Thursday, February 24, 2011

Have We Given Up?

Sorry I haven't been writing, folks, real life interferes sometimes.  There are stories I would love to tell you, but they aren't finished yet.

Regarding the title of this piece, it refers to the fact that people aren't beating down the doors of the polls to vote on the MCS Charter Surrender issue, and it's only the most important thing we have voted on as Memphians since the 1967 vote to change the form of government from Mayor-Commission to Mayor-Council.

(Note, HUGE props to our overworked pal Steve Ross, who has done his damnedest to keep people informed on this issue.)

I think people were freaked out over the work in Nashville to prevent this from happening by the cowards of the county (and by some quislings inside the city as well).  Look, TURN OUT and VOTE, folks.  This is going to be in the courts for some time, regardless, and it's not going to be instant gratification, unless people vote NO out of fear.

If MCS is going to survive, it will only happen as part of a unified County system.  NO, that does NOT mean that Pickler will be taking our teachers' rights or jobs away; there will be litigation there as well if this passes.  THIS IS GOING TO TAKE TIME; ALL THINGS WORTH DOING TAKE TIME.

So, please, folks, if you live in the city, please vote, and vote YES for SCHOOL UNITY.


fancycwabs said...

Dammit, Steve, ad-hominem attacks (calling your opponents cowards and quislings) aren't going to win you any adherents, and I STILL have yet to see an argument where this will be good for students. Demonstrate that to me, and I will be your strongest champion. Otherwise, you're hurting children at the expense of politics, and I will remain opposed to your cause.

Steve Steffens said...

I beg to differ here. This is the ONLY way I know to blow up MCS and start over, AND ensure that the schools get the funding that they need.

Yes, that's strong language I used, but it seems like everyone is sleepwalking here. If we do NOT merge the schools, then the deterioration will continue, the schools will die, and so will the city.

As long as I live here, I am going to fight for my city and its children.

Martiki said...

You go, Steve!

fancycwabs said...

If it's children you're fighting for, then you should be able to demonstrate it. In clear language.

Assignment. Write a five-paragraph essay that answers the following question: How will the MCS/SCS merger benefit students?

Answers that are grounds for immediate disqualification include any mention of the following: Taxes, property values, control, self-determination, corruption, Nashville, government, politics, jobs.

I am asking a simple, straightforward question here, and when you (or anyone else) can answer it, you will be able to win your battle. YOU CAN EVEN LIE, IF YOUR PERSONAL CODE OF ETHICS ALLOWS IT.

Getting emotional and upset over it isn't going to convert me. DEMONSTRATE TO ME that this is about more than power and politics, use FACTS and EXAMPLES to show that you CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN, and you will achieve victory. I'm not fighting you. I'm trying to show you what you have to do to win.

I CANNOT DO IT FOR YOU--I don't live in Memphis any more, my words carry no weight, but ignore me or answer a question other than the one I asked at your peril.

dwayne said...


That all sounds nice but it's a totally unrealistic way to assess how to vote in this referendum.

Here is a better way to decide:

The current education model for Shelby County is to have a mostly poor urban district and a mostly affluent suburban district. They are segregated economically by district lines that will likely become even more fixed by the State legislature (Special SCS District) is nothing is done.

If you think this is model is the best overall way to educate our children, then vote NO. If you think change is needed, vote YES.

As voters, we should not disqualify taxes, politics, jobs, etc. since an educational system 1) must run on taxes, 2) is never immune from politics, and 3) tied directly to our economic progress, not only as a City but as a metropolitan area.

fancycwabs said...

dwayne, you're not answering my question, which happens to be the same question I've been asking since the MCS voted to surrender their charter.

You want to talk about taxes, politics, or economics, fine. All I hear is "I care more about taxes, politics, and economics than I do about children."

I'm exhausted by watching you fight a losing battle, telling you what you need to do to win it, and being ignored. I'm not the only person you're ignoring, either--and every time you tell one of us that our concern for children isn't as important as your concern for taxes, you lose a supporter. The more you talk without addressing this FUNDAMENTAL issue, the deeper a hole your digging for yourselves.

fancycwabs said...

*you're digging for yourselves. Sorry. Internet browsers don't have grammar check.

Paula said...

Steve, let me try to answer fancycwabs. The school systems should have been merged 40 years ago. I grew up in Nashville and was 10 years old when consolidated government occurred. I received an excellent education in the Metro Nashville public schools. My mother taught for 30 years in that system. The state constitution clearly states that counties are responsible for education. I wish there was more positive energy about what could be taking place. Unfortunately, this issue has become mired in negativity. We could take the best of both systems and create a stronger system that offers our young people greater opportunity in the 21st Century. We should be focused on producing an educated populace which would provide better citizens and workers. (Then, maybe we wouldn't have to have so much corporate welfare a/k/a "incentives" to lure businesses here.) Look at what former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer did when he went to Los Angeles to help with their unifed school district. This is not a new situation. It's been done around the country and we should be looking for the best practices and bring in those people with experience in unifying school systems. It is a real opportunity; however, it takes leadership which is in short supply around here, IMHO.