Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sharon Gentry covered for Alan Coverstone?

An anonymous commenter writes of the last school board meeting in which action was taken on charter school applications:

Board member Mark North poured over the data of not only charter schools, but also local MNPS schools. What he found was that the charter schools proposed to set up shop to address students in schools that not only were not failing, they were in the top three in the county. He also studied in depth the charter applications and found glaring errors within the applications themselves.

North presented his findings to the board on May 29th only to have his board members question his findings and sweep them under the rug. Dr. Sharon Gentry did the first sweeping. Her words were an attempt to devalue what Mr. North had uncovered and make him look foolish. No one else on the board even questions Mr. Coverstone's committee to recommend a charter school where one is not needed.

Coverstone is being paid a six figure salary to dismantle MNPS with charter schools that do not work, and his board members are following his lead like lemmings.

That account is consistent with my experience with my school board representative, Sharon Gentry. She came across to me as dismissive toward concerned parents in a community meeting I attended. I never really heard from her when I copied her an email I sent to Gracie Porter about comments she made in the media celebrating Green Hills's Julia Green Elementary getting iPads while my kid's North Nashville classroom had desktops that seemed to limp along.

It is also worth noting that Gentry and her husband received large campaign donations from well-placed leaders in the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the lobby about as invested in charter schools as any other special interest group. I suppose privately-governed, publicly-financed charter schools represent a big windfall for the business lobby's agenda. Is Sharon Gentry's opposition to Mark North prompted by campaign finance influence?

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