By Harry Welty
War on the New Superintendent
Before he has
even set foot in his office our newly hired Duluth School Superintendent, Keith
Dixon, has had a salvo fired over his head by ex school board member, Eileen
Zeitz-Hudelson in a sour letter-to-the-editor. Eileen’s complaints against
Eileen’s distress comes from seeing our current Superintendent leave. She
believes, and I agree, that Superintendent Almanza deserves more credit than
he’s gotten. Julio stepped into a brawling community with a divided School
Board and a shrinking enrollment just as
It’s one thing
to mourn the loss of Almanza. It’s quite another to sabotage his successor
especially if her attack is intended to launch a campaign to recapture a seat on
the School Board. Although Zeitz-Hudelson blames the School Board for Julio’s
departure the truth is that it was Julio, not the Board, who made the decision
to step down.
Eileen’s caustic criticism of our new Superintendent while unfair may be true and deserves examination. She writes that all of the Faribault Schools have failed to meet the Bush Administration’s standards for AYP.
school in a southern
Spanish language professor at UMD, once told me that she was not a natural
foreign language student. She had to work hard to master Spanish even though she
had all the advantages of a middle class upbringing. For her to blast a school
superintendent because he hasn’t instantly assimilated the massive influx of
foreign students to his district is unfair. Whatever difficulties our schools in
To his credit
Keith Dixon seems to have rallied
Public Policy Alliance recently invited Supt. Almanza to speak to them about the
challenges facing the Duluth School System. Eileen was also asked to speak. An
acquaintance of mine who took notes shared Eileen's thoughts with me.
Although Eileen spoke highly of
Education is a political pawn of both
Mercifully, Eileen stopped here without going through the remaining eight problems. The DPPA’s pot luck supper was getting cold. After her presentation the DPPA urged audience members to find candidates and get involved in the upcoming elections.
Republicans have a reputation for using public education as a whipping boy to win elections. Judging by Eileen’s criticism of our new Superintendent, Republicans have no monopoly on this tactic. Even though Eileen believes that the “No Child Left Behind” law is a threat to public education she has proved willing to exploit its dubious AYP standard to cut Keith Dixon down to size. I think there’s a word for this – maybe several.
Welty is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.snowbizz.com