- POTUS, SotU 2014
This is so important, but education should fuel innovation and imagination, instead of just testing, as well…
Without going in depth on the campaign, I got knocked down. My confidence stolen. It happens when people win that don’t deserve it and people that do, lose.
I took a candidate with zero name recognition, zero money, and zero support base and got her over 2,000 votes in a school board race and, she reminds me everyday, as she is a new client on other ends, that though we lost her race, I accomplished a great feat in less than 8 weeks and earned her admiration.
Thing is, my instincts were not wrong. I was antsy for over two weeks, wondering how we were going to get hit. Sometimes, even when you look for it on campaign financial reports, you can’t find the knockout punch. It’s even more difficult if, again, you have less than eight weeks to learn a territory and come in blind. I’m trying to remind myself of that.
I managed to take on an incredibly popular incumbent, if by popular you mean “name recognition” which is worth its weight in gold in politics and community support or at least, campaign volunteers and shave her lead at the polls from over 2,000 votes in her previous election to less than 450. This is an incredible accomplishment.
And, I managed to unseat the President of a school board with less than 60 votes, recount pending.
And still my confidence is shaky.
I had a good ground game - a perfect field strategy, which couldn’t be executed because the volunteers and money I was promised were far less than the actuality and from one of the candidates in the slate, completely lacking. I learned not to count on that and to add that line item into future contracts with future clients.
The campaign materials I designed were good for a start, but lacking going into early vote and I’ve learned from that. Learned to hold back money for that.
I’ve also learned that if I’m being asked to start a campaign 8 weeks out from Election Day, that I will temper expectations.
….and I will never, ever let a candidate talk about when they take office again. Not in my presence. Not unless they go outside, run around the building and spit three times. I tried to dissuade it. It’s tempting fate. It’s bad luck… It’s just plain bad. I know this. I may put this in a contract, too.
I’m trying to see it not as a true loss, trying to see that I still have game, that this is still my playground, that I’m still good at it, that this was a tremendous learning opportunity.
…but, I don’t lose often. And, my confidence is shaky. And I need to put my resume together for future campaign opportunities. That’s difficult to do, when you’ve been knocked down.
The trend will continue if the tuitions stay as high as they are. Sad part is, is that it’s mostly the poor and lower middle class kids that are declining in numbers. Further widening the gap of opportunities between the lower and upper middle class.
Yes… and no.
Trending right now is talk that not all children should go through the college prep route in school. Instead, apprentice programs are educating in trades that will allow people that do not feel that college is for them to earn a living salary. In Texas, this talk was covered in much of the education debate 83rd Legislative Session, especially in regards to teaching kids just to test them. And you’ll see increased chatter about this during the 2014 elections and the 2015 Legislative Session, if programs are not put in place at the local level.
The fact is, too many kids go onto college because it’s what they’re supposed to do right out of high school, but no one sits down and asks what they want to do and working in the trades is often discouraged, but plumbers - skilled plumbers, make far more than teachers, as do electricians, with far less debt, as well.
We’re not doomed and there is hope, but yes, you raise an excellent point that college is getting to be too damned expensive. A 2-year Community College degree is expected to set back a family over $10k, according to a report from the AP this past weekend. That’s the average cost, but still…
A state judge who has ruled Texas’ public school funding system unconstitutional is being pushed by wealthy school districts and the state to re-open the case for a hearing on action the Legislatur…
How Texas finances public education is difficult to explain. It’s a labyrinth that very few can explain and even seasoned legislators have a difficult time understanding.
But, essentially, if you don’t have any large businesses in your school district paying taxes, you’re screwed.
When the Lege cut school financing by $5.4 BILLION in 2011 (our legislature only meets every two years, because that’s all Texans can actually stand of their debauchery), school districts like Cy-Fair suffered greatly. (Cy-Fair being the school district I live within.) Seen as a middle to upper class suburban foothold, Cy-Fair has largely been distorted as a school district that should be able to maintain its wonderful traditional and excellent school reputation within its own borders. However, because it is a suburb of Houston and very few large business exist within its boundaries, the burden of taxes to pay for public education falls mostly to homeowners, especially as the Texas Legislature keeps cutting how much the state will help.
(Texas is also one of the few states without a state income tax.)
So, what you have is a very red Republican, Tea Party area that hates taxes, because it is a little overtaxed at the local level to pay for the school district, because the state won’t pay its fair share. Yet, they don’t comprehend or even attempt to understand this, and therefore, they keep voting for Dan Patrick and Rick Perry, while I keep hitting my head on my desk and against the wall, really any solid structure I can find.
I should remind you that the state of Texas also declared in its Constitution that education was a right, being necessary for an “educated citizenry”. So, the state of Texas by not funding education properly is actually not doing its due diligence under its own Constitution.
Sorry… I had to vent and get my Political / Education geek hat on… This is very, very bad news, though.