Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dear People Whose Names Sound Like Pod Flerher and Fey Marrison:

Can we compare academically acceptable Potemkin Villages sometime? Yes, I know that certain schools in DISD are in dire need of help - but tarring the entire district full of teachers and schools working hard to do well is not helpful. Suburb life is fine for some, sure. And there's nothing wrong with it - but why mock and deride those who are interested in helping their school district instead of harming? For instance, sure Louisa Meyer is an indefatigable supporter of DISD. She's also been volunteering her time far longer than her husband has been involved with the district. The thing is, the people I talk to who have chosen to have their children go to public school in Dallas educated themselves about the district. They made a point of choosing residences that put them near the best schooling situation for their child or children, and are involved in the education of that child. But really - who are you helping? Maybe this situation is not immediately your problem - your children are not in DISD. But you will have to work with the graduates of this district. They'll be performing your prostate surgeries, bringing your food to the table at your favorite restaurant, fixing the brakes on your car and - possibly, if the vitriol and unhelpfulness of the adults now doesn't make the profession completely unattractive - teaching your grandchildren. So maybe the problems DISD faces are everyone's problem, and my grandmother's oft-repeated instruction is true: If you can't say anything nice, just don't say anything at all. And maybe, just maybe, people in glass Potemkin Villages shouldn't throw stones.