Give Mike Rawlings's Education Plan a Grade

Rawlings-Education-Announcement.jpg
Mike Rawlings's campaign
Rawlings, bracketed by his son and mother at North Dallas High School yesterday
Forthcoming are Jim's thoughts on the mayoral candidates' forum held last night at Thomas Jefferson High School, which looks like it needs every cent of the $8-mil renovation that's just commenced. But during the forum, Mike Rawlings referred to his public-educational platform, which he introduced yesterday during a press conference in front of North Dallas High School. At the forum, Rawlings said he had the support of Tom Luce and former DISD super Mike Moses; at his presser, he said:
It doesn't matter how low our crime rate is and how clean our neighborhoods are ... if our parents are forced to choose between sending their children to a school that is academically unacceptable or moving to the suburbs where a good public education is available, then we will never succeed as a city.

And we can't blame parents for doing what's in the best interest of their children.
On his campaign website today, Rawlings posted his entire Education Plan. Long story short: He wants the city to form myriad partnerships with the Dallas Independent School District, via task forces and an education alliance ("a strategy that worked for the homeless issue, where we created MDHA") and even something called an "education army," described thusly:
Recruit, train & engage a volunteer force. Dallas has the human capital to do anything we set our mind to -- so now is the time to identify and organize it. Start by engaging the more than 300,000 seniors living in Dallas, many of whom are looking for volunteer activities and ways to give back to the community. As Mayor, I will work to raise the profile of the issue and recruit a volunteer army that will feed into our DISD Education Alliance and support of schools in various ways -- from managing intern programs and reading programs to initiating PTA chapters in schools that don't have them organized -- to helping with tutoring and mentoring. The manpower is out there to help. Our job is to identify and organize it.
Coincidentally, former Mayor Tom Leppert was at last night's forum, recapping his tenure as Dallas mayor -- a tenure during which he kinda, sorta suggested the city take over the DISD, though he failed to elaborate or act on that vague proposal. Rawlings says, sorry, but getting involved in public education is just inevitable: "Some people will say education is not the mayor's responsibility. And technically it's not. But as leaders, we all have a responsibility to act."
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53 comments
gshelton
gshelton

What ever the answer. For Dallas to succeed all the fancy parks and bridges in the world won't match an outstanding school system. And part of the job is just letting people know that many of the DISD Schools are not only ok they are Great Schools... The problem is all the ones that are not great schools.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Snookie Pie said: "Ignored sections of the City do not pay equally high property taxes. I've checked values in all areas of the City. In the far north and in Lakewood and Uptown areas, the land is valued so high that we are paying $10,000 and up in property taxes.

Whereas, much larger homes, newer, in better shape on larger landlots in other parts of City such as south, or west their values are 20% that. South and west do not pull their fair share of the taxes."

Last time I looked, the tax rate on my house in the OC was the same as the tax rate in Preston Hollow. The fact that the houses are valued lower (and sell for less when they go on the market) does not mean that homeowners in my part of town aren't paying their fair share. But I'll tell you what, if you have a house in Preston Hollow, I'll swap you even for my house in the OC, and then you can pay lower property taxes and I'll assume your current burden of paying more than what yu consider to be a fair share.

What you really should be looking at is why Texas has to make most of its revenue from property taxes.

tracker
tracker

Two points off for improper use of the apostrophe.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Why are you such an apologist for DISD?School board member?Dallas Achieves member getting bond money?

Something like 4 out of 12 of the new schools they're building are replacement facilities. The other 8 are so trustees can funnel money to their construction buddies.

Even the trustees have said it makes "financial sense" to build the schools we can't afford to staff bc "construction costs are so low". Yeah, that makes sense...especially to the construction buddies.

And you, apparently.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Didn't Tom Leppert campaign as the "education mayor?" How did that work out considering the mayor has zero power over the school system? About as well as my plans to reform the Catholic Church once I'm elected the first female pope.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Here's the truth: DISD is killing Dallas because middle class parents will not send their kids to schools where thugs and intentional nonlearners are ignored by an administration obsessed with race and nepotism instead of campus excellence.

Unqualified people with non-ed agendas are running the district to profit themselves and it shows.

It shows in -the terrible curriculum, -the rundown facilities,-the emphasis on TAKS at the expense of bright, hardworking kids, -the mind-boggling promotions of AU principals, -excessive administration salaries,-excessive numbers of non-campus employees -teachers kept based on seniority and race, -money wasted on unneeded schools, -gerrymandered attendance boundaries that overcrowd cafeterias so kids don't have time to stand in line AND actually eat, and-the total disregard this district has for the input of the $50,000 a year teachers who are in the trenches and want to raise the standards

At least at Jesuit parents have a voice, an academically competitive atmosphere is maintained, teachers don't get hit in the face and sent to the hospital breaking up fights (Hillcrest, 3 weeks ago), and teachers locked in their stifling rooms don't fall 3 stories simply bc they tried to open a window.

Go to Truett, Fred and other DISD apologists.Go to Spruce.Sub a week at Hillcrest.And then tell me how great the schools are.And then go to Jesuit.Where would you rather have the taxpayers send you if you were a kid?

Focused Like a Laser Beam
Focused Like a Laser Beam

When Mayoral candidates talk about DISD, I say, "Run for School Board". The mayor's job is simple...primarily to bring business to Dallas. He's not a city manager (sorry, Kunkle), and must be a salesman (Natinsky and Rawlins have some charisma).

Just ONE Dallas
Just ONE Dallas

They "sound" like good ideas in theory--a/k/a "hollow promises to get your vote" speak.

Rawlings' track record as Homeless Czar--one who did not object to handing over astounding legal powers (with subjective enforcement) to an appointed/unelected agency head (MDHA), to railroad an agenda of concentrating the homeless south of I-30 (she then threatened to sue the city when told "no")--makes this voter hesitant to support him. Within weeks of the MDHA director's thinly veiled threat to sue the city to enforce her plan, he left MDHA to go to the Parks Board. To those familiar with the situation, it gave the appearance he moved departments to distance himself from the bad publicity being heaped on MDHA, as it was long-rumored he was weighing a run for mayor. There's ample reason to believe he'd continue to direct appointees to concentrate "improvements" in N. Dallas, Uptown & the Central Business District first, at the continued expense of the Southern, far Western & Eastern sectors of the city.

Enough of the political elitism we've witnessed from City Hall the past several years. Those of us in the ignored sections of the city pay equally high property taxes--including DISD taxes for ever-worsening schools--only to see those tax dollars continually diverted to projects & the better schools being concentrated in the more "privileged" areas.

David Kunkle is the candidate who'll be Mayor for the WHOLE city.

PrestonTrailsCaddy
PrestonTrailsCaddy

I caddy for Mighty Mike at Preston Trails (its where he belongs and they let in black folk)

We should abolish DISD and have all the kids go to school where Mighty Mike's kids go - places like Jesuit

fred
fred

Actually the schools have been improving and the perception is more the problem in many cases. I have come to believe that some folks are just intractably prejudiced against DISD schools. Sure there are some bad schools - but there are also many good ones - in fact 53% are ranked exemplary or recognized and eight high schools are way ahead of most suburban schools on the Newsweek list of the top 5% in the nation.

TravisDad
TravisDad

I suggest he stay out of the classrooms until the streets and levees are repaired.

Sharon Boyd
Sharon Boyd

This is not a new idea. Con Jerk said the same thing - over 10 years ago. Then, Laura Miller. Then Tom Leppert. I would rather see someone recruit an army of "senior" volunteers who will assist our Code Enforcement agents. The DISD continues it's billion dollar construction projects, while the student population in Dallas is declining. Between Walnut Hill & Royal Ln, on Webb Chapel, they spent over a million buying an abandoned church, spent $400K each for 2 brand new brick homes behind the property (to demolish). All of that to build a new school where there is no need and not wanted. The school needs on Webb Chapel are south of Park Ln. Condemn some of those awful, crime ridden apts and build a school down there to serve those poor kids crammed into those shoe boxes.

The only new thing I'm hearing in this mayoral campaign is David Kunkle talking about the load City Hall and the do-gooders dump on Dallas neighborhoods that are struggling to remain viable if not prosper. David lives in a regular East Dallas neighborhood and understands what it's like to live in Dallas neighborhoods, rather than gated communities or fenced estates.

JRinDallas
JRinDallas

education task forces and alliances, improve communication, and measure successes...profiles in courage.

oh, and regular conversations!

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

THANK YOU MR. RAWLINGS!!! And I can't wait for DISD Teacher to thank you as well. Everyone has been saying that the candidates are just repeating what the PR reps are telling them and a few were jumping on the Natinsky bandwagon a week or so ago when he unveiled staff's recommendation (not his nor his campaigns) for West Dallas and tried to call it what he would do as Mayor. But this right here is what you call a platform! Not what I could have done for the past 6 years as Eco Development Chair and will all of a sudden do now if Mayor(Nawinsky), not non-supportive little catchphrases that I'm complaining everyone is stealing (Punkle) but a true hit the ground running plan that will tackle a real issue instead of the same ole talk about southern sector, inland port and the trinity river. Thank you Mr. Rawlings. And yes it is not the job of the Mayor nor the City of Dallas to "take control of DISD" but it is the job of the Mayor and the City of Dallas to make sure every part of the city, public and private are given the best tools to substain and grow including DISD. The only type of person that does not want DISD headed in a different direction is either someone who doesn't have kids, someone who hates kids, or someone who has their children in private school or another district.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Mayor is For City.

School Board is for School..

Share Name of City

Vast Gulf Between Them .

STUPID MAN !

Ellum08
Ellum08

About time someone talks about the elephant in the room. It doesn't matter how many Fortune 500 companies locate to downtown Dallas, because as long as people that work for those companies continue to live outside the city of Dallas, nothing is going to improve, both city-wise and DISD-wise.

I'm sure he will be blasted for sticking his nose where it is perceived it doesn't belong, but this almost makes me want to vote for him. Almost.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Because we won't legalize gambling or sell liqour past 9pm or on Sunday... And thanks to the GOP Senate on yesterday the gambling still won't happen...

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

One on hand you have people complaining about "run down facilities", and on the other hand you have people complaining about DISD blowing money on new facilites. Keep your complaints straight.

How a teacher falls out of a window that is not floor to ceiling...is beyond. Suburb school districts do not have windows you can open. And their energy is controlled by the administration as well.

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

You're comparing apples to oranges. Jesuit does not have accept to anybody, whereas Dallas HAS to accept everybody.

JRinDallas
JRinDallas

In other words selling out the city and its residents while potholes never get filled, libraries shutter, parks are overgrown/closed, sidewalks end every 50yds etc.

But we sure got a neat Convention Center Hotel. Sell away!

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Business will not come to Dallas no matter who the mayor is, mostly bc of the schools.

Companies would have to include an extra $20K per child for private school tuition for their most valuable employees.

You simply can't "sell" the DISD to anyone with options.

City leaders, either living in the Park Cities or sending their own kids to private school, have opted to ignore the malfeasance in DISD until now--now that it is hurting their own bottom line and the economy is a wreck.

They looked the other way while hundreds of thousands of poor kids suffered.Immoral.

Keep Truckin'
Keep Truckin'

Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!Thanks for pointing out that Kunkle is not running for head of every City Dept., or for City Mgr. Everyone keeps getting this all confused up.

However, if you've ever met Natinsky you'd know he's a hateful SOB and would be just as mean and hateful as a Mayor. Oh, and he's as big a liar as Leppert.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

This is bigger than DISD, the budget shortfall or the corruption that prevails in any poltical organization. This is about the future of Dallas, and it primarily falls within the hands of the youth (which are the students in DISD). Unlike Leppert who was a fast food drive thru Mayor, the Mayor has to implement all programs for the future of Dallas and not just toll bridges, hotels and deck parks...

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

The standards were lowered, Fred.

The number of right answers required to pass went DOWN so the number of kids who passed went UP.

Instead of calling a 70 passing, they now call a 44 passing. Woo hoo! Everyone's improving!

Except they aren't.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Ignored sections of the City do not pay equally high property taxes. I've checked values in all areas of the City. In the far north and in Lakewood and Uptown areas, the land is valued so high that we are paying $10,000 and up in property taxes.

Whereas, much larger homes, newer, in better shape on larger landlots in other parts of City such as south, or west their values are 20% that. South and west do not pull their fair share of the taxes.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Last year's 8th graders had to get 44% of the questions on the Social Studies TAKS test correct to "pass".Math and Science required less than 70%.

Too bad the SAT isn't curved like that.

Also, cheating is rampant. Entire schools allow it in order to look better.

Schools are not improving; standards are being lowered so it LOOKS like schools are improving.

TAKS tests are political tests made so the Pearson company can reap profits and politicians can say they are demanding accountability from teachers.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

I agree. There's a reason why city government and school districts are separate entities. This way the city can deal with city crises and the school district can deal with school crises.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Sharon you're way too experienced for this load of bull.

You are promoting the bullcorn propoganda that Kunkle campaign is feeding to people

Trying to paint the Mayor's role as that of super dupe City Councilperson--i.e., fix the potholes, get more Code Enf. officers---all that stuff is the role of your city councilperson.

The mayor's role is to serve as ambassador for City. Or, sort of a Public Relations person. To represent the City at ceremonies, etc.

David Kunkle doesn't have the personality,or experience to play this role comfortably.

Mike Rawlings is perfect as the role of Mayor.

And, I like that Mike Rawlings doesn't have recent history of lying and covering up his crime numbers to make him look good.

Kunkle reclassified most crime so that it would not show up. Encouraged officers to label major stuff as "miscellaneous"....and more. The result was he got to pretend-show a huge drop in crime for the year. Ah ha! Magic!

Anyone who has such little character that would go along with that scheme may have trouble differentiating between right and wrong in other areas.

Rawlings has done nothing but good, as far as I can see.

Kunkle drew a big fat paycheck from City for his work. As far as I know Rawlings didn't earn a dime as Homeless Czar, and I know he didn't get paid as head of the Parks Board. Mike Rawlings has given tirelessly of his own time and money to our City's causes.

Kunkle hasn't lifted a finger or giving any money to any causes except the job he was paid handsomely to do.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

If that's all you have heard, then you have probably not taken a single foot outside of Kunkle's Campaign HQ. And what exactly is Knuckle's plan to keep these struggling neighborhoods viable? Everyone can easily say what they are agaisnt but Punkle has not once said what he is for. He has not given a platform except "the basics", he has not chosen a side for anything except not to raise taxes which all other 3 candidates are agaisnt as well so that was easy to decide. If he only wants the basics he must realize that there are a storm of "non-basic" services that the City of Dallas provides that he will have to do away with. And if Kunkle can't even say with a straight face and tell the voters that Laura Miller is in his corner, that he is indeed and Democrat or a Republican or any other straight answer then how can he convey anything straight to the citizens of Dallas or choose to shut down libraries a non-basic, close swimming pools a non-basic or cut after school programs at rec centers a non-basic? Atleast we know who Rawlings and Natinsky are pulling weight for... Kunkle is hiding all of his bullets and they are not awaiting this grand unveiling he is not saying anything because he doesn't want the voters to like or dislike him on anything. And once again you throw out this "he is a regular guy" thing. I commented back to you and asked what was wrong with Rawlings or Natinsky "prospering" as you would like these struggling neighborhoods to do? Do you think they were born with silver spoons in their mouth's or something? No... they worked hard and moved up. What's the crime?

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

"The only type of person that does not want DISD headed in a different direction is either someone who doesn't have kids, someone who hates kids, or someone who has their children in private school or another district."

You left out a few: Hiney (because he'll be out of a job") owners of construction companies (because they will lose profits) and Flores (because he he'll lose votes from cronies).

MattL1
MattL1

Though surely it makes some sense, considering how the future success of the city is so inextricably linked to its education system, for the city government to want to do what it can to improve the schools.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Its so simple Enrique that even you can get it. The DISD does have some old facilities that are in desparate need of reasonable renovation. That is standard upkeep. Gotta take care of that. But the DISD has a SHRINKING student population. So why does it need to build new schools, especially during a budget crisis? I mean, other than BoT members needing to reward construction cronies.

As for the windows: Where have you been? Go down to 3700 Ross on any day that it hits the mid 80's. You get nice cool AC. At the same time, it refuses to let schools turn on the AC until very late in the year. Thus, teachers have to open windows in schools that were build decades ago. It aint so hard to fall out as you are stuggling to crack open one that hasn't been open since God only knows.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Enrique:

I could quible with you on the apples and oranges but I won't. Instead, let's go with apples and apples.

Yes, the DISD has to accept every student. But what about Plano ISD, Allen, Richardson, or a wealth of other school districts that also "have to accept everybody"? How is it that those districts manage to consistently attractive to parents?

Could it be that they have BoTs that are focused on parents'/childrens' needs rather than obtaining political favors and doling out construction contracts? Is it because they are not focused on hiring an endless stream of ineffective consultants? Is is because they have effective policies in place to get rid of thugs and intentional nonlearners so that other students have a decent classroom setting? Is it because they value overall academic achievement rather than making sure that everyone is bilingual?

In short, there are many many quality public school districts in the suburbs that are quite attractive to employees of businesses tranfering to the Dallas area. But the DISD consistently isn't?

Why do people like you continue to make excuses for a Super and BoT that keeps following policies that make the DISD an overall laughing stock?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

DISD doesn't HAVE to keep the thugs and intentional nonlearners on the comprehensive campuses.

DISD chooses to give millions of dollars a year to IFL (consultant) instead of creating alternative campuses for the thugs and nonlearners where they could at least get some counseling and remediation. DISD could fund state-of-the-art vocational schools instead of more sports facilities and MEETINGS AT THE RITZ.

DISD could go a long, long way toward emulating Jesuit if it wanted to, if actual academic excellence was the goal of the school board.

The majority of the Board's priority? Make showing up and disrupting classes as easy and painless as possible so the administrators can get federal bucks for having more butts in seats.

Hassle teachers for failing the disruptive nonlearners. Tell teachers that the king thug over-aged drug seller brings in federal money that pays their salary.

The good kids, the hardworking kids, the poor kids are just collateral damage.We all know it.Some of us have the moral code to not accept it.

Guest
Guest

Moving some homeless people into your neighborhood might help even those valuations out a bit.

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

That 44% percent applies statewide doesn't "DISD Teacher"? So that means ALL across the state standards are being lowered not just in DISD.

So is that DISD's fault? Or the fault of Republican-controlled TEA that since the (Governor) Bush administration standards were lowered to improve electoral chances?

Comacine Master
Comacine Master

Sounds like a political hack for Rawlings - Homeless Czar that put that MULTI-MILLION dollar boondoggle homeless shelter within spitting distance (and other bodily functions) of City Hall and the struggling Central Business District - AGAINST the advice and wishes of nearly everyone directly affected.

Talk about the witless puppet! That is Mikey Rawlings all over... YUCK! : (~

The Truth will set you free
The Truth will set you free

I'll tell you who Kunkle is pulling weight for...

Laura Miller and her BFF, the 6th Ms. Kunkle: Sarah DoddThey are two peas in a pod as my mother used to say.Those two women are very competitive, strong and domineering. They intend to be mayor through David Kunkle.

If he's elected, his every move, all his board appointments, his votes on the council matters, everything will be per the instruction of Laura Miller/Sarah Dodd.

Kunkle will have no say on anything.

This is why he cannot tell you anything substative in any debate/forum--because they haven't coached him yet.

He can't even attend a function without Sarah on his arm so she can pull the puppet strings.

Have any of you met Sarah Dodd? Well imagine Laura Miller, only not so nice and sweet.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

While I agree , It would make sense .

But.

Each has elected folks

Each has is own Leader.

Each rules its own Domain

The school is Managed by the Superintendent who answers to the school board.

The City is run by a city Manager who answers the Mayor and city council .

Turf war .Egos come into play .

All I can see is a lot of elected folks telling a the Mayor to mind his own Business.

Its not about the Kids.

Erburdette
Erburdette

DISD teacher, you are right on. You are a smart and with-it silent hero, and I thank you for it. My child is a first-grader in DISD, and while I want to be part of the public school "solution", there is only so much I will have my son go through in the hope that we can make some kind of a difference by staying with it. For now, we keep on fighting the good fight. What more can we do??

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Yes, it holds true statewide.But it also explains why there are more exemplary schools in DISD (and every other district).

Don't fall for it.It does not mean that schools are better.

Everyone and their dog knows the bar was lowered for political reasons.The school ratings are false, invalid, propped up, whatever you want to say.

Concluding that schools are improving based on an Exemplary banner on the front of more schools is foolish.

LH Mike
LH Mike

No, Laura did not spurn Jerry and the Cowboys. That was the esteemed County Judge and Fair Park (the City does not own Fair Park).

bornfreeamerican
bornfreeamerican

And let's not forget Laura Miller took it upon herself to tell off Jerry Jones and sent the Cowboys packing. That would have been great for our city and Fair Park, but no Laura wouldn't have it.

Gangy
Gangy

Did Sarah Dodd spurn your affections? A man who has been married multiple times is not likely one who does his wife's bidding.

LifeinOC
LifeinOC

"The school is Managed by the Superintendent who answers to the school board."

Sorry, you need to add "who answers to the Breakfast Club and Citizens Council" and you are correct, it is NOT abouot the kids.

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