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An Open Letter to Evan Dawson

Howard Eagle

As usual, you seem to think that the most important voice in our community regarding the possibility of our children returning to school in-person, and/or (for that matter), any other critical, urban, public education issue, is the voice of the guy who some refer to as the “czar,” or the “real” Rochester City School District (RCSD) superintendent, Adam Urbanski.

Why, Mr. Dawson, does it seem that Urbannski is ALWAYS the first person you avail your powerful WXXI Radio platform, CONNECTIONS, as you did recently—to give voice regarding vitally important issues affecting OUR children and families? There is no need to answer. The question is completely rhetorical. I think we already know the answer.

Even though some of us have had, and still have serious issues with Mayor Lovely Warren, we do believe that she is correct regarding her reason and rationale for refusing to appear on your radio program in recent years. We did not come to this conclusion lightly. We gave it deep, serious thought and consideration. However, as you know well, our belief was solidified during the summer of 2020.

We believe that you are aware—and if not, you should be—that Adam Urbanski absolutely does NOT speak for the vast majority of RCSD parents and families. In fact, many categorically disagree with him on most education issues. Large numbers view him as one of the greatest obstacles to overall progress within the RCSD, and clearly want him gone. Yet, you continue to trot him out as some sort of outstanding, authoritative RCSD voice. He is not. You wouldn’t dare pull such a stunt where lily-white suburban school districts are concerned.

Did you ever stop to think, and/or ask yourself why is it that nearly everyone in Monroe County—who pays attention to the politics of education—knows Adam’s name? Yet, even those of us who are avid “hawks” relative to the politics of education would be hard pressed to even name a union boss in any of the other 22 Monroe County school districts. Why is that Mr. Dawson? This is NOT a rhetorical question. Can you please provide your listening audience with an answer?

Also, as usual, Urbanski used the far-reaching platform, which you routinely provide, to operate in his normal wanna-be-slicker-than-everybody-fashion—to advocate for hiring more, mainly white, suburbanite social workers and so-called psychologists (whom in many cases, for all practical intents and purposes are, culturally speaking, like foreigners, or like ‘fish-out-of-water’).

I am clearly and unequivocally saying—which everyone who is paying close attention already knows—MOST are not effective, period! Yet, (with your readily convenient help), Urbanski is spouting a so-called need, under the thinly veiled guise of supposedly providing “social-emotional support” for our children. But clearly, this is really about bolstering the Rochester Teachers Association coffers via mainly increased white membership dues. The wanna-be-slickster is also suggesting that more, mainly white, suburbanite teachers need to be hired (in order to accommodate potentially new, covid-based classroom arrangements). You would think that he would at least mention the need to make an effort to address the last-in-first-out (LIFO), structural racism phenomenon, which rages on in the RCSD, and has been exacerbated due to covid, but clearly, this is not a concern of his, nor (apparently) of yours.

The twist is new, but Adam’s game is ancient. He is after new State, and Federal money that’s pouring into the RCSD in unprecedented amounts. He’s saying it outright, and you are doing all that you can to amplify his voice!

The only question left for RCSD parents and families is the same one that Jim Brown kept asking the late Richard Pryor when the latter was going through his struggles with drug addiction: “What-cha-gon-do?”

~Howard Eagle










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