get senior exemptions on their property taxes.

Guest
Guest

JimS: You still haven't offered any evidence that a poor kid lost a spot. Given what I have seen, it appears that the spot TimR paid for would have sat empty otherwise and kids on the wait list would have stayed on the wait list. In other words, the program made money and a chair didn't sit empty. Why do you think otherwise?

Dutiful
Dutiful

I just spend the better part of the lunch hour at 3700 Ross with a group of engaged and dedicated parents who are being asked by DISD to help recruit more students (read more minority students) into the magnet program...too may white faces at Travis and Booker T and not enough black faces at Irma Rangel.

Ann Elk
Ann Elk

Private pre-school in the area is available for $685 covering the hours 7AM - 6PM. The $455/month for a partial day at Hexter is not really a big bargain.

Local Dallas Businessman
Local Dallas Businessman

Boring! This wasn't front page news on the DMN because the minute details of preK admissions policy are so intriguing. It's news because it's all about the 600 lb gorilla, Tim Rogers, shaking-down public DISD officials (a la Sopranos or the Godfather) to intimidate DISD officials to give his daughter a spot. In plain language, that's blackmail. And now, this wienie is panicking because it was exposed on the front page of the DMN and is being kept alive by both DMN and the Dallas Observer. What a douche-bag Tim Rogers is. He deserves all the humiliation he gets. If you can't stand the taste of your own awful cooking, don't dish it out for others to eat.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

The DMN's focus should have been on the difficulties the district has on managing the program. But that doesn't make for a sexy story like this one.

Guest
Guest

"unsupported belief that TimR's kid took a slot away from a poor kid."

It's only unsupported if you decide that logic has no meaning.

There are a limited number of spots. There are qualified kids still waiting while Tim Rogers' kid is in the program. Hence, Kid Rogers got a slot while a qualified kid on the waiting list did not.

You can't change the situation by saying "Well, there was no policy to assign those slots - all of which, by law and design of the program, should go to qualified kids before a single tuition kid gets in". They had a waiting list that had kids on it. If you need an official policy to figure out how to call the first qualified kid's name on the waiting list before giving up and letting in tuition kids, then you probably need an official policy on how to breathe.

Local Dallas Businessman
Local Dallas Businessman

Who cares? See this story for the great opportunity that it is: a once-in-a-lifetime chance to mess with a snarky, arrogant, hypocritical, self-righteous, know-it-all who shovels out this kind of mud-slinging, but can't take it if it's directly at him. Don't let this opportunity slip through your fingers. Haze Tim Rogers with no mercy. It's time to spoon feed him some humle-pie. (If you don't believe me, then look at the picture above and read the caption. I'm not sure if Tim is re-making Dumb and Dumber or Gay and Gayer.)

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Great post. DISD could have turned this into a positive story, something like "our pre-K program is drawing children who don't qualify financially but whose parents are willing to pay for their enrollment - on top of the property taxes they already pay to the district."But the admins on Ross Ave. couldn't say how many spaces there are and how they send qualified kids from other attendance zones, so they panicked and worked to avoid "bad press."

scott
scott

Don't you think that school should extend a couple of more hours? You've got this all backwards, the federal gov't subsidizes day care for millions of Americans. If we simply extended the hours of the school day to mirror the average work day it would be vastly more efficient. We essentially have these kids warehoused for 3/4ths of the day and then have an another, redundant industry to cover the last 1/4 of the day.

I would suggest these hours be voluntary, after school programs in and out of school would continue, but think about tutoring, recreation, art, and other programs that schools would like to develop but don't have the hours. The subsidies we pay would cover a good percentage of the added cost. The greatest benefit would be the efficiencies created by this. Hours of human effort could be conserved, gas, highway miles, all incurred transferring these children from one school to a day care. Mothers and care takers would be freed for a couple of hours of other productivity.

One can make the same argument for pre-K and the evidence suggests that those years are highly formative. I will toss you one bone; it seems to me that the dept of Education should perhaps simply publish a magazine, driving stories of innovation, offering factual analysis and some comparative stats. Let states sort out school funding, though sadly, that leaves us in the hands of a bunch of religious whack-oes. I don't know that I don't support even more localized funding and control. I think the DISD might well be too large to run as a single entity. Though, to do that might be unfair in terms of funding, some averaging is ultimately necessary. Perhaps DISD could split into 4-5 sub districts each with the same per capita funding, but autonomous control. Magnet schools might have to be separated into their own branch with equal draw from each sub district.

El Rey
El Rey

I get where you are coming from, Jim.

There is a line of professional ethics that shouldn't be crossed in every profession. I am not in the media business, so I am not sure where y'alls line is. It is widely known that food critics and sports writers (except Richie) get special treatment from their subjects. Cops get off with a warning (or less) when they get caught committing minor infractions. Celebrities get probation when normal folks get prison time. Personally, I am going to get the 'good buddy deal' from my friend when I get LASIK in the next few weeks. I get free teeth cleanings from my wonderful sister-in-law, free plumbing help from my father-in-law, and free legal help from my wife. I also have no problem giving a newsworthy tip or pointing towards a good source for my favorite investigative reporter types. Should I feel guilty? Not one bit. I do think we cross the ethical line when we ask for favors at the expense of others without promising something equal in return (even if it is just a big hug or undying gratitude), though. I guess I am saying that some liberties are expected.

Now, I initially drifted towards Tim's interpretation of events because I like the guy and I know his wife is a committed supporter of Hexter. If Tim and his wife asked hard questions and couldn't get straight answers from the principal and others involved in the process, there is no crime in that. I think if Rogers used his D Magazine email address in his communications with Dahlander, then he may have crossed an ethical line (nothing illegal as some moonbats have suggested). I think the ethical line for using your 'work email' for personal business will be something that Wick Alison and Tim Rogers should be discussing if they haven't already. It really is none of our business unless D Magazine has an explicit, well-known policy against it. If they did, I'm sure that fact would have been in the initial DMN article. (I sure as hell don't make comments on this kind of stuff using my business email. I want to make real sure that you guys know I am not writing the official opinions of my agency...)

Dahlander did have a responsibility to forward his communications with Tim on to the folks at Hexter. If I sent him an email asking about something at Skyline High School, I'm sure he would forward it along to someone that could assist me. (I would also be advised by Dahlander of the right person to call, since I am not in the media.) Dahlander did not cross the line because he did not ask Principal Healey for any favors. Principal Healey did not cross a line by forcing Director Beth Stearman to open up a slot for the Rogers kid. A leader, especially a School Principal, should use common sense when the guidelines are vague or unwritten, as is the case in this affair. It looks like that is what happened to me. Principal Healey and Director Stearman also have to have the professionalism and principles to follow the rules, stand up to 'actively involved' parents and face the consequences for their decisions, good or bad. Director Stearman did not break any law or cross any line as long as she gave a truly 'available' slot to the Rogers child and didn't turn away a needy child (and she did not).

Some of the numerous things we have read about this affair have come from reporters, bloggers, magazine editors and opinion writers. Tawnell Hobbs at the DMN wrote an investigative report and left out key facts, buried ledes, and editorialized. Tim Rogers at D Magazine wrote blog posts defending his actions, which I think was a good decision. Tim, as the subject of the controversy, has the hard task of defending his decisions. With the facts out there already in the statements of other parties and the DISD report, Tim doesn't have to be fair and even-handed in defending himself. But since he is using D's Frontburner blog, he does have a duty to be truthful and defend the ethics of himself as well as D Magazine writers and staff. He may overstep that duty if he continues to get on his soapbox every time someone tweeks him. Jim Schutze wrote an opinion piece and some blog posts, not an investigative report. He talks about journalistic ethics, but doesn't consult experts on the subject. In the end Schutze writes, "Forget journalistic ethics. I don't even know if they had that when I started. I think it's something new. This is about not being a chump." I was let down a bit by Schutze's sophmoric attempt to 'help out' Tim, but remember, he does get paid to share his opinions and we do read them. The article got tons of page clicks and comments, so I guess he is doing his job.

In conclusion, no laws were broken and a parent may have overstepped a bit by contacting a business contact / friend to finesse a system that is and has been broken for years. The only big ethical lapses seem to have come from the media types who did not give all of the facts and fashioned articles / stories / blog posts to get big headlines and page-clicks. Media folks are paid to write stories that sell. I guess that leaves the reader as the final arbiter of whether Tim Rogers crossed an ethical line. I look forward to continued profit at both the Dallas Observer and D Magazine (The DMN can go rot for all I care), and I think sales figures will give us the final judgement on "L'Affaire Tim Rogers".

Amy S.
Amy S.

"It's the kind of thing reporters do all he time to get seated at restaurants." Classic.

Sometimes when advocating for your child in DISD you have to pull out the big bat, especially when you hear squishy things like, "well, we don't really have a policy on that, but, No."

For me, the bigger issue is: With all these available pre-school openings, why isn't the school district going for more paying students to fill these slots? Really, in this tax year can we afford to let these spots stay empty?

scott
scott

But Dahlander commits the crime, where as Roger's actions are unethical.

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

@whatever - just follow the money trail on DISD construction contracts. It's the "Dallas Way"

Whatever, Tim
Whatever, Tim

Yeah, you got me there cp.

'Cause everyone knows you can't go over someone's head or behind their back UNLESS you trashtalk them.

No way should you say, "Hey, the principal said "no" but I'm wondering if you could double-check the list she's working off of" Nope. He HAD to--by law, I guess--throw in the comment about how the principal was being unhelpful.

Because no one tells Tim "no" without a consequence, right?

Whatever, Tim
Whatever, Tim

Tim says how much his family likes Hexter and he raves about the principal and she's so great, etc.But his actions show that he went behind her back and over her head AND bad-mouthed her.Bad-mouth her all you want, just don't post on your blog (Frontburner) about how much you like her and how great she is. It's hypocritical and dishonest.When your actions don't match your words, people don't believe anything else you say.If that's how Tim treats people he likes--bad-mouthing them to their coworkers the minute he doesn't get what he wants--I can only imagine how he treats people he dislikes.

trashtalk
trashtalk

The logic of the tea party novices is extremely interesting. By dumping potential dropouts, half the prison population, and pre-k kids into the streets at the same time, along with Linus Wright's suggestion that the twelfth grade disappear, the unemployment rate could possibly reach 50%. Between seniors who can't find a job, more dropouts, and more parents with no pre-k, heck, think of it. Texas will be number 1 in some educational statistic instead of being first only in those without a high school degree. Add to this pandemonium refusing to offer grant money for the few low income students who figure out a way to actually graduate from high school.Think of how well their plans will clean out UT Austin for the truly deserving--only those with wealthy parents whose kids need a fall-back option. It's the supreme undercover way to clean all those undeserving top 7% kids whose daddies don't make the right kind of money or have the right kind of contacts out of "their school." Mission accomplished.

Youcanhaveit
Youcanhaveit

And the "too many white faces" crowd is the reason why few middle class families stay in the DISD.

Joeblow1078
Joeblow1078

Perhaps you should take a logic class.

It seems there are more open slots than kids on a wait list, in the DISD in general and the particular school at issue. Clearly the DISD isn't doing a good job of filling empty slots or the kids on the wait list aren't willing to take the slots that are open. Either way, this would be true with or without TimR or his kid.

Ann Elk
Ann Elk

El Rey, I like the cut of your jib.

trashtalk
trashtalk

"In conclusion, no laws were broken and a parent may have overstepped a bit by contacting a business contact / friend to finesse a system that is and has been broken for years.'The same could be said of the judicial system, so let's paint a picture of a 'business associate" attorney calling in a favor to a judge since they are in the same "business."Or a member of the press threatening to expose the police department if his kid's ticket didn't disappear. Or Hinojosa using grant money intended for first gen students to get his kid into Harvard and then the company who misused the grant money (since they couldn't find any first gen kids at Hillcrest whose parents also had the power to give them a $2million dollar contract the next year in exchange for the Harvard "favor') and then pretending he hadn't read the terms of the grant contract even though his signature was on it. Yeah, every system where money rather than law is followed is broken.

All of your buddy and kinship barter system favors have absolutely nothing to do with violating public school law.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Actually, it's better if trying to get into BTW to move to the suburbs first. The success rate is much higher if the students don't live in the district. Middle class families from the suburbs have an extremely high success rate, especially when compared to poor kids who actually live in the district.So, move. Your tax bill will decrease substantially and the property is much cheaper in the burbs.. It's a win-win, except of course for those poor kids whose parents don't have the resources to move to the suburbs. But, hey, those kids should have chosen better parents and were apparently too lazy to do so. And they have really flawed parents who weren't smart enough to be middle class and move to the suburbs so their kids' chances would improve in trying to get into BT. Think the situation at Hexter is strange? Situation at BT puts that incident in perspective.Of course, BT is the choice of so many media parents that the microscope never seems to aim in that direction.

scott
scott

Joe, you make a fair point, I said in a reply above that Rogers was unethical but Dahlander either committed a crime or is at least the guilty party here. He is the one who compromised his position. But, consider the dilemma Jim faces, focus on Dahlander--the MEDIA Relations guy with DISD and Jim poops in his own mess kit. No, throwing mud at the competition has far fewer repercussions. Your analysis begs this to be addressed.

trashtalk
trashtalk

El Rey-The system is working just fine for Hinojosa and Rogers. They know how to bend and manipulate it to their advantage. The legislature and TEA defined the law regarding pre-k paid for with state money. It was never intended to serve middle class students. Now Perry has defined it as daycare for the poor and it may no longer be an option for the kids who desperately need it.

The system will continue to work for sociopaths and their apologists and lapdogs.

Wag that little tail, doggy.

El Rey
El Rey

Show me where any public law was broken.

"All of your buddy and kinship barter system favors have absolutely nothing to do with violating public school law." - Exactly. Tim violated no law and did not ask or expect anyone else to do so. He called a friend to help him with a hardship he was having with a system that was not working like it should. I guess every one of the anti-Rogers fan club would rather have two empty desks at Hexter Pre-K. There are no needy kids that were deprived an education due to Tim's or DISD's actions.

Please remember to take your meds.

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