Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Before we shuffle the staff

Before we shuffle the teaching staffs in preparation for the new school year we should take a look at this 7 page March 2007 report from the Tn Department of Education called "Tennessee's Most Effective Teachers Are they assigned to the schools that need them most?" The answer is no.

"These comparisons find that students in Tennessee's high poverty/high minority schools have less access to the state's most effective teachers and more access to the state's least effective teachers. They suggest that while many of the beginning teachers in high poverty/high minority schools are among the state's most effective, many of them do not stay in these schools or lose their effectiveness over time.

The analyses also validate that Tennessee's efforts to ensure an equitable distribution of teachers to low-income children and minority children must be focused on teacher effectiveness as well as teacher qualifications such as experience and education. "
That last part needs highlighting:
"equitable distribution...must be focused on teacher effectiveness as well as teacher qualifications."
The public school system defaults to pay based on qualifications (parchment and time = pay rate) despite the fact that what parents and taxpayers want is effective teachers. And, I dare say again, they're willing to pay for them. If the union would allow the public to see those TVAAS ratings for teachers we'd know who was effective. I'd love to see outside each and every classroom the teacher's qualifications and effectiveness listed for all to see. Consider it a form of informed consent that ought to be the right of every parent leaving their child in the care of strangers.

Hat tip: Eduwonk

BEP bummer

State Rep. Suan Lynn (R-Lebanon) provides some much needed context to the BEP funding conversation in her recent blog post called "Choosing Performance". She's right, the legislature failed to take advantage of some opportunities that could have made a real difference in children's lives.

Tennessee lost a great opportunity for education this Session. While school choice is producing results in other areas, Tennessee’s plan is to pour $500 million more dollars into the BEP; the same’ol bureaucratic system of government monopoly of education believing it does things more fairly and produces a better outcome than anything else.


Inside legislative plaza, it’s pretty well understood that the plan to increase the state share of paying teacher's salaries covers-up the fact that due to the new distribution formula many districts (over 70 counties) are actually losing money on the new plan.
Nashville got more from the state BUT what could easily have been predicted was the Council's vote last evening to remove some funding from the MNPS budget using the excuse of the extra funding the system will now get from the State of Tennessee.
Councilmembers, however, may have felt that the schools had some funds to spare — the state recently made available $13.5 million in BEP funds to the system, a number higher than originally anticipated — that will sit atop a roughly $578 million base budget. City Paper
MNPS BOE Chair Marsha Warden is quoted in that same City Paper article saying:
...she would be cautious about taking from the reserve at a time when property tax increases are uncertain. “A reserve fund is to be offset for periods where you know new money’s not coming in. It’s been close to four years now since we’ve raised property taxes,” she said.
Without some of that real accountability that Rep. Lynn speaks of in her article I wouldn't even begin to count on persuading taxpayers to accept a property tax increase. And remember it's going to take persuading voters, not just councilmen, to do that from now on.

Buck's Buzz

It's not often you open your mailbox, shuffle through the bills and junk mail and get a surprise chuckle. It was a nice break from the seriousness of debating the issues, platforms and what ifs of the campaign.

Thanks for the laugh, Buck.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Heads up MNPS parents---I passed racks of SSA at the Rivergate Wal-Mart this afternoon. Or buy online at:

Here's the SSA page and here's the final policy for parental review so you'll know what's allowed. It also enumerates penalties for failure to comply.

Some parents "fixin' to get religion" may want to bone up on what bona fide means before August:

BONA FIDE - Lat. In good faith; without fraud or deceit.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Almost a debate

Finally, we're getting closer to a debate between the mayoral candidates thanks to WSMV. I'm tired of the polite exchange of prepared statements between these guys. I'm not learning anything substantive that way. I don't get to see how they act under even this little bit of pressure. I didn't learn much this evening but as Dan Miller said several times about the candidates challenging candidates: "That was fun."

I was dealing with some family stuff so I had to step out now and then.

Where was Kenneth Eaton?

Were only members of good standing from the Chamber of Commerce allowed to ask questions? I know they were co-sponsors of the event but come on--they couldn't put in a couple of regular citizens? Well, we have a Chamber Board of Education I guess a Chamber picked mayor seems the next step. They're no doubt working on the council too.

Briley came off as pessimist prophesying a couple of times of hard financial times that will come. * Of course downtimes do come. But it seems he could have presented this as a wise thing to do and not left a fearful impression of the future. The most surprising comment came from Briley when he stated in an exchange with Buck Dozier that:

...he disagrees with his fellow councilman’s proposal for the next mayor to lead a private-sector effort to build a $1 billion endowment for the public school system. Rather, he asked Dozier to commit to helping him build a $50 million endowment for Fisk University. Dozier answered affirmatively and suggested Briley reconsider helping with the $1 billion endowment. City Paper
Does Briley really think that creating an endowment for Fisk University is more important than creating one for Metro Nashville Public Schools? Why is it good for one but not the other? Maybe he will need a "Deputy Mayor of Education".
"Regarding vocational education, he said he has a problem with that term and that education in technology should be a priority — “We cannot pretend like there are going to be jobs running lathes in this community in 20 years.” Tennessean
I think he's wrong. I think there will be machinists, and plumbers, car mechanics and plumbers for a good long time. It comes across as a bit snobbish to not want to call training in these vocations vocational training. These are all honest and necessary skills. We can discuss whether the public should be paying for the training in our high schools but I don't think we should accept Briley's assertion that there will be no need for lathe operators in Nashville in 2027.

Gentry, who is Metro's vice mayor, asked Briley how he would reassure voters that he has "the depth of experience" to be mayor.

Briley, 43, alluded to his late grandfather, Beverly Briley, saying he had learned "from a mayor who's not around anymore" that being mayor is about making hard decisions every day. Tennessean
Briley is 43. His grandfather and former Metro Mayor Beverly Briley left office in 1975 and died in 1980. I'm not putting much confidence in his understanding of his grandfather's job at 11 or even 16 years of age and don't consider this response a strong one to the very important "depth of experience" question.

Clement and Gentry seemed pretty light weight and both had a hard time with enunciation and while that may seem a small thing to those born and raised here--it won't come off very well to those who've moved here from elsewhere and will be voting. I cringed several times wondering how they would appear to the rest of the world.

The City Paper rightly reports on Clement's previous mass transit record:
Mass transit is perhaps a sensitive topic for Clement given that two mass transit projects in Nashville he helped secure federal money for during his Congressional terms — the Clement Landport and the Music City Star — are presently facing some difficulties.
They're being kind. I just don't see Clement as a real leader for the community. He kept falling back on his talking points and just didn't seem comfortable speaking off the cuff. I have no confidence that he'll be able to bring in any cash for such projects from his, as we speak, aging contacts in Washington DC. Further, it's still tax money and I'm concerned about that.

And his response to Briley's question about his voting against employee verification wasn't strong at all. He didn't even address that specific vote directly throwing down some smoke instead by saying he'd voted on thousands of bills/amendments and he was for legal, not illegal, immigration.

was polished, well spoken and there wasn't much to criticize. He's right. If we get public education and safety down cold a lot of other issues will be taken care of. He didn't have a very forceful answer to the question about his support for public education when his own children were privately educated. Obviously, I think you can support public education and still not have your children in the system. Would Gentry have questioned former Mayor (current Governor) Phil Bredesen about his son's attendance at the University School?

Dozier still seems at ease, good humored and knowledgeable. He stood firmly by his vote against the "English First" bill with a strong phrase saying it was: "redundant and anemic and illegal" (OK, in the end it was anemic). He gets credit for sticking to his guns. Oddly he seemed to give Howard Gentry a soft question regarding the homeless acknowledging Gentry probably had more experience than the rest on this question.

*Update: Sean Braisted disagrees in the comments section. I don't have time to double check all the tape but I will insert here for now that in Part 5 Briley says at 1:28: "I'm incredibly optimistic about the future of this community and I, frankly, don't believe we're going to have a major budget crisis in the future...if..., if..., if....' I'll check later and see where I got the impression that he was the Eor of the candidates.

Library funding

We're pretty frequent library users around here. Frankly, though, a lot of our usage occurs online---we order books, have them dropped off at the local branch and run in and pick them up. We'll occasionally spend some time in the branch and several times a year end up at the downtown branch, but not often.

Today's Tennessean reports that currently 20 branches could be closed on Sundays. I don't really have a problem with that. I'm still trying to figure out why they're closed on Friday, frankly. What makes that day better than say, Tuesday? What I am concerned about, though, is preferring the downtown facility over any neighborhood branch. (Yes, I know with more people living downtown it is fast becoming a neighborhood branch.) My point being that with the finite funds we have I'd like to see us support the branches more.

If you want to be the green mayor--encourage folks to walk and bike to their closest branch instead of climbing into their cars for the trip downtown further polluting our air and clogging those streets and parking garages.

If you want to be the neighborhood mayor--ensure that local branches become neighborhood hubs of all sorts--not just library stuff, but community meetings and events also.

If you want to be the fiscally conservative mayor consider that keeping the "Bredesen Memorial Library" open is going to be much more expensive than the one in Antioch, Inglewood or Bellevue. Double check that rate of return per patron number and don't go wobbly. We really only have so much money.

An aside: we are also members of the Hamilton County library because they provide online access to Power Glide language software for $25.00 a year. That's money Metro could have easily gotten from me but they don't want to replicate that service here.

I'm #14!

What a great way to begin a Monday morning.

Cruising through the blogs this morning before beginning the morning's activities I ran into A.C. Kleinheider's post about the's new ranking of blogs. I'm #14. How I got ahead of Bill Hobbs is a mystery to us all, I'm sure. Regardless, it's a a very nice surprise to make the list at all.

BNN explains:

BNN's Tennessee Blogosphere Influence Rating combines a variety of data sets to determine which blogs are most powerfully influencing the direction of the Tennessee political blogosphere.
It's good to know I'm influencing the blogosphere. I blog to influence policy and help folks know what's going on so they can influence policy. If influencing blog conversations gets me closer to that...great.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer schedule

Well the Tennessee legislature decided that out of the $1.7 billion in excess revenue they could only spare about $5.00 for the Brooks family in the form of a half percent tax reduction. I was really looking forward to having all of the sales tax removed from food and putting that $1,000 toward some car repairs--but I'm sure they know best how to spend our money.

And so, lacking that $1,000, I'll be spending some time on a paying gig to make up the difference while 'school' and the legislature isn't in session. I'll also spend some time updating and cleaning up the website in preparation for the fall rush.

It looks like Ben Cunningham and Martin Kennedy are doing an outstanding job of commenting on education issues. If you haven't visited them and added them to your feed reader, you really should. I'll still be posting during the summer but it'll be lighter than usual. Go out and enjoy the season while I toil away at the mundane necessity of providing for hearth and home.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Black armbands for fall

MNPS has updated their website to include a chart of the permitted colors for shirts for the various schools.

Here's their main standard school attire page for the rest of the details.

The fervor among the MPSSa parents seems to have wained but isn't entirely gone. They stand in the field after battle weaponless except for angry words and name-calling. Instead of accepting defeat and admitting they failed to make their case they create conspiracies and demand the public system conform to their private needs. A few still talk about civil disobedience when the school year starts. Black armbands on one side of the spectrum with a few longing for the '60's apparently, almost looking forward to shutting the entire system down with scores and scores of non-conforming children at the other far end. They parse the recent legal opinion, Google for other legal opinions and are disappointed their ACLU memberships has failed to bring forth their champion.

A couple sincerely believe that their children will be harmed by this clothing choice. I can't help but wonder what sort of parenting takes place that being fully and appropriately clothed could damage the child's health and well-being.

It's an interesting battle to fight, as I've mentioned before. Where is their outrage over the condition, physical and academic, of the schools they've left behind? Where is their sense of justice over the fact that some children don't have clean clothing choices in good condition? Or food? Or parents at all?

It's interesting to see parents who brag about their support for public education completely fail to understand the reality of it being publicly controlled.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Life outside of politics

Former Mt. Juliet City Manager Rob Schearer has always been an interesting person with valuable insights. I first met him via the homeschooling community when as Greenleaf Press publisher he talked about the twaddle in curriculum such as "the fireman is your friend". He's always encouraged the chronological study of history and eventually created the Frances Schaefer Study Center.

From November of 2000 to May of 2007, I was the City Manager of Mt. Juliet, TN. Because of my obligations as City Manager, I chose not to start a blog and refrained from making political, cultural, and religious comments on the internet.

But, its now June of 2007, and I’ve been set free.

He's letting us in on his opinions and knowledge via his newly created blog at You're going to want to check out his first week's offerings. Be prepared to think, learn and don't be shy about disagreeing. He can take it.

Snips to whet your appetite:
News from ancient Egypt: In particular, the chronology of Ancient Egypt is still very much a speculative exercise. The evidence that establishes firm dates in the history of Israel is much more complete than it is for Egypt.

Review of book "Team of Rivals": Its also a study in political wisdom. Lincoln’s magnanimity is what eventually led to his nomination and election as president - and successful conduct of the war. Finally, it is a study in management principles with applications even now to how leaders should choose key lieutenants and manage them.

Commit an act of rebellion. Read Bush’s [Prague] speech for yourself.
There's more and much more to come.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cut the food tax!

I was downtown in front of the capitol before 7 this morning along with about 8 other people waiting to trade a grocery receipt for a Kroger gift card courtesy of the Republican House Caucus. It didn't take but an hour for them to hand out all their $5.00 Kroger gift cards.

The state has got some $1.7 BILLION in unexpected additional revenue (thanks to a tremendous economy) and yet we've got to beg our legislature to return to the citizens even a portion of this overage. There is $83 million for property on the Cumberland Plateau but families are supposed to be content with maybe a 1/2% reduction in the food tax??? I've provided over $1,000.00 in food tax money to the state. Too many of the legislators think I should be happy getting a $5.00 break. Shoot--at least the Republican caucus was able to double that to $10.

There wasn't much drive by traffic but a good number of horns were honked in support.

There was, however, a steady stream of what appeared to be office workers passing by on their way to work. Apparently they got to work and bragged about the free money they'd gotten and their office mates realized this 'stunt' was the real deal. And so shortly after the first wave of 'going to work' folks here came their officemates, likely taking an early coffee break, climbing the hill with a receipt in hand to collect their share.

There were several moms, with children in tow, that found a parking place and made the hike up the hill. I can't think of a better illustration of what's at stake than the one at the left. Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) and Rep. Glen Casada (R-College Grove) speak with a mom and her daughters who've come to exchange a receipt for $10.00 worth of gift cards.

The folks I chatted with seemed to appreciate the effort. Some were kicking themselves for cleaning out their purses/wallets and not having a receipt.

Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Lebanon) was there along with Rep. Jason Mumpower (R-Bristol), Rep. Glen Casada (R-College Grove), Rep. Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) and a couple of others that I couldn't recognize from my position down the hill at 6th and Charlotte.

I appreciate the effort these legislators made on behalf of families across the state. I'm glad to support them in their effort to support my family.

I understand the argument that the sales tax is a stable source of revenue but that doesn't give the legislature the right to abuse that source by making big plans to spend this gargantuan excess on personal pet projects. We've got families who could really use their $1,000 in grocery taxes back.

One final question---where are all those advocates for the poor who were so vocal in their assertions that the grocery tax had to go back when we were on the cusp of an income tax? Why haven't they been around making a fuss and demanding refunds for these families? There still wouldn't be a better, more immediate benefit for them than to have the tax on groceries disappear.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

You have GOT to be kidding

It's almost unbelievable. A woman is a great match for a kidney donation but her boss won't hold her job for her if she goes through with it.

Dave Roberts, Tennessee Apparel's vice president of manufacturing, said he's not trying to discourage Melson from going through with the donation. But, he said, the Tullahoma-based company won't hold her job for her. Tennessean
If knowing you have to exchange your job for doing the right thing isn't discouragement--just what exactly is discouragement? This is an incredibly short sighted decision. A heartless thing to do and a stain on the company name to boot.

It's almost as if Roberts is auditioning for the role of Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life" or Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol". What could possibly be more important than than providing a kidney? She works for a uniform factory. Yes, they have contracts with the military but you've got a long way to go before you'll persuade me that she's so essential to the War on Terror that she can't take a leave and be assured her job will be there when she's recovered.

Even if she was the worst employee on the planet, even if she lied about the children being ill every time she took off of work, even if she'd only been employed for 10 minutes instead of four years--this company should allow her the leave she needs to make this donation. From what's in the paper, this woman is taking a huge gamble herself and certainly a financial hit to make the donation.

Let's hope these aren't words he'll personally regret uttering:
"It's not a family member," Roberts said. "This is an elective surgery based on her own decision. She doesn't have to do this."
I'm not going to go as far as to say there ought to be a law--but some old fashioned shame is certainly in order. I'm glad the Tennessean has administered the first dose.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Accurate test scores

Today's must read is from the Gannet newspaper syndicate via the Tennessean--and not just because I'm quoted. It's not that "test scores don't help" it's inaccurate test scores that don't help. And when the rules, tests, formats, content change regularly--the excuse that we're comparing apples to oranges allows enough room for a Mack truck to drive through. And sure enough...just as we're reviewing all of this the state is, again, revising the curriculum and tests. It's a moving target.

Tennessee has one of the largest gaps in the nation between how well students score on federal and state standardized tests, a new analysis of testing data has found.

'Cheap tricks' vary

States use a number of "cheap tricks" to create the illusion that students are doing better than they really are, said Dan Koretz, a Harvard University testing expert.

Those include designing tests easy enough for almost all students to pass or lowering passing scores to make sure most students make the grade.

Yet, somehow that isn't working well either.

I think the authors cut my quote awkwardly before printing it.
"Because taxpayer money is being taken, there must be accountability."
I actually started by saying until we have actual choice, where the free market can decide (which schools to utilize) and because we're using taxpayer money and educating other people's children some sort of accountability is required. This is a standard phrase of mine--as some of you will know. To me, it's always been more about the children than about the money. Both are important but children only get one childhood--somehow the legislature always manages to find more money for the things that are first on it's agenda.

Here's the link to the Gannet interactive map. Click on the map and then the mouse rollover feature will let you slide around from state to state to view the differences between their state scores and the national NAEP test.

To save you some time here are the differences for surrounding states in 8th grade Math Scores from 2005.
13 Kentucky
10 Missouri
11 Arkansas
39 Mississippi
48 Alabama
46 Georgia
52 North Carolina
48 Virginia
60 Tennessee
No other state in the nation has as much difference between state and national scores as Tennessee in math. The next three other states, NC, WV and NE all score in the low 50's.

And here 4th grade Reading.

37 Kentucky
2 Missouri
22 Arkansas
71 Mississippi
61 Alabama
61 Georgia
53 North Carolina
55 Virginia
66 Tennessee

The Tennessean provides a graphic of all the states in order for 8th grade math but not for reading. Wonder why they only show the one where we're not at the bottom.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sifting through the data

It's still tough to get a handle on just what the children are learning, if anything at all. A recent study done by the Center for Education Policy and reported on by the NY Times brings that all back to mind with this conclusion.

Merely collecting the test data from 50 states proved to be a complex and frustrating task because many states’ education departments are overworked and their test archives are flawed by missing or inconsistent data, the report said. “The house of data on which N.C.L.B. is built is at times a rickety structure,” it said.
Here's the actual report. (It's not downloading for me currently.)

My own experience with Tennessee is a good example. Not only have tests changed over time, but also the way the information is reported to the public. Take a look yourself. I know it's a lot of data and I know it's a huge undertaking just to get it on the web, but your average parent or taxpayer will have a good bit of trouble following along. That's why tools like the Schools Performance Charts from the Education-Consumers Clearinghouse are valuable. It's why groups like Save Our Schools with their local focus are necessary. We're all quite busy. Few of us are statisticians. It's almost as if the system is designed to obfuscate. I'm among the first to encourage folks to go to the source documents and not just trust information filters. But sometimes the information is so massive, collecting is such a full time job and sifting through it so enormous that none of us can afford to do it and so we've no choice but to rely on others.

But as long as parents are not direct consumers of their children's education we'll have these imperfect accountability tools to deal with.

Who does his grocery shopping?

Tennessee State House Majority Leader Gary Odom (D-Nashville) is quoted in this morning's City Paper as saying:

“We’re not going to some gimmick in December where wealthy people can fill up their freezers with steak, which is what the Republicans want to do.”
Gimmick?! It's obvious to me that Mr. Odom has no idea what a benefit even just a November/December amnesty from grocery taxes could be for Tennesse families.

Here's your primer Rep. Odom. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season grocery stores are full of sales on staples. They may have steaks on sale also but that's not a normal grocery item for us so I can't say for sure. What I can testify to is that in anticipation of all the family gatherings where the family table is a huge part of the festivities they put basic food on sale---even making them loss leaders and BOGOF in an attempt to get shoppers into the store. When those sales flyers arrive at our house you can count on the following items being added to our grocery list to stock the pantry and the freezer:

potatoes: regular & sweet
sugars: granulated, brown & powdered
other baking items like: dried fruits, nuts, coconut & baking powder/soda
milk: canned, evaporated, & eggnog
canned yams, sweet potatoes & pumpkin

Those--just off the top of my head. I'm sure others can add to that list.

It's my opinion the sales tax amnesty needs to be for all of November and December, not just a couple of weeks. The holidays celebrated in that season can vary from family to family and it's those holiday that drive the national chains to implement these sales. It's then that families can get the most bang for their grocery buck. And considering people like Rep. Odom seem intent to hang on to as much of that $1.3 billion in overtaxation as possible--taxpaying families could use that extra bang.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Look who is moving

Cute little house for sale in Inglewood on Calvert Street. Call Councilman Jason Hart for details.

He tells me he's working on a formal announcement to the neighborhood.

I wish him well.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dave Pelton, Council-At Large

Dave Pelton already had my vote for Council-at-Large. Perhaps this paragraph from AC Kleinheider will intrigue you enough to seriously consider voting for Dave also.

He is a strong proponent of charter schools and choice in education, not vouchers or anything, but still choice. I asked him how that could be considering he was endorsed by the MNEA, the teacher’s union. I mean, after all, he is Republican who thinks outside the box on education. He explained that the teacher’s union has lost substantial power recently due to their numbers. They are dangerous close to the 49% teacher membership that would cost them their collective bargaining agreement so they are a little more open to out of the box thinking.
You may want to start by reading all of AC's post, and then heading on over to Dave's web site.

And don't over look that mention of the MNEA membership number. I've heard from other sources that the MNEA is very close to the point where they could lose their right to represent teachers. Being this close to the line may be one of the reasons they absolutely refuse to provide numbers for their last few elections. The truth would out and then they would be also.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

News racks and free speech

Mayor Bill Purcell's veto of the news rack legislation makes me wonder if he's trying to ensure that his future ambitions aren't torpedoed by some of the newspapers that are trying the hardest to keep those messy and intruding boxes in the right of way.

This is not a free speech issue. It's a demand by publishers to get free sidewalk rent from the citizens of Nashville in order to advertise and peddle their wares. The least they can do is neaten up this mess and make sure that pedestrians aren't impeded in their use this important public space.

"I strongly disagree with the rationale, and no one can explain to me the suggestion that this in any way is unconstitutional," said [Councilman Mike] Jameson [East Nashville/downtown] , who, like Purcell, is an attorney. "But he did what he did, and as the leader of the city, he's entitled to some discretion." Tennessean
Strongly disagree?? If giving way to the Mayor despite the Council's vote and the opinion of citizens having to dodge these news racks is strong disagreement what exactly is Jameson's weak disagreement? Is the city, once again, expected to bow to the greater and more enlightened wisdom of East Nashville and it's liberal politicians? I hope not.

Now if the papers want to hire a person to stand on the street and hand out those all important apartment guides--that's another story. At least a person would give way when you're trying to navigate what is often a very crowded thoroughfare and might pick up the litter created. But a static box, providing 24/7 advertising of a product that doesn't pay the city for the use of the public space--that's not free speech. That's free advertising.

Let your Metro councilman know you want them to take back the sidewalks and override the veto.

Tracking Metro meetings

If you want to keep a better handle on what the Metro Council, committees, and board are doing you may want to check the Metro agenda subscription page and subscribe to receive their agendas via e-mail.

This service has proven itself to be very handy and I wish the Metro Board of Education would create something similar. As it is you still have to go to the Metro BOE agenda page. While I'm very thankful the full agenda is now appearing there, we're a lazy lot and easily distracted. Sometimes the bureaucracy counts on that. Being willing to step toward accountability by providing this subscription service would convey in a very tangible way that the BOE desires and welcomes citizen participation and accountability.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sham or Shame?

Gov. Bredesen has responded to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research revelations of his friends in high places benefiting from being his friends with this carefully crafted paragraph.

“Governor Bredesen has proposed a sensible and fiscally responsible balanced budget that includes historic investments in education and savings for our state. The Governor has worked very hard to restore public confidence in state government and to restore fiscal discipline to the budget process by working in a bipartisan fashion with the highest ethical standards. These false accusations are ridiculous and this type of sham analysis is a disservice to Tennesseans.”
He's not working hard enough. If it's a sham---point out where the TCPR facts were inaccurate. Don't just wave your word processor product at taxpayers. This non-response is pitiful and completely unhelpful in the discussion. If TCPR is wrong tell us where. Lacking that, I'll assume they were right again and it's not a TCPR sham, it's an abuse of taxpayers and a gubernatorial shame.