Update at 2:57: Dallas ISD spokesman Jon Dahlander wrote to clarify that Morath was not actually delivering a commencement address. (For that, you can watch the entire ceremony DISDBlog firmly in the latter category. Morath is their fork-tongued punching bag." target="_blank">here.)
"All elected trustees are asked to participate in graduation ceremonies for schools in their elected districts," he writes. "They are also invited to bring greetings as part of the program. In fact, the printed program from the ceremony lists Mr. Morath as bringing 'Greetings.'"
Duly noted. Still awesome.
Original post: Close watchers of Dallas ISD generally have their minds made up about Trustee Mike Morath. Either he's a smart and far-sighted champion of innovative, game-changing solutions that can help save urban public schools, or he's one head of the hydra carrying water for the business establishment and peddling school reform at the expense of teachers and students.
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Nevertheless, they did the world the great service of posting the Morath's recent Woodrow Wilson High School commencement speech on YouTube in its entirety. It is a masterwork.
Morath takes his time on the stage to offer a lesson in democracy. First, he picks six kids at random to illustrate what two percent of the population -- the pathetically low number he says vote in school board elections -- looks like. Then, he asks a question one suspects he knew the answer to well in advance: How man of the kids actually want to hear him talk?
A couple of hands reach hesitantly skyward, but the vote's clear. Majority rules. Morath steps off the stage. Even the sign-language interpreter applauds.
(h/t The Dallas Morning News)