Today’s story on Dr. Dixon’s continued plundering of a million in Desegregation funds to fund all day kindergarten needs some explanation. Here’s mine. Dixon convinced some of his acolytes like former Board member Bevan Schraw that new schools would attract back students from Edison and elsewhere. The folly of that is belied by Edison’s plans to build a new school which would be able to accommodate another 200 students.
All day kindergarten will be the supposed carrot to lure families to the Duluth Schools. Certainly the completion of some elementary schools will be enticing but the ballooning classroom sizes will put a lot of parents off. My guess is that after three or four years of losing students until all the schools are finally completed there will finally be a stabilization with a much smaller student population.
Dr. Dixon is trying to hide this transfer of money by giving the Board options to supposedly fund the all day kindergarten. That’s bull, of course. The board might do some of these other things but it can and will only do it by taking deseg funds.
The current all day kindergarten in Duluth is set up as a program that guarantees poor families free all day K if they want it. Better off families can take advantage of it if they pay for it on a sliding scale just as they would day care. The Deseg program allows for smaller classrooms in the deseg schools with minority children. Until Dixon showed up this was slowly improving test scores in Duluth. Now these funds will be dispersed through out the District and will mean schools with richer school populations will draw this money off. In other words spending for minority students will be drawn away from them to implement all day kindergarten.
Dr. Dixon claims that his other alternative deseg spending will prove superior. The best reason to treat this claim with skepticism is his sorry experience in Faribault where minority students fared worse under his tenure. This was pointed out by former Duluth School Board member Eileen Zeitz Huddleson in letters to the editor shortly after he replaced Julio Almanza. Ironically, I pooh poohed Eileen’s letters in a rebuttal shortly afterward.
Dr. Dixon’s manipulation of race has been shameless. Three days after he arrived as Duluth’s new Superintendent he found himself in the midst of a commemoration of a blot on Duluth’s history, the lynching in 1920 of three blacks who were pulled out of jail during a riot of 10,000 angry locals. Surrounded by many minority members in a television studio Dr. Dixon explained that he only learned how dire the plight of black Americans were by having long talks with his black college room mate. He never had a black room mate. Later during his performance he was brought to tears relating how his mixed raced grandchild had told him she wished she wasn’t so dark skinned. I’ve been told Dr. Dixon does not have mixed race grandchildren but I’ve not attempted to find out whether this is true. Perhaps they are partly Hispanic or Asian. I wonder if President Obama ever told his white Mother that we wished he wasn’t so dark?
Dr. Dixon is to truth telling what the second oldest profession is to easy virtue. His most recent example is the white lie of implying he’d received a letter from the Mayor supportive of the Red Plan and the high school name changes Dixon wanted approved without adequate public notice.
Money is described as “fungible.” Its a special adjective that describe its ability to merge almost invisably into other money so that it becomes very difficult to track. Its a quality that makes double bookkeeping, a specialty of embezzlers, so hard to catch until the money runs out. Its rather like trying to determine which water molecules were in a bottle of water after they’ve been poured into a wading pool.
Under such circumstances its a great shame that Dr. Dixon has been given so much bottled water…..uh, money over the past four years that Faribault successfully palmed him off on Duluth. Now using the lure of all day kindergarten for every child which will simply bleed more money than the District will be able to afford over the years he is pulling back financial support for the minorities which he claims his money magic is meant to help.