Anna Shepherd, the chairwoman of the Nashville school board, wrote an editorial in today’s Tennessean asking the State Board of Education to reject Rocketship’s appeal to the state.
I don’t want to discuss Rocketship in this post, but I do want to talk about her inaccuracies about the State Board of Education.
The nine members of State Board of Education are appointed by the Governor, approved by the General Assembly, and serve five year terms. Each member represents their congressional district. Nashville is part of the 5th congressional district (Jim Cooper’s seat).
In the editorial, Shepherd says,
Gov. Bill Haslam appoints members to the state board. The only state board member who nominally represents Nashville is Wendy Tucker, co-CEO of Project Renaissance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of charter schools in Tennessee.
Except that’s not the case. Wendy Tucker represents the 7th congressional district (Marsha Blackburn’s seat), which does not include Davidson County or Metro Nashville Public Schools. She’s not Nashville’s representative on the board. It’s right there on the state’s website if you google it.
Shepherd goes on to say that no board members live in Nashville.
Hopefully, the appointed members of the state board — none of whom live in Nashville — will see through Rocketship’s ruse and uphold the judgment of the local elected school board.
Again, not the case. Carolyn Pearre, the Vice Chair of the State Board of Education who is currently serving her 14th year on board, lives in Nashville, TN (according to the Tennessee Education Association) and represents the 5th congressional district.
Maybe it’s time for our school board to actually meet Nashville’s representative on the State Board. She’s only been there 14 years.
As chair of the Nashville school board, you need to know who actually represents you at the state level.
Blame the state board for a lot of things, but don’t blame them for not representing Nashville because you didn’t look it up.
Facts matter. Google helps.