Saturday, December 23, 2023

Which School earned an "A" and which school earned and "F." Here is the grade earned by each school in Davidson County.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 23, 2023- This week the Tennessee Department of Education delivered its long awaited first letter score report on every public school in the state, except for a handful with insufficient data to be graded. 

I am pleased to see this information made available in this simple to understand format. Similar to how a classroom letter grades provide a snapshot of student learning, school letter grades allow one to see how well schools are serving students. One can hear from other parents or friends that a school is "excellent" or "pretty good," or "terrible:" this letter grade is not based on impressions but hard data. Thankfully, this score does not include factors like diversity or sports programs or nebulous social factors. This letter grade score rates the school's academics. It measures if students are learning.

To look behind the curtain and see the factors that go into the letter grade or to see the grades of all schools across the state, follow this link

There are 160 public schools in Nashville. Of that number there are 14 with an F grade and 13 with an A grade. Most fall in between. Our Nashville schools are worse than the state average but, if it is any consolation, we are not as bad as Memphis-Shelby County. Below is the list of all the schools in Davidson County and the grade given each school. For more news and analysis of the data see link, link, and link.

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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Tennessee A-F letter grades are out: 1-in-4 schools could face action, audits

by Rachel Wegner, The Tennessean, Dec. 21, 2023- More than a quarter of Tennessee's public K-12 schools could face corrective action and audits from the state after receiving Ds or Fs under a new grading system.

Tennessee released letter grades for every public K-12 school in the state on Thursday, putting a law first passed in 2016 into effect. ... The grading system has stirred controversy since its inception. Advocates say letter grades are a simpler, more transparent way for parents to understand school performance. 

Opponents say the new system unfairly favors proficiency on standardized tests, instead of overall academic growth from year to year, making it harder for schools to earn As or Bs. Some have raised concerns that the grades will further stigmatize public schools, and others have pointed to the underfunding of those schools. (Read more)

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Metro Settles Claim, pays Nashville Rescue Mission and others $214K reimbursement for forcing public sidewalk construction.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 21, 2023- At this past Tuesday's Council meeting, the Metro Council passed aresolution settling the claims of the Nashville Rescue Mission and several others in an amount totaling of $213,966.13. The claim arose out of Nashville's sidewalk ordinance which forced property owners to build public sidewalks in front of their property when they substantially remodeled or developed their property. That policy, thanks to a lawsuit brought by The Beacon Center of Nashville, was ruled unconstitutional.  Nashville Rescue Mission got the largest reimbursement in the amount of $80,134.06. Metro Legal recommended the city settle the claims. 

Nashville Rescue Mission is the local agency doing more to serve the homeless than any other agency in town. It describes itself like this: Nashville Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community committed to helping those who are hungry, hurting, and experiencing homelessness by providing programs and services that focus on a person’s entire life—physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social. Our goal is to restore the whole person through a Christian approach that helps someone experiencing homelessness or struggling with addiction learn how God loves them and gain the biblical insight they need to lead a productive life.

Nashville Rescue Mission is good stewards of the money they receive, and they get no government funding. Nashville Rescue Mission serves close to 1,600 meals a day to those who are hungry, hurting, and experiencing homelessness in the community. This includes three hot meals a day, 365 days a year. They house an average of 800 men, women, and children each night.  

$80,134.06 will buy a lot of hot meals. 

If you are someone you know were forced to build a sidewalk, you may be eligible for reimbursement. To file for reimbursement, follow this link

If you are feeling charitable this holiday season, I can think of no organization more deserving of support than the Nashville Rescue Mission. 

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Nashville’s Real GDP Growth Ranks 2nd Highest in the US

From the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Dec. 21, 2023- Recently, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce released data on GDP growth in the Middle Tennessee Economy. This blog post explores these findings in greater detail.

The bureau of economic analysis (BEA) released figures for GDP at the metro and county level December 7th for 2022. GDP or gross domestic product is the value of the output of the goods and services produced by an economy. It’s an important indicator into how the economy is performing and is especially relevant given the rise in interest rates in recent months.

The chart above shows how the economy has performed in the last few years. GDP shrunk in 2020 due the economic shutdown brought by the pandemic and has quickly recovered.

Nashville’s economy was not as impacted by the pandemic-induced recession as much as the nation. A major strength of Nashville’s economy is its diversity which means that the impacts of national recessions are softened in the Nashville region. Recessions are shallower in Nashville and the local economy recovers relatively quickly. The evidence for this ability to absorb recessions is in the next chart.

Real GDP Growth 2021 - 2022
GDP Change from 2021 to 2022 adjusted for inflation
Top 50 Metros with at least 1M in population

How does Nashville’s GDP growth rank?

Looking at gross GDP, Nashville ranks 6th highest growth rate from 2021 – 2022. However, when we adjust for inflation, Nashville ranks 2nd highest in the country with metros with at least 1M in population. (Read more)

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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

What's on the Council agenda for Dec. 19th.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 19, 2023-  Below is the email newsletter report on the Council agenda provided by Rae Keohane. Rae is a local active Republican.  She reads and studies each Metro Council agenda and shares her opinion on items of interest and shares her email to those on an email distribution list. Having done this myself in the past, I know how time consuming this can be. If you would like to be included on Rae's email distribution list, contact her at In addition to her reporting on the Council, Rae is a facilitator of the Nashville Conservatives breakfast group. 




Since you will be voting on several matters of concern below is my opinion and questions about some matters before you tonight

I would appreciate some responses to my questions.

I spend a few hours on this each meeting I would appreciate a response to my questions.

and many others will be WATCHING you all on TV! 


RS2023-131 I SUPPORT With one question do we have data on how many people have been gainfully employed by participating in this program?   A resolution authorizing the Metropolitan Mayor to execute an Interlocal Agreement for the Northern Middle Tennessee Local Workforce Development Area in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

RS2023-132 I SUPPORT A resolution authorizing the Metropolitan Department of Water and Sewerage Services to transfer control of two parcels of property to the Metropolitan Government.

RS2023-133 I SUPPORT A resolution amending Ordinance No. BL2023-1690, as amended, to provide a stormwater capacity fee appeal process and to amend the applicability of the new section 15.64.035 of the Metropolitan Code.

RS2023-141 If I am reading this correctly, we are paying $6 million for a 5 year contract to service copier, printers and other office machines. Has anyone done an analysis of how many times each machine has to be serviced? Has anyone provided and analyzed how many machines this covers? This data could then be compared to whether or not this is a good deal for the TAXPAYERS! This is the kind of analysis my department had to do as part of operations in my former company.  A resolution approving a contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and RJ Young Company LLC, to provide multifunction devices, copiers, printers, related devices and services for Metro General Services Department.

RS2023-142 I missed the cost of this agreement it is not in the analysis? A resolution accepting the terms of a cooperative purchasing master agreement for mailing equipment, supplies and maintenance services for the General Services Department.

RS2023-143 I SUPPORT A resolution accepting a grant from the Friends of Metro Animal Care and Control to the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Health, to provide funding for emergency medical care for shelter animals and the Pet Pantry, a component of the Safety Net Program.

RS2023-144-145-146-147-148-155 I SUPPORT A resolution approving amendments three and four to a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Health, to provide for the prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV/AIDS and to administer a Minority AIDS Initiative program.

RS2023-xxx( Evans) I ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT!  A resolution authorizing the waiver of certain permit fees for the repair or rebuilding of property damaged as a result of the December 9, 2023 tornado.

BL2023-81 ANOTHER SOLE SOURCE CONTRACT?? $25 MILLION for 5 years are you serious?  I see commercials for security/hosting systems for commercial and personal all the time.  PC MATIC IS AN AMERICAN COMPANY WHICH provides these services has anyone investigated this option?  I mean it is not like the company that does this needs to be in Nashville or even Tennessee!  An ordinance approving a sole source contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Carahsoft Technology Corporation, to provide hosting and security services for, and licensing and support services for departmental systems.

BL2023-1 ANOTHER $10 MILLION FOR 5 YEARS I am STILL not sure why this is a sole source contract there are many companies who provide these services and I am sure some of those companies are in TENNESSEE. Maybe you can ask these folks to make it easier to search for past legislation on the website. An ordinance approving the contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (“Metro”) and Net Tango, Inc., to provide website maintenance and development support for Metro’s website,, and for other Metro governmental agency or department websites, as needed, and which will replace the expiring contract between the parties (contract number 432814). 

BL2023-60 I SUPPORT.  An ordinance to amend Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws, the Zoning Ordinance of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, by changing from RS5 to R6 zoning for property located at 2400 Buchanan Street, at the northwest corner of 24th Avenue North and Buchanan Street and located within a Contextual Overlay District (0.26 acres), all of which is described herein (Proposal No. 2023Z-077PR-001).

BL2023-70 I SUPPORT!  An ordinance to amend Section 13.08.040 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws related to the offering of merchandise for sale on or near public property.

Just in this agenda you are spending $41 MILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS in SOLE SOURCE CONTRACTS FOR the next 5 YEARS.  And that is without counting the $47 million for NES TO CHANGE LIGHTBULBS!   You know a million here a million there and it adds up to real money!


I renew my objection to the NES I am absolutely furious over this $47 million contract how many years will it take to recoup so-called SAVINGS by changing to LED bulbs?????????????????

 This should not have been approved and I think I brought that up when the matter was before you all earlier this year and what did I get CRICKETS not one of you responded.

 Nashville has a SPENDING problem and a management problem not a too little tax problem.


As always thanks for your time and attention.


Below is the report on the Council agenda as published in the Pamphleteer. 


Tonight’s meeting will kick off with a few appointments and reappointments: William H. Freeman is set to remain a board member of the Airport Authority amidst ongoing legal battles. Meanwhile, John P. Nefflen, a litigation attorney and former musician, is up for appointment to the Arts Commission, where he’ll hopefully do something about the missing grants. Another notable appointee on the list is a former council member and current associate director at BMI, Jeff Syracuse: if approved, he’ll be a part of the new Music, Film, and Entertainment Commission.


Another payout just shy of a quarter million dollars to cover a few more claims regarding the unconstitutional sidewalk bill, will be on the agenda tonight, as well as the usual affordable housing-related legislation alongside lengthy discussions regarding HIV/AIDS funding and Metro water/sewer use fees.

Other notable items include a bill concerning the Central East Bank Redevelopment Area’s sewage infrastructure, a resolution to integrate an Adaptive Signal System downtown to address traffic congestion, and a late-filed resolution waiving permit fees for those rebuilding damaged property in light of last week’s tornadoes.


Lastly, the Nashville Electric Service may make an appearance tonight; yesterday, representatives from the utility provider dropped into multiple committee meetings to address the Tennessee Lookout’s recent article about their no-bid contract with Memphis-based Path for the installation of 55,000 LED streetlights.

During yesterday’s Transportation & Infrastructure Committee meeting, Vice President of T&D operations at NES, Vaughan Charles, defended their decision. Charles explained that had NES introduced a bidding process, it may have delayed the city’s transition to LEDs by up to two and a half years.

“NES had done our very best job at trying to figure out what we think this cost was going to be if NES were to perform this work ourselves,” said Charles. “So between having this vendor who had demonstrated their capabilities, and their ability to complete this project, their estimates were 10 percent less than what NES had had.”

Not only did representatives defend their no-bid decision with Path, they explained how converting sooner will result in safer streets because smart LED lamps are brighter and alert NES when they go out—something the current fixtures don’t do.

NDOT Director Diana Alarcon also clarified that the sooner LEDs replace the current high sodium lighting used, the sooner the energy prices to illuminate Music City will go down. “There's probably roughly 60 percent savings once you convert from an HPS light fixture,” added Joey Streisal, Sr. Associate Engineer with NES.

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Sunday, December 17, 2023

Republicans, Rape, Moms for Liberty, and Threesomes

by Rod Williams, Dec. 17, 2023- What a mess is going on in Florida. The Florida Republican Party State Chairman, Christian Ziegler, has been accused of raping a woman who claims to have been involved in a long-term threesome relationship with Christian Ziegler and his wife Bridget Ziegler.  That is bad. It gets worse.

Bridget Ziegler is co-founder of Moms for Liberty. Moms for Liberty, if you are not familiar with the organization, is a group that focuses on removing books they consider inappropriate from school curriculum and school libraries and resisting the teaching of Critical Race Theory inspired ideology and promotion of what they see as the gay agenda.

I am unsure of how I feel about the organization. I have mixed views. I don't think school classrooms should fly the Pride rainbow flag and teach that Heather Has Two Mommies. Some of the books Moms have exposed and opposed are age inappropriate, in my view. On the other hand, some of what Moms would eliminate from school libraries should not be removed. Where the Crawdads Sing should be available. Kids with the interest and reading skills to read it can handle the material. Also, some of the Moms supporters have been rowdy and disruptive at school board meetings. In any event, the organization is viewed as supporters of morality and family values pushing back against an immoral education system. 

Bridget Ziegler also serves on the Sarasota’s school board, a position she won with Gov. DeSantis's endorsement. She is also serves on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that governs Walt Disney World. This is a position she was appointed to by DeSantis after he went after Disney World for opposing his so-called "Don't say gay" bill which prevented schools from teaching about homosexuality in the lower grades. 

This is messy. It could impact DeSantis's faltering run for the Republican presidential nomination, ruin the reputation and the influence of Mons for Liberty, and hurt the conservative cause nationally.

This is all titillation and interesting but sad. I am pretty tolerant of people's private sexual practices. I don't much care what one does in private, I just prefer they not try to force others to approve. What I don't like is hypocrisy.  I feel much the way I felt when I learned Jimmy Swagart frequented prostitutes. People with their own perversions should not be preaching morality. 

This just drives another nail in the coffin of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. The Republican Party has become the party of America First isolationist and making nice with dictators, the party of conspiracy theories, the party that supports subverting the constitution, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power, the party of con men, charlatans, opportunist, crooks, liars, and carnival barker showmen. Maybe it is good this is happening. Maybe all of the ugly needs to come out now, so the party will have a hard landing and can then be revived as the traditional pre-Trump Party Republican Party or maybe a new Party will emerge to replace the Republican. 

For more on the mess in Florida see link, link, link.


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