Monday, April 02, 2007

S. Briley, Stratford Class of 2021?

Councilman-at-Large David Briley is the first mayoral candidate to have a full page profile printed in the Tennessean series leading up to the August election.

Pulled from the "Opponents criticize Briley's missed votes" article is this:

Briley also said the idea that his union ties mean he's anti-business is being "ginned up by my opponents."

"On the other hand, I feel that organized labor here has been one of the strongest proponents for improving our education system. So to the extent I've worked hard with labor leaders in this community to improve the quality of education and the quality of life here, I'm not in any way embarrassed or reluctant to say I did so."

I'll have to be reminded of how the local unions involved in education have been leading the effort for improving the education of the children enrolled in MNPS. Individual teachers and staff making yeoman efforts? Certainly. Their unions?

And from the Q & A titled "Briley says experience and vision give edge":
You’re the youngest of the major candidates. Is that a drawback?
I think actually my youth is a strength. If Nashville wants somebody who is committed to transforming the education system, pick the person who has a 4-year-old, who’s got the most to gain from improving the education system. My son has got 13 years of education ahead of him in Metro schools, and I’m totally committed to making sure he has every opportunity he deserves.
I'm very curious to know how this plays out for the Briley's. I'm betting that like any good parent, and several former mayors, the Briley's will put their son's 'every opportunity' before their commitment to public education. And I'm going to be specific here--zoned public education. It's amazing how many of Nashville's mover and shakers manage to get their children into magnet, enhanced option and design schools--if their children are in public school at all (while denying others choices like charter schools). Someone should survey those Chamber of Commerce members who fought so hard for the current BOE and see where their children attend school.

Last year the Brileys moved from their urban East Nashville home on Boscobel to more suburban Brush Hill Road on the river in Inglewood. The zoned schools for the old address were Warner Elementary, Bailey Middle and then Stratford. Now the zoned path is Dan Mills, Litton Middle and then, again, Stratford. We'll see if the Montgomery Bell and Georgetown graduate manages to get lucky and get his son in the magnet system or if Master Briley ends up graduating from Stratford. It would be a huge benefit to many MNPS students (and Nashville itself) if during Briley's tenure as mayor he actually lit a fire under those unions, the BOE and the central office and Stratford Principal Brenda Elliot and her staff kept the upward trend of improvement at that school and the result was that 95% of Master Briley's peers graduated with him and it was not unusual for those graduates to get a full ride scholarship to Vandy.


Laura said...

During your tenure and candidacy for school board, you maintained that the fact that your children aren't in public schools was irrelevant. So what possible bearing could the Brileys' son's future school have on his dad's candidacy for mayor?

Sean Braisted said...

Briley answering Brittney's question at the Blogger Lunch:

Well…I have no criticism of any parent who decides that public school is the right thing for their child. That’s a decision for any family to make at home without any Government intervention whatsoever; so I don’t want anything I say to be considered a critique of somebody who uses private school, because its not. But, my wife and I have decided that we want our son to go to public school because the public school experience is important; and because we are committed to helping every child in this community to make progress. Getting parental involvement from a broad spectrum of Nashvillians is important; so I’m committed to sending my son to a private school.

Now, my son really hasn’t been in school yet. So, if it turns out that he really needed something that the public school system doesn’t offer, like any other parent, I would look at private schools…if I needed to do that. At this point, every indication is that he will be at hopefully Lockland Elementary, and that is our goal. I’ve been involved with Lockland since three years before it opened and long before my son was born I worked with Parents in East Nashville to transform Lockland Elementary to make it a school that would keep parents in Lockland Springs instead of sending them across the river to West Nashville when their kids reached school age; now it’s one of the two or three best schools in the district. That’s my goal and that’s my objective; now, other people in my neighborhood didn’t get in there, so I’m nervous about it.

Wendy said...

Dear Councilman Briley,

Isaac Litton's 7th Graders did better than several magnet Middle Schools in their writing assestments, they placed third in the district with two magnet schools ahead of them. All of Litton AP students passed their classes and entered HS with earned credits. Litton students continue to perform well on T-CAPs dispite the high percentage of Special Ed students, we are at State designated levels.

Warner and Dan Mills are good schools too. They continue to have around 90% of their students proficient or advanced on their T-CAPs. Gracie Porter's children went to Stratford and her granddaughter is at Warner--learning Spanish just like the children at Lockeland.

It would be sweeeeeeet for a Briley to attend Dan Mills, Litton, and Stratford. With Lockeland and East at capacity, we can make more East Nashville schools better by joining together.

Wendy Poston

Kay Brooks said...

Laura asked: “So what possible bearing could the Brileys' son's future school have on his dad's candidacy for mayor?”

Ask David—he’s the one who said:

"My son has got 13 years of education ahead of him in Metro schools,..."

and is using that as a reason we should have confidence in his commitment to public education. It's almost a promise. Our family is going to be utilizing MNPS. But then we have Sean providing a quote from David that indicates that may not be such a sure thing. Papa Briley is ‘nervous’ about their chances of getting into Lockland Elementary Design Center. I suspect they’re still finding their way in this area. I understand that struggle. I help parents in that struggle. But voters should not be told that Little Briley is going to be in MNPS schools for 13 years before the votes are counted and then learn differently when those school doors open a couple of weeks later.

I don't think the education choice disqualifies anyone from serving as mayor or on the BOE. These are all public positions that are supported by the public with their votes and their money. As long as the public education system requires a person’s vote, money or their child is a participant—they have a right to participate in its management. David’s previous work and his future work (as mayor, councilman or private citizen) are all welcome regardless of where his son ends up being educated.

Above all, and I've already said this, the Brileys need to make the appropriate education choices for their son and then the voters of Nashville should be able to hold Briley accountable for his statement.

Sean Braisted said...


Well, Briley said this to a group of bloggers who were going to make this publicly available information. He isn't hiding anything from anyone.

Catherine McTamaney said...

Good googlygog, Kay. Step off the high horse for a minute now. Are you seriously suggesting that David Briley hasn't been committed to Nashville's public schools? He's been personally involved at Lockeland Elementary since before the renovations were complete. He's been active with school board members and with employees of the school system. He's been incredibly effective in bringing people from throughout Nashville to ask hard questions about the system.

I don't send my children to public school. Neither, it should be reminded, do you, Kay. Like all involved parents, we have made the decision that fits our family. I don't doubt the Briley's commitment both to public education and to their son. But enrolling one's own children in a school is not the same thing as supporting public education... you know that full well and it's just plain goofy for you to argue otherwise now.

Neither is attacking someone else's parenting the same thing as supporting public education. Your vitriol is personal... if you want to push for full disclosures, you need also to remind your readers that you ran for School Board and lost, by an overwhelming, startling, unprecedented voter turn-out, in large part because a whole lot of other people who were invested in public education thought our community was better off without your representation. Don't make your sour grapes into a condemnation of a family who was been consistently committed to public education, to the education both of their own child and of the community.

Wendy said...

I can't argue for or against Councilman Briley. On one hand I have seen him very involved in schools like Lockeland, I know that he also has had many conversations with Gracie Porter and Rev. Hunt about the school system as a whole. I know he has really good ideas, and I support him in garnering more State funding for our needy, ELL, and Special Ed students.

He also asked me about the water situation at Litton, but like Councilman Hart has yet to step foot in the school. CM Briley thought the rusty drinking water at Litton was due to poor water coming from the Madison Surburban Utility District but didn't come stand with me as a parent and ask for further testing. He made a few inquiries. I felt left out of his scope of schools. The parents and the community helped shed light on the water problems at Litton without the help of any councilmembers. Kay has gone to each of the schools in the District 5 and she helped get clean drinking water at Litton.

It's a toss up. I don't really know who I'm going to vote for Mayor. But I ponder over why so many of our elected officials are not sending their children to the ZONED public schools. Maybe they don't like the looks of the drinking water?!

still considering all,

Kay Brooks said...


I'm NOT questioning his past record regarding public education...I'm wondering out loud if what he said about his son being in Metro schools for 13 years will actually come to pass. I don't think it's unreasonable, or hypocritical, to point that out.

This is NOT sour grapes. I don't hold grudges. I'm not a vindictive person. I'm amazed at the number of people who assume these must my be motivating factors. You gotta wonder if that's the assumption some people make, do they assume that because that's what they would do? Well, that's not me. I woke up the next morning with a life and have moved on to working where I can. There's a great deal of freedom being on this side of the BOE. I intend to continue enjoying it.

Also unprecedented in that election was the amount of money, union and other organized support that was called in to ensure I didn't stay on the BOE. Also there were four candidates which tells us that 45% of the voters wanted someone other than Gracie Porter to be on their BOE rep.

And if we're going for full disclosure here--do you want to tell us all the ways you were involved in getting Gracie Porter elected?

Kay Brooks said...

Wendy: I didn't make it to all the schools in District 5. There was a very small 11 week window in which I had to do my job as a BOE member, tend to my family AND try and get reelected. One dismissal hearing took nearly 30 hours of my time alone. The fact that school wasn't in session didn't help either.

Catherine McTamaney said...

Good thing you don't hold grudges.

Kay Brooks said...

It's not a grudge.

You wanted to make sure folks knew who I was--I thought you might want to make sure they knew who you were.