Peep-hole power

It's a scary world out there, but someone's gotta keep it under control. Jim Schutze uncovers the secret agony of the Dallas Citizens Council.

And it's teachers. That means you can fix it. Re-train the teachers. Fire them. Find new ones. Hire tutors. Whatever it takes. Maybe it will be hard. But the good news is that you can fix it. Those kids don't have to go through life as illiterate dropouts.

And the Dallas Citizens Council knows that. It's about the systematic maiming of lives. If there is an occasion in life for some balls, isn't this it?

Luce angrily denies that he or the Citizens Council is chickening out of anything. He points out that he personally has funded some of the key research in this area through a research group he launched in Austin called "Just for the Kids." He says, "I don't know of the Citizens Council backing away from a thing." He suggests that everything is under control, and that things will happen when the Citizens Council thinks things should happen.

The Citizens Council is not public on this issue. They're all still up there in the tower playing never-complain, never-explain behind the curtain. Only now they're afraid to come out.

What approaches, however, is one of those moments when the chemistry set goes boom. The NAACP and LULAC have joined in a lawsuit to force DISD to release the core data on this issue to them. When they get it, Fish is going to publish it on the Web.

On that day, the point will be made very dramatically: Someone allowed the lives of thousands of children to continue to be harmed by bad teaching for a period of years after the basic nature and scope of the problem had already been discovered.

The Citizens Council knows. But they're afraid to say anything. Because they're afraid of people like John Wiley Price. Who actually agrees with them.

Boom. There they are. Charred pompadours. The sheepish grin.
At least we have that much tradition left to cling to.

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