07 May 2007

Dellums Takes Charge

Doddering Ron Dinkins, er, I mean Dellums, is off to a blinding start when it comes to attacking Oakland's myriad problems. After a couple months-long disappearing act, he's now surfaced with a million-dollar makeover on what he apparently considers the most crucial of them: his office. Oh yeah, plus a pay raise for himself and a new driver and bodyguard to accompany him through the streets of his fair city. Oh, and where's he coming up with the money in that perennially broke city? Half of it's being lopped off the budget of one of the new schools launched during Jerry Brown's tenure. Let's see: educating children or pay raise and chauffeured limo for the mayor, which is more important? Don't say I didn't warn you.


drydock said...

While I mostly agree with your sentiment here, I wouldn't cry for the school that got cut. Jerry Brown raised millions of private dollars for his two pet charter schools (the other being the military academy) while ignoring the other 99% of Oakland schools. Many of whom, as we all know, are still miserably falling. On education Jerry Brown was AWOL.

Dellums appointed a woman named Kitty Kelly Epstein to be the head of his education task force. She has a radio show on KPFA, I think called Education Today. Politically I would put here in the Tim Wise school of leftism, which should no doubt brighten your day Larry.

Larry Livermore said...

You make a good point regarding the charter schools as opposed to the bulk of Oakland's public schools. But - and this might be giving Jerry Brown more benefit than he's entitled to - it might be argued that he was experimenting with new methods to see how they worked with the intention of using what was learned there in improving other schools in the future.

Not that I'm necessarily making that argument; I said a couple years ago that I thought Brown had gone AWOL not just on education, but on Oakland in general during much of his second term. However, I also don't think it's unfair to point out that Oakland schools are an unholy mess, have been for years, and attempts to reform them have and will run straight into a hornet's nest of race-obsessed fanatics of the Tim Wise variety.

In other words, I'm not optimistic, which is just one more reason I'm happy to be living as far away from Oakland as it's possible to live without leaving the USA.