Up for Debate: Dean's charter schools push

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 12:34am

How do you feel about Nashville's courtship of charter schools, following Mayor Karl Dean's lead? Is this what the city needs to improve its schools overall?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

43 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 2/7/12 at 4:45

Read a lot of press lately, all ringing the same theme, "Tenn. is second to last...."
If Tenn. is comfortable with being "second to last" in all desirable categories, well, then, there you are.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 5:25

Good morning, Nashville.

"Charter school" is a code name for what? Come on, cut the crap, what's the hidden agenda? Segregation? Christian indoctrination? Union busting? Let's be honest here...we heard the "good reasons", let's hear the real reasons for Dean's passion on this issue.

By: bfra on 2/7/12 at 5:35

Loner - Dean's reason for anything is to feather his own nest. He has had ample opportunity for improving schools but he has been too busy boosting his own ego & trying to bail some of his cronies out. Hickory Hollow is one that comes to mind!

By: dargent7 on 2/7/12 at 5:58

Dean, smean. If he had anything to do with getting the Music City Convention Center getting built, he's a fu*** in' genius. That area was a robbery, infested, drug ward. Now, with the Omni Hotel, it will be a becon for tourists.
All the bars on Broadway will see a 50% increase in their business.

By: Ummm... on 2/7/12 at 6:08

Our mayor is willing to do his part in driving another nail into the coffin of public education, once a beacon of strength and opportunity for America- now its whipping boy.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 6:11

From the main story:

"Townes Duncan, managing partner of Solidus Co., helped lead the search to attract Great Hearts to Nashville. Duncan chairs the board of directors for SouthComm, The City Paper’s parent company."

"In the fall, Dean, then-education adviser Danielle Mezera, and investor and Joe C. Davis Foundation trustee Bill DeLoache (cousin of Dean’s wife, Anne Davis) flew across the country to tour and observe firsthand some of the nation’s most respected charters in California. (Dean pointed out he’s taken several charter school excursions over the past four years.) "

The plot sickens...it's an insider deal...no wonder the press reviews are so rosy....this explains the mayor's passion...it's his wife's family's pet project.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 6:13

Dragged over from the other thread:

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 5:40

We heard the phony good reasons, what are Den's real reasons?

Is the real goal segregation? Christian indoctrination? Union busting? Or is the mayor simply getting a kickback? Or is there something even more nefarious going on here?

The public schools need a lifeline, not these profit-seeking private alternatives. With the advent of every new charter school, the public schools become more decrepit and shameful. The mayor is on the wrong path and the NCP has a huge conflict of interest in covering this story.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 6:14

"Den's" s/h/b "Dean's" in the post above...mea culpa.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 6:30

Obama has reversed his stand on Super Pacs...he was against them before he became for them. Read all about it here:


I left this comment:

new_york_loner wrote:

How easily ethics and morality can shift, when the situation calls for it....the GOP is doing it, therefore we are forced to do it. This is the "hope & change" we were promised in 2008?

Obama is the Reneger-In-Chief.....he is alienating his base more every day.

Obama fooled me once, he won't fool me twice....the man is a consummate phony.

Not satisfied with spending 743 million in 2008, to win the presidency, the POTUS is now gearing up to spend a lot more than that and he aims to get his Super PACs outspending the opposition....billions will be squandered in this election cycle....the American Founders would be appalled to witness this degradation of our political system...there is no hope, but there has been change....in a negative direction.

By: Ummm... on 2/7/12 at 6:47

Loner, I think you need to ease up on the Obama campaign's decision to support a "super-pac." It was the Bush SCOTUS that bought into "Citizens United," thereby creating this monstrous way of financing political campaigns. Forgoing the use of a "super-pac" by the Democrats would be like continuing to play a card game when you know your opponent has stacked the deck against you. I know two wrongs don't make a right, but you can't expect the Democrats to "unilaterally disarm" themselves.

By: govskeptic on 2/7/12 at 6:55

The remarks by Ummmmmmm "once a beacon of strength and opportunity" may
have been true 50-60 yrs ago, but certain not the last 25. It's been more of a
experiment in political correctness and social engineering than anything else.
Lead by dullness, taught by dullness, governed by and for the wrong reasons
and we wonder why it is so far behind it's peers in outcome? Even as we spend
more than any nation in the world many want to keep the status quo! Amazing.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/7/12 at 6:56

LONER........Somedays you make your points in spades. Today is one of them.

Too few people understand that Karl Dean has a secret and very personal agenda that does not bode well for the future of the general popualtion of Davidson County.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 7:05

Then Obama should decide not to run for re-election, Ummm, if his ethics are so incorruptible. Obama is a tap dancer...he dances around issues, just grinnin' and dancin' to the tunes that others call.

Obama spent more money to get elected than any previous president in US history...he may have spent more money to win a political position than any candidate has ever spent, in the history of our species.....when it comes to spending money to win an election, Obama makes Julius Caesar look like a cheapskate.

Both major parties (and the media) welcomed the Citizens United Decision, the GOP is just more honest about it.

Someday soon, the super PACs will spend the majority of the money....individual and party funds will be dwarfed by the Super PAC's huge stash....the tycoons are now the puppeteers....and it's 100% legal...the Bush family's lasting USSC legacy is the absolute corruption of our electoral process....folks, this is Creeping Fascism, compliments of the Bush Dynasty.

By: dargent7 on 2/7/12 at 7:06

Ras72: How is it possible to disparage the Music City Convention Center?
Did you ever walk North of Broadway, past Sommet and now Bridgestone Arena, after 5:00pm? Any given day?
Dean "rides the bus" and brought bicycles to Dtwn.
What do you want him to do, next?

By: Ask01 on 2/7/12 at 7:08

I distrust Mayor Dean. Of course, to be fair and honest, I distrust all politicians and most authority figures.

I have a suggestion which, at the very least, might garner better oversight for public schools. All federal, state and local elected officials and government employees should be required to enroll their children, or, as some are fairly aged, grandchildren or great grandchildren, in local public schools.

Oh, I know, they have rights allowing them to put their children where they want, but not if the law says different. Consider however, how much differently education might be approached if those running the show were required to send their offspring to the same schools attended by the children of the teeming masses?

I view this in the same spirit as requiring congress to be subject to the same laws as everyone else.

If the Obama children had to attend local Washington D.C. schools, what do you suppose those schools would look like?

Just a suggestion.

I brought this from the other thread. I would like to add my voice to those questioning Mayor Dean's seeming sudden enthusiam for education. Yes, I know education was part of his campaign strategy. However, all politicians use education 'for the children' when seeking office. This, especially coming from Mayor Dean's office reeks of some sort of self promotion, but for what, I'm not sure. He already has one monument to ego rising along 8th Avenue, and I'm certain is seeking another so when he, God forbid, runs for governor, he can put to all the progress he brought to the backward citizens of Nashville. While neglecting to mention the bill is still being paid for his progress.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 7:09

Thank You, Rasputin. I'll try to live up to that.

By: dargent7 on 2/7/12 at 8:02

"Live uo to that"? "We graduated with the lowest possible honors..." Shemp Howard.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 8:23

"Don't play dumb with me, you ain't smart enough." Moe Howard.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 8:36

We are discussing Obama's newest flip-flop on a New York Times site:


I succeeded in getting one post published, but then I got the cold shoulder, so I posted this comment which will probably never see the light of day at the NYT:

I posted one reply and one new comment...they seemed to have been posted...but now they have vanished, without a trace.

As the Neville Bros., in "Sons and Daughters" expressed so eloquently, "It's freedom of speech. As long as you don't say too much".

I must have said too much.

BTW, we use our real names when posting on the NYT.

By: yogiman on 2/7/12 at 8:50


It should make everyone wonder where Obama got his money. You seem to be a good researcher; check him out.

How many foreign governments gave him money? And for what reason? Why did the inferior Supreme Court okay corporations to give their stockholder's money by the galore on political campaigns?

There is many why questions that don't seem to have any answers from congress.

By: yogiman on 2/7/12 at 9:43


If Obama put his children in public school in DC there would be an army of security officers around that school constantly to make sure no one set a bomb in it 24 hours per day.

Its much cheaper to to have private tutors for them. And of course, they'll learn a hell of a lot more.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 9:58

Source of Funds for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign:

Individual contributions $656,357,572 88%
PAC contributions $1,830 0%
Candidate self-financing $0 0%
Federal Funds $0
Other $88,626,223 12%

Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638

That was in 2008. Now that Obama has embraced the Super-PAC funding idea, we can expect the totals spent on re-election to be in the billions, not millions, in 2012.

Here is a link to the current levels of presidential fund raising...again, Obama is way out in front:


Right now, Obama has raised $125,225,410 for his re-election...Romney, the top GOP money-raiser has raised only about 54 million so far.

The Super PACs will augment the candidate's personal war chests and the party's war chests...we can expect billions, not millions to be spent on this election....what a disgusting spectacle to show the world...and we want to spread this shit at sword-point?


By: brrrrk on 2/7/12 at 10:09

Oh, the audacity of dope.... I keep saying to myself, "they can't be that dumb!".... and then....

John Fleming, Republican Congressman, Falls For Onion Planned Parenthood Joke


By: Moonglow1 on 2/7/12 at 10:27

Moonglow1: It sounds like Dean's wife is pushing these charters. Bottom line: charters will leave we taxpayers holding the bag when they go bust. Don't let Dean & Co give away public education funds to private For Profit charters. The only mandate for any corporation is to maximize profit for the shareholders. How do you figure they will have your children's interest at heart. They don't.

By: brrrrk on 2/7/12 at 10:35

What I don't understand is why we can't go back to the idea of having vocational schools with working internships like we used to have. The idea that we can all go to college and all work in high tech jobs (or jobs that require some high tech skills) is not only naive, but it ignores human nature.

By: bfra on 2/7/12 at 12:13

Loner = Maybe Romney's 5 boys are going to help him, they each have a trust worth at least 100 million. I would like to see a numbers on how many businesses he ravaged & how many people he put out of business for his money.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/7/12 at 12:16

This for our come in late and say nothing sid.

By: budlight on 2/6/12 at 4:40
Wow! Light on the comments. I liked the one with "dirty harry" turning democrat! And the government under the guise of a car company probably paid for it. I love football when it's a close game and it was close. I agree with D7 on the last minute Brady hail mary - would'a been awesome. However, didn't happen.

That was a good show by Madonna and I usually don't care for her. At least she didn't have any wardrobe malfunctions.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/6/12 at 4:59
Silly budlight, it was a Chrysler Ad. Get your fact straight before making a fool of yourself.


By: bfra on 2/6/12 at 5:40
Nemo - A zebra can't change it's stripes. LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 2/6/12 at 6:33

A donkey is no thoroughbred racehorse.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/7/12 at 12:25

Eastwood, who donated his fee from the advertisement to charity, said he had not changed his political views and there was "no spin in this ad".

He said: "I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr Obama. It was meant to be a message about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was OK.

"I am not supporting any politician at this time. If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of the ad, go for it."


By: Ask01 on 2/7/12 at 12:27

yogiman, you are correct. As children of the POTUS, the Obama kids would have an army of security surrounding them.

However, I'm certain there is a small army lurking nearby whatever school they attend. The upside would be behavioral problems would most likely hover near zero as any incident would be regarded by security as a potential diversion and prelude to an attempt on the youngsters. Since the Secret Service would react according to their predetermined contingency plan......, well, I for one would not want to be the instigator of, or a participant in, any altercation.

At the heart of the matter, I was really trying to illustrate how much better public schools would be if our "American Aristocracy" were required to send their children to the same schools as the peasants.

You make a good point though.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/7/12 at 12:43

DARGENT7........Thanks for the question. The property tax rates are almost double anyother surrounding county. No one without an income of at least 175,000 dollars a family would want to live in Davidson County because of the cost of private school education. No one with a child who does not get into Hume Fogg would even consider sending their children to public schoold in Davidson County.

The United States is a broken nation. Subjecting the citizens of Davidson County to a CONVENTION CENTER is a mistake of bad timing.

The crime rate in Davidson County is climbing more quickly than surrounding counties.

I want Karl Dean to concentrate on one thing. Reducing the cost of local government.

I live in Davidson County and have since birth. I have been fortunate enough to be able to offset the high costs of living in Davidson County. That is because I am labeled as a part of the 1%. I hardly think Davidson County is a county of offices,businessess,1% people,tourists and an overpopulated underclass. Davidson County should be a county with a fair share of middle class families. The additional cost of living in Davidson County versus say Sumner County $20,000 dollars a year more for a family of four. This of course includes modest private school education and the property taxes.

For a family making 125,000 dollars a year with a net income of say 93,000 dollars a year this 20,000 dollars represents roughly 22% of net income in order to live in Davidson County.

By: brrrrk on 2/7/12 at 12:46

"He was endowed with a stupidity which by the least little stretch would go around the globe four times and tie." - Mark Twain

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 2:18

By: bfra on 2/7/12 at 12:13

Loner = Maybe Romney's 5 boys are going to help him, they each have a trust worth at least 100 million. I would like to see a numbers on how many businesses he ravaged & how many people he put out of business for his money.

Bfra, Mormons are very family oriented, after all they are close to being ancestor worshipers....genealogy seems to be their obsession. The five sons will naturally help Dad out...but not Uncle Sam...seems the family values in the Romney clan do not include military service.

George Romney, Mitt's Dad, served on some board overseeing war production in Detroit, during WW2...never donned a uniform. After the war, he became very wealthy in the automobile industry...he became Governor of MI.

Mitt, son of George, split for France during the Vietnam War..as a Mormon Missionary...he rose quickly through the ranks and soon headed the Mormon Mission to the French...very cushy duty, others were dying in the jungles of Vietnam...a war he vigorously supported. A young chicken-hawk on a mission from God...that was Mitt in the late 60's....and he is still on a mission from God. He is a Holy Warrior...he would be a Chicken-Hawk Commander-In-Chief....how disgusting.

The 5 Romney sons all followed suit....rich kids that will never have to put their hides on the line for the national good....that's for the poor kids, not rich Mormons....the Romney's are probably in the top one percent of the one percenters.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 2:33

Is America ready for an anti-alcohol, anti-non-marital sex, anti-pre-marital-sex, anti-birth control, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-lesbian, anti-transgendered, anti-bisexual, anti-gay marriage, anti-Cannabis, anti-profanity, anti-pornography, flag-waving, goody 2-shoes of a president?

One that is also pro-Defense industry, pro-Israel, pro-Energy industry (pro-War-Super-Lobby) and pro-Patriot Act?

I certainly hope that the nation will reject that sort of a presidential candidate.

By: Ask01 on 2/7/12 at 2:56

Loner, the prospect of again having a president who has even worn a military uniform, having worn that uniform abroad, while having worn a flak jacket and helmet is bleak to say the least. Members of the House and Senate are more likely to fit the criteria, but I suspect very few will.

The onus is on the veterans to hold candidates feet to the fire, weeding out those who talk a good game, and backing those who truly have the nation's best interests at heart.

Not a war monger eager to spill the blood of others children, but one who will make the right decision when issues count.

Some of the most vocal proponents of peace I know are former and retired military, because they know the cost. That said, they are also realistic that when negotiation, detente, and diplomacy fail, military force needs to be employed without hesitation, with the goal of winning, not fighting some drawn out war of attrition with all manner of restriction limiting actions. (I thought we had learned that lesson during Vietnam.)

Sorry, once more, for the rant. I surrender the soapbox to someone else.

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 3:11

Great rant, Ask1, rant on.

Romney has some explaining to do, re: his Chicken-Hawk support for the Vietnam War while he was in France, evading the draft. The remarks are still out there, somebody should be digging up that crap...the Hypocrite-In-Chief....the Super-PACs will use that stuff to smear the draft-dodging rich kid....a young man who used his LDS mission duties, to escape military service....now he wants to send your kids to fight in a perpetual holy war?

I say, NO WAY!!

I cannot support Mitt Romney; he is a world-class hypocrite.

By: brrrrk on 2/7/12 at 3:37

Loner said

"a young man who used his LDS mission duties, to escape military service.."

If you want to have a good chuckle you can do what I did once...

While visiting my mother in law with my wife I decided to take a walk in the small town where she lives. During my walk I was approached by two LDS missionaries. The one immediately asked me (as they usually do), "Have you heard of Jesus Christ?". I stopped, turned to the one who asked the question and as "dead pan" as possible said, "No. Who is this Jesus of whom you speak?". Both of the missionaries looked at each other... and they both started laughing..... :-)

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 4:05

Great story, Brrrrk.

I spent 4 years in Idaho, I have have Mormon stories too....but that's a good one....as if anyone in the USA has not heard about Jesus of Nazareth....maybe Tommy, the deaf, dumb & blind kid hasn't heard the word...how can he be saved?

By: Loner on 2/7/12 at 4:16

Obama is too young to have served in Vietnam, but Romney isn't...time to "Swift-boat" the draft-dodging, flag-waving hypocrite?

Maybe the Dems will save that stuff for later...Swiftboating a Republican Presidential candidate seems like poetic justice to me...they used the technique on a real Vietnam vet....time for those Vietnam era guys to torpedo Mitt's ambitions to be Commander-In-Chief....compared to Mitt Romney's self-serving actions during the Vietnam War, John Kerry is a super-patriot.

By: brrrrk on 2/7/12 at 4:17

Loner said

"I spent 4 years in Idaho, I have have Mormon stories too....but that's a good one....as if anyone in the USA has not heard about Jesus of Nazareth....maybe Tommy, the deaf, dumb & blind kid hasn't heard the word...how can he be saved?"

If you're going to do what I did, you have to make sure that you sell it with your best "biblical narration" voice, ala John Huston.....

By: Captain Nemo on 2/7/12 at 4:31

What is going on?


By: CarterRidge on 2/8/12 at 11:52

Mayor Dean has the right idea: allow for innovation and flexibility within the public school system. By granting autonomy to schools while also holding them accountable to high standards, excellent public school options can be a reality for Nashville families.

By: sumnerule082008 on 2/8/12 at 1:14

I would let's stray away from attempting to discern political motives and focus on the recipients of education: students! Charter schools offer students an opportunity for them to learn to love learning; charter school students know that they will be going to college and that a productive life as a local citizen is on their horizon. True that not all charter schools are the absolute best, but the strives that they have made in TN toward closing the achievement gap is unparalleled and warrants more investment of resources. What more can you ask for? Charter school students are happy and learning, teachers are satisfied and passionate about their students, principals can run a school as they see fit, and at NO EXTRA cost to tax payers!

By: RedLocs on 2/8/12 at 8:58

Charter Schools is providing all students an opportunity to get a great education. It's about the kids!! No matter what part of town you live in, race, income etc. all kids are accepted. The teachers and students are excited about learning and teaching. College is s reality not just a dream!! Nashville Preparatory Charter School is an excellent school!!!! Keep up the great work from a greatful parent!