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?


  1. OK, it's 2014 and Sharon Gentry is now working alongside Alan Coverstone to dismantle MNPS. As the chair of the MNPS board, she is attempting to personally control the agenda of the board. She is strongly and rudely trying to shut down board members Frogge, Pinkston, and Speering. It is so obvious that she is representing the mayor and the chamber of commerce. It would appear that she is on the chamber's payroll just as board member Kim is on the Teach for America payroll.

    With the parents of MNPS starting to rise up against the ASD as they realize the ripoff and danger of charter schools, I would like to read more articles on your blog about the crap going on in MNPS.

    Citizens need a voice to stand up to Hizzoner and his cronies who are trying to strongarm the MNPS school board. I hope you will consider new articles in 2014-15.

    1. Well, first of all, you're welcome for the early warning system and flag waving I was doing in 2012. I don't know of anyone else on either side of the river who was calling out Ms. Gentry so publicly at the time.

      Second, please feel free to submit a guest post yourself as I am no longer a public school parent due to the MNPS school system and the lack of a community support network for dissatisfied parents. Where was East Nashville United in 2011 when I needed them?

      I explained why we could no longer invest lives in MNPS over a year ago:

      The shock waves currently roiling local schools on a broader scale don't surprise me one bit given what I experienced as a public school parent for four years, but I am now an outsider looking in.

      Frankly, I feel like we paid our dues to support public education in full, in spite of the opinions of others who act like "What have you done for us lately?"