Friday, August 11, 2006

Elite activist objects

There is an amazing argument against the Tennessee Tax Revolt's efforts to give citizens the right to vote on property tax increases on a local blog for magnet school parents. This entry leans so left you may have to weight your computer monitor to read it while sitting upright. This line leapt out at me.

They [supporters of the petition drive] are interested in a political system that favors wealthy, elite activists who are over-represented in tax referendum elections.
Some have said that that the magnet schools system favors wealthy, elite activists who are over-represented in the school board election process.

The author of this entry may be a good example:
Alan Coverstone
Alan Coverstone is a teacher of Government and Economics, as well as Academic Dean at Montgomery Bell Academy. He is the father of two children who attend Hull-Jackson Montessori Magnet School, a part of the Metro Nashville Public Schools. He helped found and served as president of the PTO at Hull-Jackson. He also served as a Parents Advisory Council representative on the Mayor’s School Funding Task Force and currently serves on the Magnet Cluster board of the Parents Advisory Council.
Mr. Coverstone writes:
They openly call tax increases "pay cuts" for their family with no consideration at all of the "benefit increase" they receive from property value increases regularly experienced in communities with strong schools.
As a teacher of economics maybe (but I doubt) he can explain the 'benefit increase' the families of the Maplewood cluster are receiving from their property tax dollars.


Anonymous said...

FYI...A number of years ago (maybe 6), Mr. Coverstone was the campaign manager for an opponent of Repr.Beth Harwell. His candidate was the [then] former chair of the Green Party of Middle Tennessee. The Green Party, for those of you playing at home, met at the Nashville Center for Peace and Justice offices which were also[then] the listed address of the Tennessee Communist Party.

Kay Brooks said...

Well that helps put some of his comments in perspective. Thanks Anonymous.

a step below dolphins said...

Now that is an outstanding example of good ol'Amerikan mud slingin' conservative wing-nut political muck-raking.Mighty fine K.B.,there is a future for you in the Republican arm of the Amerikan Nazi Party.I am so proud!!!

Anonymous said...

Lamar Alexander had his headquarters at 1808 West End- and so does the Davidson County Democratic party. Does that make Lamar a Democrat, aka communist?

Kay Brooks said...

I never thought so--but now that he and the City Paper share an address---hmmmm....

pamela Eddy said...

Ms. Brooks,

You simply are dead wrong on this account. I know Mr. Coverstone personally and he is one of the biggest advocates for public schools in this city. I have had the honor of working with him on many issues over the years. I do not know, nor do I care, for whom he votes in the privacy of the voting booth. He works tirelessly on behalf of ALL children in Metro. Although a teacher in a private schol, he is committed to quality public education for his children and others. It is simply irresponsible to make an ad hominem attack on a man that dedicates so much of his time to this city's schools. As a school board member, you should be ashamed of making such generalizations without knowing the man. This city would be far better if we had more Alan Coversones as citizens and parents.

As for Hull-Jackson, you have made several incorrect assumptions about the school (and other magnets) as well. My daughter attends the shool as well and she is starting her seventh year at this great Montessori school. The vast majority of the school is African American and is certainly not some elite ground for rich, politically well-connected kids or the kids of "elite activists," whatever that is. These are parents from largely working class homes who come from all over the county to provide their children with a quality Montessori education. My husband and I hose to send our daughter to the school first so she could receive a quality Montessori educatin and we have been so pleased that an extra benefit it that can be exposed to a wide variety of students from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds instead of our predominantly white, Forest Hills neighborhood school. It has been a fantastic experience for her and for our family as we have met quality people from all over this county that we would have otherwise not met. Please know your facts befor you besmirch a fine school that is making this city a better place to live.

I have followed your blog for some time and have often been impressed with the information you provide. I rarely agree with your positions, but I know you work hard and mean well. But if this is the approach you planned to use as a school board member, the voters of district 5 were right to vote you out.

I am sorry to see you stoop so low.
Pamela Eddy
Parent to a Hull-Jackson student, defender of Alan Coverstone, West Nashville resident and, yes, a proud Democrat

Eric Holcombe said...

Evidently, The Fallacy Detective isn't required reading in the "Montessori" system.

That's just dying to be fisked...

Pamela Eddy said...

Mr. Holcombe,

If you would like to explain how my defense of someone against a personal (that's what ad hominem mens by the way) attack in an obscure blog falls under the permise of bad reasoning, I would like to read it. I made no comment on or defense of the permise in Ms. Brooks blog piece. I think someone besides me is guilty of illogical thinking here . . .

Pamela Eddy

Pamela Eddy said...

The word is "premise" --sorry. I'm typing too fast.

Pam Eddy

Eric Holcombe said...

"I made no comment on or defense of the permise[sic] in Ms. Brooks[sic] blog piece."


Pamela Eddy said...


You, sir, are a sorry character. I have no plan to visit this site again, but you have no defense, no logic, no compassion and nothing to say , so you sinply attack.

Pamela Eddy

Eric Holcombe said...

Why, you DO know what ad hominem attacks are... but wait, you aren't coming back to read this...never mind.

Kay Brooks said...

It's amazing to me, and I know it shouldn't be, that often the very people that accuse me of being out of touch frequently pick up their marbles and go home and will not take the time to listen to me or teach me. It's their way or the highway.

I understand the concept of iron sharpening iron. I know that if I don't seek out other points of view my own will be too narrow to be of any use. I've been hanging out in places where people unlike me gather for a long time. I've learned a lot. I've moderated some of my views as a result. I have certainly learned to not respond immediately and in kind.

I have also learned that being dogmatic is not limited to my faith and that, frequently, political POV is just as fundamental as any religion and just as scary.

I don't mind a lively conversation that focuses on the issue and sharing information. This is how we all learn. Certainly folks in the education community ought to understand and embrace that. But no. Usually they expect me to drink their kool-aid without question. It's they that live in a narrow artifical world, not me.

Eric Holcombe said...

Well, I will admit it is tough to defend the premise of "over-represented in a tax referendum election". Most of the time*, one man has one vote.

(* Ophelia Ford's district not withstanding)