By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
I just got home from a rough day in the classroom. Earlier this morning, I attended a meeting about the tests that we'll be giving to students in our Pre-K to 3 school. We teachers have been under immense pressure from the district regarding the new tests -- Aprenda and Stanford 9 -- that we will be administering in March. I am attending the Reading Academy as well. Our leaders are bombarding us with information on teaching strategies. They are not letting us slide by, as it would seem in your article ("Why Johnny's in the dumpster," February 17). In fact, we seem to spend more time on planning and justifying our lesson plans than we do on the actual implementation of them.
I don't speak on behalf of all teachers, but I can assure Jim Schutze that most teachers are working very hard to make our students succeed. It irritates me to no end whenever someone in another field criticizes us. If you are so disappointed in us, Mr. Schutze, why don't you get yourself a teaching certificate and work with little children? You seem to care so much and demand so much. Why don't you and others like you who are putting down the profession come on in and help by filling the vacancies?
I'll tell you why: It's hard work to teach, and it's easier to sit back and complain. You are part of the problem. No wonder qualified teachers continue to leave the field and discourage others from embarking on this thankless and belittled profession.
Since we are taking a critical look at professions, I'd like to turn the tables on you guys. Why don't you do your homework and provide a few important facts for the public? DISD is no longer administering the ITBS. It's now the Stanford 9 in place of the ITBS. The information on ITBS will not help, as the scores on Stanford will not be comparable.
Jim Schutze continues to nail the Dallas political situation. His report on the Amarillo revelations ("The plantation burns," January 20) is so well-written and informative that it should have been on the front page.
It's not just that he gives an accurate report on what really was said in the Lipscomb trial; his writing skills just make it so personal. You can feel the anguish of a true liberal having to report the truth about a crooked politician who sold out people who trusted him for what was actually not a lot of money.
If you missed this article, go back and read it, copy it, mail it to your friends. It will be the essential key to understanding just how this operates, how we got into our current mess.
In Dallas, "plantation politics" knows no color lines. If you are not part of Our Downtown Betters (or one of their paid "community relations" reps), you are just out of luck.
Thank you, Dallas Observer, for having a place for Jim Schutze. Thank you, Jim Schutze, for speaking the truth with your incredible writing skills.
Sharon L. Boyd
Dallas just might be a better place to live because of writers like Jim Schutze. Jim Schutze is around doing his job. All societies have problems, and looking the other way will not correct any problem that our society has. The law has done what it had to do. And as long as people of color refuse to accept that there are people like Al Lipscomb preying on their goodwill, Dallas will continue to have people rotten to the core.
The Lipscomb trial epitomizes the corruption inherent in Dallas politics. It is for us, the people who have moved here in the last few years (from other, more enlightened places), to bring Texans kicking and screaming into the 20th century. We may even be successful in about 20 years.
And by the way, the South lost the Civil War.
Jim Schutze's articles about the Trinity project (including "Diggin' dirt," February 24) are right on target. Dallas' power elite are a disgrace. Give 'em hell, Jim. But like Harry S Truman said, you're telling the truth and they just think it's hell.
First of all, I must commend Mr. Robert Wilonsky for having the testicular fortitude to give ASKA a review like that (Out Here, February 24). I thought that after the last incident, he would at least give them a chance. Before he goes reviewing bands, don't you think that he should at least attend one of their performances? ASKA puts on a great live show and interacts with their fans, unlike a lot of other bands. Just because they won't go with what's trendy, he thinks they suck.
Well, Wilonsky is what sucks! And so do his reviews. He needs to give ASKA a fair chance. He is the only one who has given a bad review of the new disc Avenger. Grow up, Wilonsky, and get with the program.
Via e-mail I read the review written by Mr. Wilonsky, and I couldn't help but wonder, has the man ever been to an ASKA show? Has he tried to meet the band, talk to them, or see what they're all about? I'm 42 years old, and I'm not your average "headbanger." I have to say, these guys really know what they're doing -- more so than the screaming banshees that are out there every weekend claiming to be musicians. The words are clear; there's a plot to the Avenger CD. Everyone's always bitching and whining about the Satan-worshiping music...you won't find any of that in ASKA. They are artists, musicians, and entertainers. They work their asses off to put on the best show possible. The crowds absolutely love them! They never leave disappointed. The members of ASKA are a fine group of human beings doing what they do best...pouring out their hearts and souls through their passion: the music of ASKA!
A final comment about Mr. Wilonsky: He needs to get with the program -- everyone else is!
Well, it must be that time of year again. It seems as though every time ASKA releases a CD or is nominated for an award by this magazine, Robert Wilonsky crawls out from underneath his rock and trashes ASKA. Why does he review it if he hates it so much? It would be like me writing a review about opera, something I have very little knowledge about or care about learning.
ASKA is popular all over the world, CD sales going through the roof, nothing but praise...and then there is Robert Wilonsky. I just consider the source every time I read something by him.