#MCS Following the Media – 2/21/11-2/25/11

Early voting has been going on for just over a week and as of the last count released, 10601 voters had participated. This number only accounts for voters that have participated through Thursday, so I’m sure the total is higher now.

The pace of early voters picked up starting on Saturday when satellite locations opened around the city. From Saturday through Thursday between 1400 and 2500 voters participated each day.

Early voting locations remain open through Thursday, March 3rd at these locations.

The other big story of the week was the closed door session held by the County Commission regarding the appointment of a new unified school board. While private consultations between attorneys and clients are commonplace, even among government entities, Commissioner Terry Roland took exception to the meeting and spoke to the media about the issues being discussed.

Of course, neither Commissioner Roland nor the media as a whole has had no problem with secret meetings conducted by Shelby County Board of Education several weeks ago, so one has to wonder about the double standard. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about openness, as I have stated time and time again, however, if there’s going to be this kind of outrage it needs to be uniform, not on again off again like a Jr. High School crush.

On Monday, the Shelby County Commission will take up the issue of the Unified Board again. If the current support holds the measure should pass easily.

Speaking of the Shelby County Board of Education, the board voted to give Supt. Aitken a contract extension through 2015, as well as a golden parachute if it turns out that he doesn’t remain in his post. This, like so many others by SCS board is a political move intended to create some kind of drama if Aitken isn’t retained by any future board.

I can already read the headlines now, “Unified Board Vote Opens Golden Parachute”. By then, regular folks will have forgotten that it was this board that voted for the golden parachute to begin with, though I’m sure people predisposed against anything the unified board might do will blame them for lack of fiscal discipline rather than the folks who created this situation, the current SCS Board. I understand my cynicism is showing, but watch it happen folks.

Jackson Baker has a pretty good piece at the Memphis Flyer detailing the timeline of events. I suggest that people who are interested in the politics of the issue, but who haven’t been keeping up with the day to day issues give it a read.

Also, Zack McMillin has been giving the issue some pretty extensive coverage, both in the paper and at the CA’s Eye on Politics blog. If you’re not checking there periodically, you’re missing out on some good analysis that doesn’t always make the paper.

I’m sure there’s plenty more stuff going on, but I’ve been so nose down in a research paper that I haven’t had as much time to explore everything.

Don’t forget to get out and vote. As I said, early voting continues through Thursday. Election day is Tuesday, March 8th.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Strife Heats Up over Memphis Schools
Very early early-vote totals
East Shelby Republicans Hold Schools Forum
Schools Consolidation Early Voting Tops 2K
School Merger Forum Seeks to Educate Not Advocate
Early Voting Down at the Polls
Former School Board Member on Low Voting Numbers
Dr. Whalum’s Tweet Compares Charter Surrender to Rape
No rush to polls for early charter balloting
Suburbs study effect of possible schools merger on property values

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Schools website filled with resources
Early-voting numbers update
Referendum not drawing many early voters
Merger Debate: Tomeka Hart and Chris Thomas
School Consolidation Supporters Disappointed by Early Voting Turnout
County to view school rezoning alternatives

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shelby County Commission gets legal briefing on schools in closed session
Election Commission: Early Voting Numbers May Throw A Wrench in School Showdown
Education moment for Memphis, Shelby
County Commission asserts right to appoint all 25 members of unified school board
Commission Finds Surprises in Countywide School Board District Lines
County Commission Holds Counsel on Schools Behind Closed Doors
The Future of MCS: What If the Referendum Vote Fails?
Shelby County Commission Locks Public Out Of Meeting
MCS Schedules “Just So You Know” Town Hall Meetings
“Just So You Know” MCS Information Campaign Off to Slow Start
School Consolidation Controversy at Shelby County Commission
Few attend Memphis City Schools consolidation forum
No More Omerta!: Terry Roland Spills the Beans on Executive Session
How We Got Here

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

YouTube, a voter’s best friend
More schools YouTube fun: Pickler, Shafer, Thomas
SCS board locks Supt. Aitken in through 2015; would cost taxpayers $400,000 to choose different consolidated leader
U of M Study Prompts School Merger
Shelby County School board extends superintendent’s contract to 2015
Early voting sluggish on Memphis City Schools charter referendum

Friday, February 25, 2011

Commission to Consider Consolidated School Board
Is a Merger Worth It?
Shelby Co. School Super Gets Four Year Contract Extension
School Merger Debate: Bartlett Mayor and Commissioner Mulroy

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