Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another City Paper Botch? Will Kay Brooks Support Pedro Garcia?

The dust has not even settled on Kay Brooks' 18-17-vote appointment from Metro Council, and the Nashville City Paper--with its own checkered history of generally mucking up the news--speculates on her possible support for embattled MNPS Director Pedro Garcia.

Did reporter Vandana Atreya even bother to do some research on Kay Brooks' blog? I doubt it, because if so she would have found Garcia taking a general beating there. On October 26, 2005, Brooks wrote:
The morning media is making it pretty clear that Metro Nashville Public School Director Pedro Garcia is on his way out. This may be the first time I've agreed with my own school board member [Lisa Hunt]. She voted not to renew his contract at this time. I don't think this turn of events was a big surprise to anyone who's been watching or had a few conversations with parents of publicly school children in our town. [Note to District 5 voters: if you liked Lisa Hunt, you'll only like Kay Brooks on one issue].
Brooks, who recently mentioned my patronage of her blog as a way to find out what she believes, also insinuated that a recent nomination of Nashville's public schools for a prestigious national award had more to do with Pedro Garcia's political connections to Los Angeles (where the award is based) and less to do with the quality of our public schools. I have no doubt that she meant that as a knock on Garcia, even though the clear implication is that our public schools are not worth it.

In my research of Kay Brooks, I found no supportive or positive comment whatsoever on Pedro Garcia's leadership. She has been critical of Garcia's supporters for running a school system without their children actually being in it. She has echoed and magnified criticism from parents about Garcia's alleged lack of responsiveness. She faults Garcia for an e-mail sent out to Metro employees in support of the September 2005 tax increase, then encourages her readers to keep any tax supporters who call them on the line as long as possible to distract them from calling other registered voters (and I'm supposed to believe that a school board candidate with that kind of political savvy did not know, as she told the NCP, that the Republicans were communicating on her behalf for a yes-vote in Metro Council?) .

I fail to see any convincing evidence in any quarter that Kay Brooks would support Pedro Garcia, unless there are other deals being made under the table that we don't see. Politics does make strange bedfellows. If that's the case, then the City Paper owes it to its readership to be more forthcoming. But otherwise, I must ask: does the City Paper just make up stuff to run in its daily? If not, where in the Sam Hill do they get it?

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