Buzz

Putting the kow in Kowtown
The giant sucking sound you hear coming from the west is no cause for alarm. It's just the Fort Worth Star-Telegram kneeling, once again, before that city's power structure.

As you know, Fort Worth Police Chief Thomas Windham is taking fire for allegedly abusing his position and demoting people in an effort to make sure his future son-in-law gets a badge.

The charges against Windham were the subject of a bruising public hearing before the city's Civil Service Commission. But before the commission finished its work, the FWST weighed in. Guess what? The paper thinks Windham did nothing wrong. In an editorial last week, the paper told its readers that nothing "improper" had happened.

What the paper did not tell its readers is that former Fort Worth City Manager David Ivory--Windham's buddy and former boss--was hired as a vice president at the Star-Telegram after he left the city manager's post, part of the paper's endearing tradition of giving jobs to former public officials.

In a conversation with Buzz, Ivory acknowledged that Windham stopped by to see him shortly before the editorial ran. Ivory also conceded that he "sat in" when the Windham editorial was being discussed. "But I did not write the editorial," Ivory says.

He spoke too soon
Buzz figures enough trees have already died to bring you every detail of Barry Switzer's arrest for taking a loaded gun to the airport. But we can't resist pointing out one delicious footnote to the saga of the Cowboys' pistol-packing head coach.

Just two days before Switzer's arrest, no less than The New York Times weighed in on the Cowboys' much-hyped efforts to overcome their image as the biggest coke-sniffing, drunk-driving, vibrator-wielding, hooker-loving team in the NFL. A lengthy story, splashed across the bottom of the Times' Sunday sports section, was headlined "Image Makeover: Behold the Kinder, Gentler Cowboys."

The story was better press than Jerry Jones could ever buy, and it contained one sterling quote from Cowboys player Mark Tuinei about the team's season of rebirth. "No one is in jail or in handcuffs," Tuinei jokingly told the paper. Oops.

I say phonics, you say ebonics
If those who can't do, teach, then what do those who can't teach do? Apparently, they get jobs with Voyager Expanded Learning. You might recall this Dallas-based company, which is trying to make money contracting with public school systems to provide high-quality after-school programs.

Voyager is where former Dallas school superintendent Chad Woolery went after he quit DISD. (And after--in one of his last acts in office--he shepherded through a contract for Voyager with DISD.)

The latest education honcho to sign on with Voyager is Carolyn Getridge, former superintendent of schools in Oakland, California. Getridge is best known for pushing ebonics as a legitimate course of study for Oakland schoolkids, an innovation she is now presumably free to share with the entire country. You think you have trouble talking to your kids now?

--David Pasztor

 
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