Friday, October 12, 2012
[Morris Panner is a candidate for the at large seat in the November Board of Education election.]
David Esquith is very bright, polished and well-spoken; during the debate I sometimes found myself wishing I could vote for him. Finally, though, I realized that he was just reading from the Harvard Business Review--all process and management, no traction with the real life of education in Silver Spring. It was a clever way to project the Morris mirage.
I wondered, what would the real Morris actually say, think, do? Would he say "I'm going to think out of the box?" or would he apply out-of-the-box thinking to grapple, in word and deed, with the real life of education in Silver Spring?
I thought that, when you when you pushed aside Aryeh Shudofsky (my guy) in the primary, you were making a commitment to the general election (and ultimately to the huge time commitment entailed by actual service).
Thanks for your actual contribution to Jen Bondeson's interesting piece "Segregation comment draws criticism at school board candidate forum (http://www.gazette.net/
article/20121011/NEWS/ 710119797/1022/segregation- comment-draws-criticism-at- school-board-candidate-forum& template=gazette)." Honestly I heard the Barclay/Esquith dust-up, but really didn't get what Chris's beef was.
Your friend David certainly was not saying that desegregation was a mistake (as I understand from the article that Chris was asserting). He was making a wonky, interesting Poli Sci 301 point about institutional capacity and responsibility. I sorta followed this at the time. I guess Chris didn't. But, David was not "taken out of context" as you say in the article (you shoulda been there to see it for yourself). David's thesis was presented so quickly, and it was so out-of-context (school board debate, not seminar): maybe we can excuse Chris's blow up.
I agree with Fred Evans: "You can't just say that schools could have done it." Desegregation, given the historical and social context at the time, seems to have been wholly dependent on the Court. I guess your point is that the school system should act this time to correct disproportionate minority suspension, not default as it did in the prior instances. OK, MCPS should act. But create a little traction between this institutional responsibility and real life education in Silver Spring: how should it act? what should it do?
I was reassured to see you say that you "couldn't be more adamant about ensuring social equalities for our kids." Great goal, but what should MCPS do? I've urged desegregation. (Any grappling with the real life data will show terrible segregation, east and west. Separate is not equal, right?) One of the main reasons you didn't get my vote in the primary was your March 17 response to a question about growth and boundary studies; you said that "it would be nice to keep the boundaries fixed, given people's investment in housing and their settled expectations." I get what you mean: no desegregation. In that case, would you support a separate-but-equal budget -- i.e., more money for schools where MCPS keeps great masses of kids who really need the boost? It wouldn't be nearly as effective as actual desegregation, but it would go some way to "ensuring social equalities for our kids." Or, do you have some other "out-of-the-box" proposal?
Sorry to pick you out. The candidates who actually appeared offered no more substance than David.
Thing is, I'd probably vote for you if you'd show up and get real.