Thursday, January 17, 2008

Now that the Council Election is Past, Eric Crafton is Back to Fighting Funding For Public Schools

Last July I called attention to what I considered Council Member Eric Crafton's unethical use of a reproduction of Nashville Public Schools letterhead adjacent to his name along with a complimentary, but unauthorized comment from the School Board Chair on campaign material that he mailed to voters. I also pointed out that CM Crafton's founding of and participation in the controversial "Save Our Schools" organization, which opposes funding increases for Public Schools, was not mentioned in the campaign literature.

Now that Mr. Crafton does not have to worry about protecting his Council seat, it looks like he is back promoting SOS and playing a strident opponent of public schools. Here's homeschooling blogger Kay Brooks's account of the SOS presentation to the Council Education Committee on Monday:
"3 1/2 years ago...I started hearing that our schools were woefully underfunded, but that they were making tangible progress. But this just didn't ring true with what parents and other constituents were telling me... So I decided to do some unbiased, independent research to see if in fact we were underfunding our schools and see if real progress could be measured."

"I started by sending over 10 simple questions to Metro's school administrators. The only response I got was that they were too busy preparing their budget that was coming up later that spring to answer my question. So I founded the Save Our Students organization..."

"Why do I bring this information before you? Because I truly believe that both our education system and our children's futures are at an irreversible tipping point if we don't make dramatic, meaningful, measurable changes. Without change, our children will suffer. Irreparable harm will be done."

And he made the specific point that the:
"information is not being represented to usurp the School Board's authority, but rather offered in a spirit of cooperation and a shared interest in our children's success."
Regarding money:
"In my opinion however, it is fiscally irresponsible for the Metro Council to send 35% of Nashville's budget...around $600 million a year, to the School Board without expectations of measured achievement and without providing some oversight."
He is not talking like he requires Board Chair Marsha Warden's support or the credibility of the Nashville Public School's label any longer.

I guess we should be thankful that CM Crafton seems more conciliatory in his latest attempt to get some grip on the public education purse strings, but he was similarly conciliatory at one point last spring in the English Only debate where he promised to work on an amendment for community education at an Adult Learning Center. Afterwards he just continued to act mean about forcing Metro employees to speak English all the time with little attempt to blunt the divisiveness of it. I would be surprised if SOS's agenda against our public schools turns out any differently.

1 comment:

  1. I would not trust oversight of an educational system to the metro council. Look where oversight got them on the election commission, howard building, data security and the laptops.