Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I'm in.

As of about 8:00 p.m. this evening I'm the new school board member for Metro Nashville Public Schools representing the 5th District. It was a close 18 to 17 vote but that was good enough.

Here's my first official press release dropped on the media desk before I left the meeting after already having talked to several reporters.

Announcement of Candidacy

I am formally announcing that I am a candidate for the 5th District School Board position for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

I am deeply concerned about the quality of education the children in our district are receiving and know that my efforts can make a positive difference in the lives of these children.

This is a difficult district. To start with we’ve got more schools than any other district. Of the 32 Metro schools on the Tennessee Department of Education’s “High Priority” list, seven are in this district. Two of those are our comprehensive high schools—-Maplewood and Stratford. They have graduation rates of 41% and 50% and test scores that should be much better. That’s hundreds of young people in our city discouraged, frustrated, angry and lacking the basic skills we promised them and their parents they would get. This is unacceptable and has to change.

Like it or not, in today’s world public schools are in a competition with private, home, and online schools. If MNPS wants to compete well with those other education options then it must listen to voices from outside the choir and not the usual educators and administrators. If we continue to appoint and elect the same sort of people to the school board we will continue to get the same sort of educational results for our children. For too many of our children that’s not good enough.

I am also announcing that in an effort to encourage conversation about the district and its needs I have created an e-list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MNPSDistrict5 and I invite voters and parents in the district to subscribe. I have also created http://KayBrooks.com where I have begun to include information about the schools in the 5th district along with links to helpful resources and where I will be reporting on my campaign activities.

I understand that not everyone is on the Internet and welcome invitations to attend community gatherings where we can talk in person about our district, its needs and possible solutions. I look forward to those conversations and working with my neighbors for the benefit of the children.


Jeff said...

Congratulations. As a parent of two, one who graduated from Stratford and one who is attending a neighborhood elementary school. I'm quite interested in the schools and the school board. I hope that your background will bring a fresh perspective.
Jeff Smith

Anonymous said...

Now, are you actually going to talk LIVE with all of your constituents? I mean without the filter of emails? And I mean ALL of the voters, not just the republicans that want you to bring back evolution and prayer in our schools. You know, a public forum like the one last week that "overwhelmed" you because you were so "different" from other candidtates. Different, I suppose in that you don't actually have the courage to face people who would pose hard questions.

Kay Brooks said...

Thank you, Jeff. I think our school system desperately needs some fresh perspective. If nothing else I've gotten a lot of people suddenly interested in the election process. :-)

And Mr./Ms Anonymous: Yes, I do intend to talk LIVE with my constituents. I'm sure in the next 2 months+ they'll be lots of opportunities to do so. We cannot begin improving the system without respectful conversation. And that conversation should be about the children and the system that is failing to serve so many if them. It should not be about my education choice.

Anonymous said...

"anonymous" said...

"Different, I suppose in that you don't actually have the courage to face people..."

Oh, the irony...

Kay, now that you've been exposed, I guess the grand scheme to "bring back evolution" to the public schools is foiled. I wonder if these folks give the three board members that went to that private, black & gold school this much grief for not choosing to attend a "public" university...

Anonymous said...

I wish you the best of luck. Nashville needs help. Maybe someone not the same old line will help. We lived and payed taxes in Davidson Co. for 15 years, had kids in private school for 6 years because we could not stomach the public schools. We have since moved to Williamson Co. put the kids in public schools and find little difference in their education opportunities. What a difference 20 miles can make. Stir the pot and show the board what a creative, caring person can do.

Kay Brooks said...

I'll stir as long as they'll let me.

I'm going to do a good job these next two months and then the voters in District 5 will tell me by their votes on August 4 if they want me to continue.

Anonymous said...

First let me congratulate you. Second, know that you have my vote. It has been an extreemly busy year for me...full time job and full time student. With that being said...Know you have my full support and I will keep a close eye on your accomplishments and blog posts.