Subject: Re: Statesman Reporter
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 18:06:31 -0400
From: Brenda Gunn

Hello Gardner,
Dr. Carstarphen met with a small group of Pease parents in early March, at which we presented her some information about Pease as well as our response to the Task Force's options in regards to Pease. As you have seen, parents have come together all over the city in response to the Task Forces' report and the proposed legislative cuts. Where Pease is concerned, I focused my attention on the history of the school, and at the meeting with Dr. Carstarphen I made the connection between Pease Elementary and the Republic of Texas in order to root the significance of the school and the site on which it is built back to the beginnings of the Republic. 

I had a facsimile of the Texas Declaration of Indpendence and pointed out to Dr. C. that education is listed as one of the grievances against the Mexican government. I remarked to her that 175 years ago education was worth a revolution.  I went on to mention that in 1838 President of the Republic of Texas Mirabeau B. Lamar gave his first speech as president and education featured prominently in the speech. Several months later, after Austin was selected as the new capitol of the Republic of Texas, Lamar ordered that the new capitol be surveyed and prepared for the government's arrival. In this 1839 survey of Austin, two city blocks were set aside for education. Pease is on one of those city blocks, and is the inheritor of the many attempts to establish public education that even goes back before independence. 

Dr. Carstarphen was very energized by this information, and though she switched her documents in her recent interview, her comment about Pease being in the constitution really gets to this central point: Pease is a direct manifestation of what the Texas founders wanted for Texas schoolchildren.