Please Take Michael Tilley’s Survey about Values and Value Conflicts in Redistricting.

This is just a quick note.  I have a number of posts in the works that I can’t seem to get finished, but I want to use this space for something useful.  So, I’d encourage anyone reading this to go read Michael Tilley’s blog post and take his survey about the values and value conflicts in play in the process of redistricting in the ICCSD.  To save space I’ll say that I agree with the points you’ll read Michael make about the about the current board’s seeming inability to really publicly deliberate about the values at stake in much of their work.  I say this while still acknowledging that this board (with the aid of the previous one with which it shares 5 members) is poised to get more done in addressing longterm needs than many, many boards before them.  Still though, the purpose of electing a lay board rather than a group of technocrats is to find people who we trust to represent our values publicly as they weigh the courses of action that the Administrative team presents.  Whether its individual temperaments, fractured personal relationships, or the combination of district politics and the Iowa open meetings law that’s the cause, we rarely get to see the kind of deliberation that the process requires. 

Michael’s survey is not a “what is public opinion” tool.  Its a “how should we be thinking about these issues?” tool.  I’d encourage everyone who is interested in solving problems in the ICCSD to take it, and to think about how your answers there interplay with what you come to the process thinking is the right way to proceed forward.  Maybe it will shake something new loose.  I’d especially encourage the members fo the Board of Education to take the survey and to use it (not its results, which Michael notes reflect mostly the views of a small number of district activists) to guide their thinking as they interpret the new maps that the superintendent will be bringing to their attention soon.

Author: Eric D. Johnson

I do American Studies (PhD University of Iowa 2012) scholarship, including but not limited to: Race and Genre in American Popular Music, Critical Southern Studies, and African American Memory and History in the Ozarks. I also write about educational policy and politics, focusing on integration and desegregation and the intersection of school and housing policies.

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