AISD in the news

Once a certain article about discipline in the schools (see below) is more widely read, the Austin Independent School District will, for preparation of a response, rely, no doubt, upon the services of its “communications apparatus,” now or soon to be the “Department of Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach,” according to an article in today’s local daily (“District revamps public relations office using federal funds for cultural outreach,” byline Laura Heinauer).

The five most highly remunerated members of this department will earn annual salaries of $107,999, $88,306, $85,128, $82,000, and $78,710. According to the Statesman article, the job description of someone not even among these five will be to “come up with ‘branding and communications strategies,’ assist in the crafting of speeches for Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and other senior leadership, build a network of ‘internal key communicators to act as ambassadors for district objectives and accomplishments,’ and write news releases and official statements that ‘accurately convey the district’s message . . . [elision in article] correcting inaccuracies advanced by the media.'”

What will the AISD “communications apparatus” find to say about an article entitled “Don’t talk back to teacher” (byline Chris McGreal) appearing in print as a three-page article in the Guardian Weekly of January 27 and on line with many hyperlinks as “The US schools with their own police.”

This is really a must-read report that will be seen by subscribers all over the world. It’s about so-called “zero tolerance” policies in the schools (in Texas particularly, with attention paid to a specific case connected with Fulmore Middle School), school police forces, and studies by Texas Appleseed, based here in Austin.

How did schools educate anyone in the years before the advent of “communications apparatus” and police on the premises, some bearing firearms? How did principals and superintendents manage to answer questions from the public and from reporters without assistance? How did they write their own speeches or even deliver them extemporaneously? How did students known for bringing jackknives, pea shooters, slingshots, and squirt guns or water pistols to school escape dire consequences and graduate and become law-abiding citizens? Just wondering.

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