Riddle of the Day:

What do you get when you cross the Virgin of Guadalupe

480 Our Lady Guadalupe

With a touch of Steve Jobs

steve-jobs-story-top

And a whole lot of Godfather?

al-pacino-godfather-ftr

You get this disturbing image that has graced the pages of the Miami New Times twice in the last year.

carvalho

The first time this creepy image with the Ghostbuster green slime background graced the New Times was last March. As a fellow person of Mediterranean skin tone, I can recommend that the superintendent stay away from green backgrounds. It’s like sticking an olive in a margarita. Speaking of green, apparently our superintendent not only leads the fourth largest school district in the nation, serves as principal of the successful I-Prep magnet school downtown, but also finds time for property management. Unfortunately, the landlord gig does not seem to be working out for him and may actually be a public health threat. According to the Miami New Times regarding a rental home in Fort Lauderdale, “The swimming pool at this property is not being maintained and in proper condition. It is full of stagnant water. It has an accumulation of trash or debris. The pool in this condition is a public nuisance.” http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/schools-superintendent-alberto-carvalho-cited-for-leaf-clogged-mosquito-infested-pool-8323744

Maybe we should think twice before the School Board gets into the landlord business. Imagine what the pool will look like at the teacher housing projects they plan to build in Brickell!

The first article was written in typical New Times fashion where they focused on digging up dirt on local officials. The second article, using the same image, seemed more like something that the Miami Herald would run after a substantial pay off.  The fact that the literally glowing review of the superintendent’s leadership was written by a former member of 2 Live Crew, who’s opus includes titles like “Pop that Coochie” and  “Oh, Me So Horny,” is an endorsement that most public school superintendents might shy away from. But this is Miami, a town where traditional puritanical social norms need not apply.  According to Mr. “Me Love You Long Time” the district will return to its banana republic status if the superintendent leaves.  He cites the superintendent’s record of helping to rebuild neglected urban public schools like Norland and Miami Central.http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/uncle-luke-alberto-carvalho-must-ignore-congressional-run-and-help-miamis-schools-9349934

After attending several technology PDs at the I-Tech Edison campus, I can testify that the transformation of some of Miami’s inner city schools is impressive. I felt like I had stepped into a New England prep school when I first entered I-Tech with its historic brown brick facade and inviting courtyard. The classrooms with their designer desks with wheels and cupholders did not disappoint either. It is to the superintendent’s credit that such impressive public institutions exist in some of the worst neighborhoods of Miami. Conversely, one has to wonder if these well equipped boutique facilities come at the expense of other public schools in the district?

You can see the I-Tech Edison campus for yourself in this Microsoft promotional video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkFCSLs6lKY, Three things become apparent from watching the video: Microsoft may be benefitting more from its partnership with Dade County schools than the district, even students at I-Tech have to work on the terrible tablets and not the expensive MacBooks like the ones in the slime green photograph, and typing on those tablets with long acrylic nails is extremely difficult and inefficient!

One element of truth portrayed in the New Times photo is the look of total disinterest on the students’ faces, even when being graced by the presence of the National Superintendent of the Year. That’s the exact same look my students give me when their screens light up. It’s like I become the invisible woman all of a sudden.

It’s not surprising that even Mr. “As Nasty As He Wants To Be” would write such a nice piece about the superintendent. Ever since the superintendent hinted at a run for congress, the sometimes literally glowing reviews of his record as Chief of Miami Dade County Public Schools seem to be published on the daily.

Which reminds me of a line I heard while watching Argo the other day:

“If you want to sell a lie, get the press to sell it for you.”

When the superintendent was quoted in an article about a protest over the miserly budget from Tallahassee as saying,

“I know that budgets are a reflection of values. We budget what we value. We defund what we don’t value.”

I couldn’t help but think of the sad economic situation faced by many Miami Dade County Public School teachers. We may work in a district with a $5 billion dollar budget, but our work is clearly not valued by the School Board. Whether the deification of our superintendent from the local media be for the purpose of promoting a congressional run or just an extension of his contract, the teachers of Miami Dade County would for once like to be the beneficiaries of our superintendent’s saintly powers. Our martyrdom has made Miami Dade County Public Schools what it is today and we deserve to bask in at least a little of the green glow that surrounds our superintendent.

 

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