In Dallas Independent School District, It's the Best School Board Money Can (and Did) Buy
In the end, Damarcus Offord never stood a chance against Bernadette Nutall.
Oh. Right. That.
After all the candidate forums and the radio debates and the mayor-izen endorsements, it turned out that the roughly 117 people who care about the politics of Dallas Independent School District were just extras in the occasional stage play put on by the North Dallas elite, who this time around emptied the change from their golf bags to put on a sterling production of Buy Buy School Board.
The three candidates who won seats over the weekend -- incumbent Bernadette Nutall and newcomers Dan Micciche and Elizabeth Jones -- were the candidates funded by Educate Dallas, the regional chamber's PAC, and Kids First, a similarly positioned PAC. Alliance-AFT, the teachers union that threw its support behind an entirely different slate, was a complete non-factor. So much for the big-bad-teachers-union theory.
The union got the most attention for endorsing Damarcus Offord, a 20-year-old college student with a less-than-firm grasp on the way school districts operate. But even if Offord had brought something, anything to the table besides his always-lit flamethrower, the money was always there, ready stamp him out. The $55,000 Nutall raised may not sound like much, but it was good for about 43 bucks a vote. It was more than enough.
As a result, the board remains as predictable as it's been, for better or worse. The rubber stamps for the reform movement's signature moves -- charter schools, Teach for America, performance-based pay, more aggressive HR practices (including more teacher firings), etc. -- have been re-moistened, and they are ready to be deployed by new supe Mike Miles.
Here's hoping they work.
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