Sunday, July 22, 2018

These are the candidates running for school board in district 6.

On the August 2nd general election ballot are races for school board in district 2, 4, 6, and 8.  I don't live in one of these district, have heard little about the candidates and do not know any of them. This is different from the 2012 school board election in which there were forums and lots of money spend and lots of attention paid to the school board races. Why there is so little interest being paid to school board elections this election season I don't know since our schools are getting worse instead of better.

There are four candidates seeking the school board seat in district 6. All four candidates are African American and all have impressive credentials. District 6 is southern Antioch or Cain Ridge and straddles both side of  I-24 north of the county line. Tyese Hunter is the incumbent seeking reelection and she has three challengers.

Below is information about the candidates gleamed from a recent Tennessean article which you can find at this link and information from candidates website, Facebook posting and a few other sources.  

Tyese Hunter
Tyese Hunter is the incumbent. She is married, has three children, is the daughter of a retired police sergeant, is a licensed speech pathologist and has served in the US Navy reserved.  Her name was on the May ballot for Juvenile Clerk Court but she dropped out of the race after her daughter, who has a disability, became ill. She said she needed to make her daughter's health her priority.  

She serves as budget and finance chair of the school board. She is very supportive of Dr. Joseph.  She is supportive of charter schools.  In April 2016 she had guest editorial published in the Tennessean titled "Nashville School Board must regain focus, accept facts." In this article she addressed the generally poor quality of Metro Schools and how the gap between the bad schools and the good schools is widening. In this article she writes,
While most children in Nashville are falling behind, there are a handful of schools reversing this bleak trend. The report identified 10 “gap closing” schools – meaning schools that are actually reversing the achievement gap. Notably, 6 of the 10 gap closing schools are public charter schools.  These non-profit, open enrollment public schools serve about 10 percent of our students, but represent 60 percent of our best schools. ... Contrary to what some of my anti-charter colleagues on the school board claim, when you factor in these other measures, charter schools look even more promising.
I am an advocate of charter schools and Tyese Hunter's outspoken support of charter schools is a plus. She has the endorsement of  the Metro Nashville Education Association which is the teacher's union, the Service Employees International Union, and Nashvillians for an Effective School Board. While I do not view these endorsements as reasons I would support someone, I know that organizations such as unions often go with someone they think is likely to win because they do not want to make powerful enemies. So, while these endorsements are not a factor in her favor in my view, I would not vote against her because she got these endorsements.

For more information on Tyese Hunter you can visit her website at this link her twitter feed at this link and she has a Facebook page but you want gain much insight about her from visiting it. To see a Tennessee Tribune video interview with Ms.Hunter and candidate Earl Lattimore, follow this link.

Fran Bush
Fran Bush is a married mother of five children, three currently enrolled in Metro public schools and two who graduated Metro schools. She owns Model Kids Learning Academy, a childcare center. She said she is also a longtime board member of her homeowner's association. Bush said she isn't opposed to charter schools and that every family deserves a choice in where their kids get an education. But she said the district must do a better job of managing the cost of charter schools.  She has criticized Joseph for cutting Reading Recovery program out of the budget. My view on this issue is that this particular reading program was not cost effective. It was very expensive and did not show impressive results. You can read more about this program at this link. Bush has advocate adding metal detectors to schools. I don't know if this is practical or not and it would obviously be very expensive but given the tragedies of recent school shootings, I would not criticize a person for proposing it. 

Fran Bush has no endorsements.  You can visit her campaign Facebook page at this link, To see a Tennessee Tribune interview with the candidate, follow this link.

Earl Lattimore
Earl Lattimore has one daughter who attends LEAD Academy High School. He is supportive of Dr.Joseph's vision and says Joeph has not been on the job long enough to prove himself. He has worked with MNPS since 2012 and is currently a consultant for the state Department of Education. He says he takes middle ground approach to charter schools. "I am not going to say I am a proponent, but I do believe in choice," he said. You can visit his campaign Facebook page at this link. To see a Tennessee Tribune video interview with Ms.Hunter and candidate Earl Lattimore, follow this link.

Aaron McGee the executive director of Youth Life Foundation of Tennessee, which is a faith-based
Aaron McGee
nonprofit that provides tutoring services to kids. McGee received an endorsement from the Power of 10 Political Action Committee, which recruits, funds and supports African Americans and other ethnic minorities seeking local and state elections. The WPLN voters guide, attributes these positions to McGee:
  • Will focus on overcrowding and transportation. “We’ve got to have transportation that matches the growth we are experiencing in Antioch.”
  • Won’t abandon Joseph, wants to help him get results by creating a clear framework.
To view his campaign Facebook page follow this link.

The above is all I know about the candidates. If I lived in District 6, I would hope I would know more. It really does look like they are all good candidates. Some of them have advanced degrees and have relevant job experiences and appear to be accomplished people. If any reader of this blog or Facebook post has a candidate they are supporting in this race, please feel free to leave a comment and tell who you are supporting and why.  If you have a good reason for favoring one of the candidates over another, I would not want to influence you to change your mind. Given my limited knowledge of the candidates, if I were voting in this election I would probably vote for the incumbent Tyese Hunter.

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