Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gimme a K, Gimme a C, Gimme an MSD!!

Elections are games. They have winners, they have losers. They have brutal plays that leave players injured and the better-trained and naturally-talented are usually the victors. With only the press and community as the referees, some really dirty games get played. Depending on which team you are cheering for, you are either dejected or elated as victory is declared. But in the upcoming April 6th election for the Kansas City Missouri School Board, because the kids in the stands deserve the best, because this game has a few more viewers as a result of some busted brackets of its own, and because the future of my city and the future of my own kids' education depends on it, I want to make absolutely sure that I am rooting for the right team.

Like all games, some players are playing for the love of the sport, some are playing because it gets them through school, some are playing because they want to go pro, and some are playing for the endorsements and fame. They all get fans in their own way. Elections are different than regular games in that their fan base determines their success. So, I'm going to cheer from the sidelines and hope like hell I can get the stands to call back . . .

The most important race going on is the one for the 2 at large seats. Its a cage match between the Black United Front School Board Slate with Cokethea Hall and Kenneth Hughlon and Freedom, Inc - endorsed Kyleen Carroll and Crispin Rea. Carroll and Rea have also been endorsed by KCU4EA (Kansas Citians United for Educational Achievement). The other 2 people running for the seats are Rose Marie Bell and Robert (Bob) Peterson.

Like the full court press brought out 6 minutes too late in the KU/UNI game, things are getting heated and fouls are a-flying with the election just a couple weeks away.

I got wind of an email circulating around parents from my daughter's school, Academie Lafayette. AL is a charter school that is busting at the seams and the parents there want to make sure the schools that the district is going to lose because of the Right Sizing plan will be available for purchase by the 'competitor' schools in the district (i.e. charter and private schools). At a forum held in the school's auditorium last month, 4 of the at-large candidates were there (The Black Front was United in its absence). The big question was if elected to the board, would they vote to sell unused school buildings to charter schools . . . I was keeping time for the forum and paying close attention to my stop watch, but I got the gist of what was said, and the impressions that each answer gave.

The 5 candidates and one board member on the panel that night pretty much agreed - in their own language and bound by their own campaign message - that the school board would have to sell their buildings. Some, out of naivety or maybe keen political sense, were a little more enthusiastic to the crowd of mostly charter parents. But, there was nothing said or implied (that I was aware of) that would have urged someone to send out a message with this quote:

"If you want Académie Lafayette to have a new building (possibly buy one of the unused KCMSD buildings) then it would be advised not to vote for either Kyleen or Crispin. They do not want to sell buildings to charter schools.
At the recent forum that was held at the school, 2 of the at-large candidates in attendance did support selling KCMO school buildings to charter schools.
Those two candidates are Rose Marie Bell and Robert Peterson."


So, therefore, there are 3 options for sources of this email:

1. Strong supporter of either Rose Bell of Bob Peterson. Both are very great candidates and wonderful people that would be great on the board. If I knew either personally, I would believe that they could do great things for the school district. I would send out an email to all of my friends to get them to vote for them, especially when the big endorsements are headed in other directions.

2. A pro-charter parent who thinks that their child's education is the most important issue when it comes to the school board. A parent that wanted to hear 'yes, duh, of course we'll sell you whatever building you'd like' without thinking about the repercussions on the community or the impact it has on the district as a whole, or even the feasibility of the proposition. A parent to whom 'right now' is not quick enough.

3. Someone who wants to split the vote. Not being a fan of running the clock, or intentional fouling - just play the game, folks! - I hope this is not the case. But I can not help but suspect that this is a keen political move on the Black United Front's part to take a big, voting constituent - the politically-active Brookside choice-school parents - and split the vote between the 4 opponents to their candidates.

I personally support Kyleen and Crispin, two totally different candidates, but both strong enough and flexible enough to be great team players. Please spend some time looking into the candidates yourself, because this is one game we can't afford to lose!

Email lists for the candidates and campaign managers.

Pitch article on Kyleen Carroll

Pitch article on Crispin Rea

Pitch article on Ross Bell... I like Rose Bell.

Pitch article on Robert Peterson

Pitch article on Cokethea and Kenneth These two candidates highlight what the Kansas City school district can turn out when they get the job right. They have already accomplished great things in life and will go on to do even better. Their alignment with the Slate and resistance to the superintendent gives me great reluctance to support them in this election.

Tony's post on Freedom, Inc's endorsements

Dan Ryan's post at KCFreepress on the 6 at-large candidates

16 comments:

bridget said...

My guess would be #2, but who knows! My daughter will be going to a charter school next year. However, my vote will be cast in light of want I hope for the district as a whole. The quality of and choices made by our school board affect the city and the region, not just in the area of education. Better schools in KCMSD will mean a better workforce, improved property values, reduced crime, etc. It's all connected.
I wonder if parents at the other charter schools are getting active on this.

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Anonymous said...

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Athletic Towel

韋于倫成 said...

Man proposes, God disposes.........................................

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ShilaL_Kappler said...

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. ............................................................

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Many a true word is spoken in jest.............................................................

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瓊夏富 said...

Poverty is stranger to industry.............................................................

孫邦柔 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest..................................................................

I'm taking in all the happenings in Kansas City and saving you all the trouble . . . I'll let you know whether to soak it up or squeeze it out!!