Chris, I think you missed the point and living in Jacksonville, it’s a pretty big one. This award was from Leadership Jacksonville, which is connected to the Chamber of Commerce. For years before you were writing your blog & I was advocating for public schools, Deborah was going into LJ to speak FOR public schools. As a result of the relationships she has built over 30 years, she was asked to speak to their executives even though she disagreed with Chamber policy, and she told them that clearly. While you might not like that Gary also received an award, this was not about him. This was about recognizing that Deb is a community leader who has influence & credibility in Jacksonville. She uses that to advance public education. We all have to do our part to challenge so-called reform, but we have to recognize there are different ways. You ways will reach some, mine will and so will Deb’s. So how about we tone down the criticism of each other just a little bit?
To which I responded:
Do you mean the chamber of commerce which is one of the biggest proponents of the privatization agenda? I am appreciative of your Mrs. Gianoulis and others effort but what you don’t get is I am in the classroom, I see firsthand the destruction that has occurred to both kids and teachers alike, so you can sit back and say, hey there are different ways of doing things, you have that luxury, I don’t. Furthermore when she accepts awards from the chamber or with Chartrand your buddy Gary she gives them tacit approval. One other thing that makes us different is every time I have written something I have put my career on the line. So please don’t lecture me about who is more committed. It is easier to fight for change, when you aren’t willing risking anything.
That’s what she did when she accepted the award. She gave them tacit approval of their agenda. If she really wanted to make a point, if she really wanted to be a leader then she would have said thanks but no thanks and explained why.
Maybe I do get to emotionally involved but what you won’t find me doing is even tacitly supporting people or groups that hurt students and teachers which is funny because I thought at least there I was in agreement with Save Duval Schools.
One last thing, I have been critical of the union, the president and the secretary of education when I have felt they were on the wrong side of the education agenda, I won’t give Gianoulis and Save Duval schools a pass when they are too.