Lee Announces Leaders of School Privatization Commission

Governor Bill Lee this week announced the members of his state charter school commission, a group tasked with usurping the power of local school boards and fast-tracking charter schools with little accountability. Here’s more on the members from Chalkbeat:

  • Tom Griscom, of Hamilton County, a former director of White House communications under President Ronald Reagan, long-time aide to the late U.S. Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, and former executive editor and publisher of the Times Free Press in Chattanooga
  • David Hanson, of Davidson County, is managing partner of Hillgreen, a private investment firm, and serves on the board for Teach for America and Nashville-based charter network Valor Collegiate Academies. 
  • Alan Levine, of Washington County in East Tennessee, CEO of Ballad Health and a one-time adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  • Terence Patterson, of Shelby County, is the CEO of the Memphis Education Fund and former head of the Downtown Memphis Commission. He was also the chief of staff for Chicago Public Schools, later becoming the director of the Office of New Schools in Chicago, where he managed 113 new charter schools.
  • Mary Pierce, of Davidson County, was a leading charter school advocate during her one term as a school board member with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.
  • Christine Richards, of Shelby County, a former general counsel for FedEx
  • Derwin Sisnett, of Shelby County, co-founded Gestalt Community Schools, a Memphis-based charter school network. He is the founder and managing partner of Maslow Development Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops communities around high performing schools.
  • Eddie Smith of Knox County, is a Republican who served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 2014 until 2018, when he was ousted by Democrat Gloria Johnson.
  • Wendy Tucker, of Williamson County, is an attorney and adjunct professor at Vanderbilt School of Law. A member of the state Board of Education since 2014, she has been an advocate of children with special needs.

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