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Jennings appointment archives | Spin Control on Jennings Withdrawal | Why public input is essential, if the goal is to "close the gap"
Spin Control on Jennings Withdrawal
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004
by Doug Mann, 17 October 2003
The coalition of groups and individuals that came together in opposition to the appointment of David Jennings is calling for "...a more open process that includes input from the community..." [Jennings Withdraws, Insight News, October 15, 2003]
The School Board welcomes public input like the devil welcomes holy water. The board has thus far refused to commit itself to an open, competitive bidding process with opportunities for public input. They still have the option of hiring Jennings, and fighting it out in court, if Jennings changes his mind.
Some of us who opposed the appointment of Jennings also opposed the appointment of Carol Johnson because there was no open bidding process; no opportunities for public input. And some of us don't like how the schools are being run.
In the Sunday, October 12 Star-Tribune, editor Jim Boyd complained about "reverse racism" as a factor in motivating opposition to the Jennings appointment. For some it was a factor, if not THE factor, but the Star-Tribune never complained about "reverse racism" when it served to stifle dissent and paralyze opposition to the status quo.
City Pages education beat reporter, Britt Robson, also made race THE issue in his article "white meat." -- Give that man a job at the Strib! -- Robson writes,
"Why did lawyers filing an injunction against Jennings's appointment claim that the school board didn't follow affirmative-action guidelines in making its decision? And note that Bill English, Staten's colleague on the church coalition, told MPS officials at the community forum where Jennings was roasted, "When you start looking for a permanent superintendent, you've got to look for an educator, preferably, and let me be very clear, a black educator." -- White Meat, by Britt Robson http://www.citypages.com/databank/24/1193/article11581.asp
Good points, Britt. And I should note that Affirmative action guidelines usually call for a competitive search process. Bill English supported the appointment of Carol Johnson without a competitive search process or opportunities for
*public* input. However, Bill English and Randy Staten are not THE opposition, nor are their views necessarily consistent with those of a majority of people who oppose the Jennings appointment.