By Howard Eagle –
Prior to 7/31/18, I had not been aware of your stellar July 25th appearance on Connections (with Evan Dawson). I must say it is quite rare these days to hear a politician speak about so-called “hot-button” issue such as family, poverty, violence, crime, racism, and education in such an unabashedly-succinct, pointed, clear, and honest fashion. I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact that these are issues that frequently cause politicians to engage in the most creative of diplomatic-two-steps.
Since, as you probably know, I consider education as representing “my lane”, I was most impressed with the last few minutes of your interview (http://www.wxxinews.org/post/connections-rochester-city-councilman-adam-mcfadden-violence-our-community), in which Mr. Dawson said: “We had an hour long conversation with the State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia. That hour long conversation is going to air this coming Tuesday (7/31/18) on this program. And of course she’s been here in Rochester for a few days, talking about the distinguished educator that she appointed to help oversee and make change in the Rochester City School District—thoughts on that?”
Your initial one-word-answer, followed by a very eloquent elaboration was most impressive.—I don’t think I could have said it any better myself. In fact, I’m not sure that anyone could have.
“Joke! It’s my thought on it. It’s a joke. You have an elected school board, who makes decisions, and they made a decision on a Superintendent, and they have to trust that they made the right decision—they work together. We keep trying to find a superman to fix decades of destruction. That’s not gonna work—just like their rules for closing a school. It hasn’t worked for us. We’re not fixing anything. So, I’m really frustrated by her [Barbara Deane-Williams’] leadership. That’s just me, because I just think that these things are done for news headlines, and not for our children. What’s best for our children is consistency. What’s best for our children is love. What’s best for our children is making sure they have the resources available to them, and making sure that we’re putting everything we can into that. We don’t need a distinguished educator to tell us that.”
The part of your comments regarding “frustration” relative to Superintendent Deane-Williams’ leadership, or really the lack thereof, in which you noted — “that’s just me” is most interesting. I sincerely hope to God that it’s NOT just you. It’s absolutely inconceivable that ALL of your City Council colleagues, and the City’s administration would NOT be frustrated with the glaringly-blatant, long-time, lack of competent, committed leadership at 131 West Broad Street, especially considering the nearly $120 million dollars that you all are legally bound to contribute to the RCSD’s budget annually (with NO SAY-SO as to how it’s spent).
If ALL of your Council and City Administration colleagues were to speak out (as you do) it’s difficult to believe that it would not have greater impact vis-a-vis your lone voice. We certainly can NOT expect the elected education leaders, nor their top appointments, and/or other powerful individuals and entities within the school district to speak out against their own lucrative, poverty-pimping interests. This is clearly evident via a Connections discussion (http://www.wxxinews.org/post/connections-local-education-leaders-react-commissioner-maryellen-elias-interview) just six days after your appearance, in which two of the most powerful, local, education-hypocrites (Rochester Board of Education President Van White, and Rochester Teachers Association President, Adam Urbanski) waxed eloquent regarding (if not support, certainly NOT objection) to the dispatch of the very same, high-priced, so-called “distinguished” educator that you had made amply clear — “WE DO NOT NEED.”
With regard to your critically-astute comment concerning the appointment of the so-called “distinguished” educator representing a “joke,”—which it does—Van White had the unmitigated gall and raw audacity to attempt that old, worn-out, half-slick, double-talking-diplomatic-two-step-tango, which I had referenced above.
He claimed: I wouldn’t call it a joke, but I gotta tell you, I understand his [Adam McFadden’s] frustration”
Right! This is the classic two-step, but in this particular case there is definitely no middle ground. It’s either ‘this’ or ‘that’, either it’s a joke, or it’s not—and it definitely IS, a very, very expensive one at that.
By the way, it’s most interesting that compensation/price-tag for the so-called “distinguished” educator was NOT raised throughout the hour-long conversation. Van White launched into a completely incoherent, thoroughly evasive, super-hyper-rhetorical rant about not needing “a superman or wonder-woman”
He said: “We do need an Avengers. Anybody likes the Marvel comic series—avengers-style leadership team; people drawing on different powers and abilities of different people. I think that kind of approach does work.”
How would he possibly know what ‘works’—since nothing has for the entire 12 years that he has sat on the Board like a bump on a log spewing super-hyper rhetoric?
He continued: “So, in that regard, in that spirit, this distinguished educator—who she has identified—might be one of the many people that would sit around this table, and have a conversation about what else can we do; what might we do differently to improve the outcomes for our students. So, I understand, and really do appreciate Adam’s frustration, although I come out a little bit differently because I look at this gentleman’s background as compared to the prior one that she had recommended. I think his name was Dr. Eastwood and I didn’t think he had what was necessary to sit at the avengers table. I didn’t think he had the powers, the abilities, the background, the experience to offer something different. I do think—given this gentleman’s background—I do think he may have something to offer, and so we welcome him, just like we welcome Adam and the Mayor, and all sorts of people to this table to help us address our problems and challenges.”
This dude has got to be kidding! What in the hell is he talking about? His comments sound as if he’s preparing for a fairy-tale-cosmos-styled-love-in. Again I ask, what in the world is he talking about?
Another sure sign that this phony initiative is not going anywhere is that there is no resistance from Adam Urbanski and/or the ‘white-committee.’ Anyone who is familiar with long-standing, crystal-clear, RCSD politics, systemic patterns, posturing and shenanigans knows well that Urbanski’s position is a dead give-away that this is nothing more—nor less than—a consciously contrived scheme, designed to give the impression that once again change is possibly right around the corner; but as we know, it never arrives
Urbanski: “Let’s wait and see. Give it a chance, and see what happens. I don’t think it would be the right thing to do to reject an offer for another person to come here, and offer another perspective.”
WHAT??? WHAT? “…reject an offer???”
Urbanski really ought to stop. If anyone knows that this is NOT about a so-called “offer”, it certainly is him.
THIS IS A THINLY-DISGUISED, UNILATERAL, POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED, DICTATE (AT THE TUNE OF AROUND $200,000 DOLLARS, PERIOD!).
Again, if anyone knows this, it certainly is Adam Urbanski.
The real truth of the matter is outlined here: http://minorityreporter.net/the-critical-missing-element-authentic-collective-leadership/.