Swords/Plowshares 20 – A wall of letters


The Sell Central message is not only on Facebook and email being sent to the School Board. Today a wall of sell Central letters was published on the New Tribune’s Opinion Page. They were all extraordinarily eloquent, smart and sensible. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Perhaps, tomorrow the Trib will have a similar wall of letters opposing the sale. If so, I can only hope they are not so hopelessly innacurate as so much that I heard from DPSA haters in the Tuesday night audience.

And By the way. I’ve been careless calling the DPSA “Edison” in this blog. Its habit and shorthand that is a hangover from twenty years ago when the Edison Company won the “competition” for the best of five or six proposals to start a Charter School in Duluth. Today it has little to do with the DPSA or the Duluth Public School Academy. Its particularly lazy of me because my just divorced daughter (proud graduate of East High School) got a job at the DPSA six or seven years ago after coming back home a vulnerable single mother.

She applied to become a para working with special ed kids and got the chance to show off her extraordinary powers working with off kilter kids that she fell in love with even as they did their best to make their surroundings one heck of a challenge for her. Today she sent me a link to School Head Bonnie Jorgenson’s Facebook post correcting, as I have been doing, a slew of misinformation spread at the Tuesday meeting about Ed……Ooops! the Duluth Public Schools Academy.

I heard from Alanna Oswald that she forwarded the corrections to DFT President Bernie Burnham who she reports did the honorable thing and passed it on to her DFT union members.

But first. I am only aware of one of these DNT letter writers who has also sent an email to the Board. Here is a thumbnail quote from each with a link to the full letter.

Dylan Raddant: “If sale-preventing rules are not waived, Edison still would compete against the Duluth public schools while the citizens of Duluth would be deprived of a financial windfall for their children’s education.”

Marcia Hanson: “…many city voters may not all realize that if the district doesn’t sell old Central, taxes may have to be raised, and they’re high enough already, or something else will have to be done about the deficit.”

Sue Connor: “Taxes from ISD 709 increase almost yearly, yet we haven’t seen markedly better academic achievement from students. It is my opinion there needs to be a complete overhaul in how the schools are run. Maybe instead of fearing competition, the district should look at what the charter schools and private schools are doing differently and emulate it. Maybe then we could keep the Duluth public schools’ enrollments healthy.”

Cecilia Hill: “With the money from the sale the school district would have less debt and more money for reducing class sizes and extras for students.”

Joe Kleiman: “There aren’t qualified buyers standing in line to purchase the property. The first deal agreed to had a purchase price of $10 million but fell through. This deal at $14 million appears too good to be true.”

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