Monday, July 3, 2017

Dallas School Reform Debate Shakes up Liberals and Conservative | Dallas Observer

Dallas School Reform Debate Shakes up Liberals and Conservative | Dallas Observer:

Can't Tell Liberals from Conservatives in Dallas School Reform Debate

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The school reform issue ought to split up conservatives as badly as it does liberals. But it doesn’t. I can’t figure that out.
No matter which side looks at it, school reform turns on the same fundamental question: Can a poor, minority kid from a chaotic background be as smart — as accomplished in school — as a rich, white kid from a nice home? If so, why aren’t public schools closing that gap?
Conservatives ought to have as much to fight about with each other over that question as liberals. But I don’t hear it. Not where I live.
In East Dallas, it’s almost always the liberals going after each other. Many of my neighbors and friends are teachers. They tend to be liberals, and you know how we are. We liberals agree wholeheartedly on a whole menu of issues, hyperlocal to intergalactic, but that stops at school reform. There, we split, often with drama.
And here in this space, the drama goes on: I get a lot of sincere questions from a certain kind of reader asking me how I can be so right on some issues yet be such a Trumpian, corporate lackey fool on school reform. I don’t know that I think the question about me is very interesting — if it’s inconsistency you want, I’ve got plenty more where that came from — but I’m beginning to think the way we all approach the topic is something for the whole city to ponder.
First of all, I bet we’re in for some long-overdue national attention on school reform. We’re pretty far away geographically and culturally from the coastal and Northeastern media beats where most big news happens, so it takes us a while to get noticed. But the fact is that Dallas is a national leader on many school reform issues. Recently The New York Times took note of some of the programs left behind by former Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles.
wrote about the piece, mainly to point to the one thing the Times didn’t notice, probably because it was too local: Many of the programs the Times thought Dallas School Reform Debate Shakes up Liberals and Conservative | Dallas Observer:


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