MORNING BUZZ: This One’s for you TP

Posted on: 11:32 am, January 21, 2014, by

Morning Buzz Blog

Good Morning!
Proving that the reach of Morning Buzz crosses state lines, I got a text message from one of our readers in Boston suggesting my “not that hard working backside” had enough of a Winter’s rest and that I should get back to work…

So be it.

Gov’s Race
The Governor’s race is officially set between State Sen Jack Hatch and Gov Terry Branstad. I say this knowing there’s another democrat jumping into the race. I still think it’s going to be Branstad Hatch. If I’m right, Hatch is WAY behind in the fundraising game. The Governor has $4.3 Million on hand while Hatch has $237K. Given the fact that he loaned himself $200k…that’s not good.
It’s not Hatch’s fault he isn’t getting a lot of support. He should be commended for taking on a strong incumbant in the first place so that there IS a race.

School Choice
So we are preparing to send our kids into the Des Moines Public Schools. We considered Downtown School as an option and got a letter in the mail this weekend saying our boys would be accepted into the Downtown School. Here’s the catch: If we want to send them to Downtown School, which is open enrolling them, the District says we HAVE TO send the to Brody Middle School and Lincoln High. Nothing wrong with those two school except for the fact that we live within spitting distance of another middle and High School. My first question was…is this even legal?
I’d like to say I understand the feelings of some of the Members of the Des Moines School Board but I don’t. They believe Downtown School has turned into some enclave for the privileged in Des Moines. They’ve said as much to A LOT of people…and that it’s not fair. I simply disagree with the premise of their argument.
If Downtown School is doing something right, if parents are more engaged at that school than they are at other schools, why wouldn’t we try to REPLICATE THAT instead of trying to tear it down? Why would you try to make Downtown School like every other school? It is unique…and the people involved in its creation and success worked hard to make it unique.
If the Board Member’s argument is that areas of the City are underrepresented at Downtown School, who’s fault is that? We have this great school that might allow a family seeking more for their talented student to find the kind of environment they want. If those students aren’t aware of the Downtown School… who’s fault is that?
I’d submit that the District needs to do a better job making sure a diverse group of students fills each class at Downtown School.
When we considered sending our kids to Downtown School, THAT is what we wanted. That is what we thought the District was committed to. Instead, the Board and Administration seem to have decided they don’t like the kind of people who gravitate toward more parent involvement and the kind of community the Downtown School has created.
If the letters they sent out aren’t a way of discouraging parents from sending their kids to Downtown School…I don’t know what it is.
I should add for full disclosure: We are going to send our kids to our neighborhood school.

Dinner with Bob
…and about 3000 of his closest friends. I was one of the many who went downtown last night to see Bob Costas speak at the Greater Des Moines Partnership dinner. I’ve seen Costas speak several times and he is always good…a master storyteller and one of the smartest guys in television. Even more impressive last night were the accomplishments of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. We take it for granted that GDP is a part of life here in Central Iowa. We expect that kind of collaboration among ties and businesses. I think if any of us spent time in another city the size of Des Moines or larger, we’d find this kind of cooperation and work for the “greater good” lacking. Central Iowa has realized to get ahead, we’ve got to get along. The whole, in this case is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Here’s the Partnership’s annual video report…
If you want more background on what the Partnership is all about…here’s another video of the Past Chairmen/women

I hope you are all having a great start to the year!
PWD

1 Comment

  • Jennifer Lawler says:

    This is regards to the School Choice story. The author might want to double check the letter he or she received from the school. I think it states that the middle school and high school are listed as the feeder school for the Downtown school. It’s not required to attend those. You just need to register your child to your neighborhood school at the time of middle school and so on for highschool, as an indistrict transfer just like when you applied for the Downtown School. I would suggest calling the Downtown school to confirm this if you haven’t.
    Best of luck.

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