Apropos the last post:
Reader’s view: The flight of Duluth students is Dixon’s legacy
The writer of an Oct. 6 letter seemed disappointed Red Plan critics weren’t the ones who set fire to a Lester Park playground. He bemoaned the “vitriol” endured by Keith Dixon, writing, “I believe the former Duluth superintendent was one of the most brilliant, courageous and gutsy administrators.”
The writer, a former Budgeteer columnist, knows something about vitriol, having used it three days before a primary to eviscerate mayoral candidate Herb Bergson without mentioning Bergson once ran against his brother.
This columnist doesn’t seem to mind the regressive taxes that made the Red Plan twice as expensive as other such projects in Minnesota history. When School Board member Gary Glass estimated Johnson Controls’ no-bid contract could entitle the company to
$33.4 million, the columnist gave Glass the “Bergson treatment,” calling him dishonest days before a general election. The “brilliant” Dixon and his staff convinced the News Tribune that Johnson Controls would earn only $4.5 million, 2 percent of costs (“No $33.4 million ‘plum’ in contract,” June 19, 2007). Yet, six months earlier, the district signed an agreement giving Johnson Controls up to 11 percent of costs as payment and to use to pay contractors and subcontractors. Since when is lying courageous?
Dixon’s haste to complete Red Plan projects forced children to move en masse to new schools. The flight of 10 percent of students is Dixon’s legacy. When the administrators he left behind claimed this year’s loss of another 15 students was really a gain of 300 it was as though Dixon never left.
Surely the “educator” in our columnist would agree small class size is one of the few necessities for successful learning. Yet swollen classes are also Dixon’s “gutsy” legacy.
Sadly, having a small School Board has not improved its education. It turns off microphones when people ask questions.
The writer was a Duluth School Board member from 1996-2004.