Mayor's Chief of Staff: Yes, Rawlings and Blackburn Met Friday, But Not About Charters

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The man with the mustache probably doesn't miss this.
Oh, and there's one more thing to ask Edwin Flores about tonight: his $10,000 check from the Dallas Regional Chamber-connected EducateDallas political action committee. At least, Carla Ranger, Flores's fellow Dallas ISD trustee, has some issues with it; she says so this morning on her blog, beneath the headline "Dallas ISD Trustees for sale - starting price $10,000.00."

I also see that Ranger posted to her blog yesterday, wondering if perhaps her colleagues' vote on Thursday to shutter 11 campuses didn't have something to do with converting one or more into charters, speaking of. Specifically, she wonders if DISD board president Lew Blackburn and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings met Friday to discuss "Dallas ISD school business" and just maybe turning over D.A. Hulcy Middle School to Deion Sanders, who wants to get into the charter-school business himself.

I asked DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander and the mayor's chief of staff, Paula Blackmon, if they could answer Ranger's questions. Dahlander doesn't have access to Blackburn's schedule, so he wasn't sure. I'm trying to reach Blackburn now. (Update: He's out of town, at a conference, and unavailable.) But Blackmon confirms: Rawlings and Blackburn did meet Friday, but not to discus Hulcy, she says. "They did not meet about specific schools," Blackmon tells Unfair Park. Rather, she says, Friday's sit-down was about "real broad stuff" and one in a series of periodic conversations between the mayor and the school board president concerning "overarching city and district issues."

Blackmon says Rawlings also wants to talk with Blackburn about the mayor's trip to Seattle planned for Thursday. Rawlings, she says, is going to meet with representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I asked: About what? "I don't know specifically what the agenda is." Ah, now I have something to do this week.
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9 comments
Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Lew Blackburn has a record of being around failing school (s).  He was the Superintendent of Lynnacres ....  Charter School that went bankrupt on his watch, and he worked for Wilmer Hutchins ISD when it was desolved when he was there.  Now he is leading a limp-a-long DISD and letting all of the bloodsuckers take the life out of public education in Dallas.  Shame...Shame...Shame.

Guest
Guest

Why is Rawlings meeting with school board people since the mayor has no official powers relating to education? Anything he advocates regarding education would be purely symbolic, and the mayor says he's against such things.

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

The battles locally are really a distraction from the real source of the tensions, the Texas State educational budget.  Everyone angry about what is happening to our teachers and students must contact their legislators! The ones who voted “Yea” to Senate Bill 1 (SB1) are the ones are responsible for the $5 billion in educational budget cuts that have led to this crisis. We must focus on those who voted to pass SB1 which was the budget bill that cut the educational budget. Generally speaking "Yea" votes for SB1 were along party lines, but that is not always true. SB1 was passed 6-28-11 in special session. The final votes are online. See http://www.legis.state.tx.us/B... This page is the actions page for SB1. Just click on the most recent votes tabs for both the House and Senate at the top of the page. You can see the names of those legislators responsible. We need to be calling their offices now asking for the reasoning behind their votes. Then get ready for the next election, attend campaign gatherings, and ask questions. Our children need advocates to stand up for them effectively!

Mary Hasan
Mary Hasan

You are absolutely correct.  When you have a president of a board who presumeably doesn't live in the city and low voter turnout, you have a recipe for disaster.  I would like to know if any reader of this blog lives next door to Blackburn, since no one seems to be certain if he lives in Dallas.

Educated Dad
Educated Dad

Ms. Foreman,

What changes to District actions and policies would you recommend?  And what is the NAACP willing to do to help improve student education?

Mary Hasan
Mary Hasan

He may not have anything to do with education but the council makes the decision on zoning cases.  A lot of the charter schools have to have zoning changes.  This scares me since my neighborhood is being flooded with zoning request for charter schools. 

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Mary Hasan is correct, I am not the president or an officer of the NAACP.   Your question is so broad that it is difficult to answer, but let me attempt to address some issues as I see them:

1.  The board of directors need to be more open to listen to taxpayers.2.  Board Committees should not be chaired by Charter School executives.3.  The board should not continue to waste money on contracts but should divert that money to the classroom.4.  The board should have a better relationship with the teachers not just the union.5.  Children should always be first.6.  Board briefing should be in the evening so that the public can attend.7. The board should revist and audit the Bi-lingual program for savings.8.  The Covenants and Committments should be honored.9.  No new schools should be built if they are not replacement schools10. TFA contract should be voided.11.  All bond funds that are designated for technology should be used in lieu of general funds.12.  There should be an audit of all Administrative positions and the wasteful positions should be eliminated.13.  There should be an audit of the purchase of textbooks and the number of textbooks that get to the students.

Mary Hasan
Mary Hasan

Is Ms. Foreman the president or an officer in the NAACP?  Just curious as to why you asked her this question.

East Dallas Dad
East Dallas Dad

Ms. Foreman tells it like it is!

If that is the NAACP's position on DISD, this white dad from East Dallas is ready to sign up!

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