The Crewcible
August 4, 2008

The vote is in. 


After delivering speeches that were alternately angry, indignant, accusatory, didactic and/or defiant, four Miami-Dade school board members voted to fire Superintendent Rudy Crew.  Five others did not.  And the superintendent himself delivered an in-their-face challenge to stop a “witch hunt” and “high-tech lynching”.


On face value, the vote was edge-of-your-seat close.  But it wasn’t, really.


The four who want Crew gone have, for weeks, telegraphed their intentions or outlined them quite clearly. The other five have publically maintained unwavering support for Crew’s maverick efforts in reforming a big, tough, underfunded school district.  In this case, a last-minute “swing” vote wasn’t really a factor.


No, the vote was not a surprise.  But the public outcry was, and in several ways.


The number of people who signed up and showed up and took their two minutes at the podium took a collective three hours to speak, many quite passionately, and the vast majority in favor of Rudy Crew.


And the Miami-Dade citizens who want him fired?  Where were they? 




We know they exist in large numbers, because the two board members most adamant in their effort to oust Crew said they do.  Those board members made a point to say their duty to represent their constituents was the reason behind their stand against the accused negligence, mismanagement and insubordination.


Where were all those constituents during the three hour public hearing?? 



If there is “clear discontent in this community”, as one board member insisted, why didn’t some of the discontented, any of them, show up to speak? 


When school starts in two weeks, Miami-Dade’s social studies teachers should pull the videotape from the meeting and that 5-to-4 vote, and give their students a real-life challenge in critical and creative analysis.