What a dramatic week. Banks are going under. WaMu? I hear Wachovia is next. The financial crisis in America is proving the theory that the world is flat as it's now having an effect worldwide.
If you watched the debate last night via CNN, it appears you thought Obama won. If you watched it via FOX News, you thought McCain won. If you watched it on either and joined us here at The Dads Center, you thought Jim Lehrer made more good points than the other two. We are counting down until Thursday night for the Biden v. Palin debate. Please come join us. We will live blog here just like we did last night.
And then there is this curious news from the Dallas Independent School District in reference to their $84 million financial problem. The news media has gone hunting to find a usually hard-to-get-to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Robert Scott who is imparting all sorts of veiled this-and-that to emphasize to Dallas' nine-member board of trustees that if they don't take action soon to resolve the issue, TEA might take action.
I'm trying to read between the lines here and I can't decide how this is playing. Is this something initiated by the administration to compel trustees to take action? If you read the lead of The Dallas Morning News' story, you kinda get that impression. The way it's written, it reads like here is the superintendent trying to do the right thing and he's got an out-of-control board of trustees who won't follow his plan. KTVT Channel 11's Steve Pickett has a similar version. And then it reads like Hinojosa is standing guard to keep Scott from sending in troops.
It doesn't sound like some of the trustees are too worried about it.
It's clear from the other night that trustees are concerned about who is going to get axed through all of this. In large part, that's the politics of Dallas coming through. But even Leigh Ann Ellis, who usually would have been with the leadership of the board, didn't like the feel of how things were going. To me, that said much.
I know the people who are involved in this tragic situation from the top down and know many of them very well. Several of them have even been here to the house and always shall be welcomed. It's really hard to watch this thing keep unfolding and not seem to be getting any better.
Does TEA need to step in and fix this? No, clearly not. Can Hinojosa clean it up? I dearly hope so. To his credit, he has worked hard over the past several years to make changes in the district. Often I've not agreed with some of his choices, but I'm assured the pedagogy of the district is getting better.
Can the board work together to put aside their constituent interests and serve the greater good? They have no option, but there is going to be some cursing and gnashing of teeth before that happens. Hinjosa likes to say, "Fuss and discuss." And anyone who knows the players in DISD, knows that's going to have to happen before things can get moving.
Why do I say all this? It's simple. Because while this is going on at the timbre it's reached, there are 160,000 scholchildren who are being adversely affected by it. Yes, teachers are the true professionals here and are still keeping on keeping on and sticking to their curriculum, but I would surmise it's hard to have one half your brain in the lesson plan when the other half is waiting for a call from the office to thank you for your service.
Maybe it was by accident, but it is going to work out good/badly for the board to have moved their next meeting to Thursday p.m. That, as you read above, is the same night of the vice presidential debates, so people will be watching the news more than normal. And it won't be on a Friday football night like the debate last night. So if they come to a solution on the problem, they have a chance to use the attention time to say, "We're fixing this." If it's still in contention during the evening news, that's when it won't be helpful.
There are many people around the globe hurting this morning from financial disasters at all levels. I just pray that somehow our kids are able to move their way through all of this, still get good educations, go to good colleges, and be smarter than we were about handling money. They have so many examples around them of what not to do. Maybe we can help them see how to avoid the same mistakes.