Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's a nice kid like you doing in a place like this?

Kamryn (left) and her pal Delaney. 
A SMALL TALK SALUTE goes out to Caprock Charter School third-grader Kamryn Renfro who had shaved her head over the weekend to show support for good friend 11-year-old Delaney Clements who lost her hair from chemotherapy. The charter board in its wisdom, voted to kick her out of school until her hair grew back. It seems that baldness violates their school dress code. But Kamryn and her family hung tough, raised hell, got overwhelming public support, a social-media firestorm erupted and the family won a reversal of the ruling allowing her to take her rightful seat back. My only question is, what's a nice kid like Kamryn doing in a charter school run by such creeps? One board member even voted again to expel her.

Prof. JVH
MY FAVORITE UT PROF Julian Vasquez Heilig recalls our appearance on Rag Radio last month in Austin and somehow links me and host Thorne Dreyer to hippie-dom and the beat generation (Fighting for Public Education with the Activist Hippies, the Original Hipsters). He's only partially right. See my comments at the end. But thanks for all you do, Prof. JVH.

FURNITURE MATH...CPS plans to back up the truck at Staples and spend a cool $10 million on furniture for their new digs at the Sears flagship store at Dearborn & Madison. I can't say too much about that since I just bought my own "ergonomic" desk chair at Staples for about 200 bucks. But $10 million? I mean, that's furniture for about 1,200 central office bureaucrats. I'm no mathematician but that comes out to $8,333.33 per crat. OK, I realize that Byrd-Bennett, Col. Tim Tyrell and other top bosses will get nicer, more expensive stuff, but still.

BBB's current office chair obviously won't do.
While I have my calculator out, if they would just spend $5M on new furniture and use the other 5 for classroom needs, that comes out to hiring back  about 100 teachers, librarians & social workers.

For those who don't follow such things, Staples Inc. started with backing from private equity firms including Bain Capital and Bain co-founder Mitt Romney served on the company's board of directors for the next 15 years, helping shape their business model. In 1996, Staples became a member of the Fortune 500 companies as sales surpassed $3 billion.

I take solace in the fact that I'm sitting in a Staples ergo-chair trying my hardest to keep neighborhood schools open and improving, while BBB will be parked in a plush rich Corinthian leather chair behind her new brass-plated desk (I'm sure it won't come from the Staples catalog) plotting how to close them.


  1. Does baldness violate Caprock's policies for boys, or just for girls? What about the fact that black males tend to shave their heads more than white males do? Sexism and racism in one package deal - what a bargain!

  2. Cool, Mike. I was also amused by the good professor's hippie-ization of us! It's all good!

  3. The shocking thing is that charters - at least in some states - can vote on such a thing with impunity. They don't even need to be subtle!


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