Up for Debate: Behind the scenes on Great Hearts

Monday, September 10, 2012 at 1:01am

What do you think about the emails and discussions of state officials regarding the tiff between the state and Metro education boards over the approval of Great Hearts Academies' charter proposal?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

75 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 9/10/12 at 12:38

If the state board of education has the authority to tell the Metro eduction board how they must run their education board, what does the Metro tax payers need with another tax obligation in the Metro education board?

Couldn't that be double taxation, perhaps?

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 5:05

Good morning, Nashville.

Clearly, this is a case of the state government shoving a pet project down the throats of a community that is not buying the lies, the exaggerations and the fear mongering.

This Huffman character is Bill Haslam's toadie....Haslam & Huffman....a couple of saintly choir boys....on a mission from God.

At first, I suspected that Huffman was on the take with Teach for America, Great Hearts parent organization. He may be on the take, but there is more to this than simple sleaze....this is union busting on a grand scale.

Here is a snippet from Wikipedia about Teach for America:

"According to a 2009 USA Today article, Teach For America has been criticized by opponents who claim that the program replaces experienced teachers with brand-new employees brought in at beginners' salary levels. John Wilson, executive director of the National Education Association, sent a memo in May 2009 stating that union leaders were "beginning to see school systems lay off teachers and then hire Teach For America college grads due to a contract they signed." Wilson went on to say that Teach For America brings in "the least-prepared and the least-experienced teachers" into low-income schools and makes them "the teacher of record."

And there is this :

"In a 2009 editorial for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Deborah Appleman, a professor of Educational Studies at Carleton College, wrote "Implicit in Teach for America's approach is the insidious assumption that anyone who knows a subject and is willing to be with kids can teach -- with little training." She also challenged TFA's "elitist" structure. "The story of TFA becomes a kind of master narrative, a story of heroic and altruistic young people that focuses much more squarely on them than it does on the lives of the children they are committed to serve. There is an elitist overtone to the structure of TFA, a belief that the best and the brightest can make a difference in the lives of children who are less fortunate, even when they are not professionally prepared to do so." (End quote.)

The Governor and his yes men have explained and publicized the "good reasons" for their support of GH and Teach for America"...the real reasons, however, are not so noble after all.....this is union busting, Southern, born-again style.

By: dargent7 on 9/10/12 at 5:16

Have no idea what this topic is about.
How about that Peyton Manning?
4 neck surgeries and can beat Big Ben.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 5:40

Yeah, Peyton Manning is risking paralysis every time he steps out onto the gridiron....the sibling rivalry in the Peyton clan must have been incredibly fierce.....Peyton would prefer to be a quadriplegic, than to have his little brother outplay him in the NFL? Their dad must be a piece of work.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 5:46

Spent the weekend in Watkins Glen...the Vintage Car Race event....the place was virtually lousy with 427 Shelby Cobras....more millionaires in that one square mile than anywhere on earth for those 3 days....you name it, the car was there...except for any 3-wheeled Morgans.....my favorite period vehicle....other than that, I had a great time....visited several wineries in the region.....I uncorked New York.

By: bfra on 9/10/12 at 5:50

Loner - Remembering the arrogant Archie Manning, you have him pegged right. He could do nothing but try to convince everyone, he was as good as Joe Nameth, which he didn't even come close. So he raised his boys to be something (regardless) he could never be.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 5:51

By boycotting the integrated public schools, Southern born-agains have gutted the public educational system in Tennessee and in its sister Confederate states. I have zero sympathy for states that elected to go with "Christian schools" and "Charter Schools" etc. in order to preserve the system of racial inequality.....you folks are reaping what you have sown.....enjoy!

By: bfra on 9/10/12 at 5:53

Loner - Mine was spent, very differently. Fishing on a private lake, caught enough Blue catfish to feed about 50 people on Sun.. Good time by all and great fun fishing.

By: yogiman on 9/10/12 at 5:53


When I was going to school as a child, every teacher I can recall a memory of was a person who loved children and used their heartfelt love to educate them (or at least try to). They were paid a fair living and I don't remember of ever hearing of a gripe about the pay they were getting.

It is a known fact today, because of the Teachers Union, some "teachers" aren't good a teaching and don't give a damn about the children, only their paycheck.

The educations of today aren't equal to the educations of yesteryear.

By: dargent7 on 9/10/12 at 5:56

I think a 5 year, $100. million contract has something to do with throwing a ball for a few hours on Sundays.
Don't recall watching their father play one down. But, he must of done something right to raise two very successful NFL QB's.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 5:58

Bfra: Living vicariously, through our children, seems to be a rather common ailment in our society....from the beauty pageants that appear to cater to the pedophiles to Pop Warner Football.....mom and dad failed, but dammit, the kids are gonna succeed at what the parents failed at....it's rather sick, IMO.

By: dargent7 on 9/10/12 at 6:00

ps., or b.s.: The Titans have 2 QB's who combined can't throw the ball like either Manning or Tom Brady.

By: yogiman on 9/10/12 at 6:10

Not to change the subject, but what do you all think about the Democrat removing the words,"God" and "Jerusalem" from their platform before they put them back?

And what do you think of the DNC "member" from Porto Rico who has lived in the US for 40 years and is still hard to understand say she would like to kill Mitt Romney?

Real good dumbocrap, isn't she?

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 6:16

Let's take a peek at Wendy Kopp, the Founder and CEO of Teach for America.....she is a stunningly beautiful white woman who was born into white privilege in Texas. her high school, the exclusive Highland Park High School, is 99% white, according to Wikipedia....locals call the place, "the bubble"....it is a bubble of wealthy white supremacy in a sea of poor, mixed race, hominids......Great hair, perfect teeth, Wendy could have been the model for the "Barbie Doll" series?

As for the operating budget of Wendy's creation, TFA now has an annual budget of over 244 million dollars. Apparently, one can earn a fortune by wrapping union-busting in the robes of an unselfish commitment to excellence....Wendy Kopp is a master con artist, IMHO.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 6:22

The America Israel Public Affairs Committee must have yanked Obama's chain...the POTUS himself demanded that the commitment to Jerusalem as the Jewish States eternal and undivided capital city be re-inserted into the Dem platform....the Republican Jewish Coalition screamed bloody murder and Willard was ready to make a big deal out of the fact that the Dems were not adequately up-sniffing the Israelis.

Like cool Hand Luke, BHO done got his mind right with the Jews...."don' hit me no mo', Boss." What a consummate ass-lick.....the man is a reneger!

By: Rasputin72 on 9/10/12 at 6:29

I love Highland Park. What a wonderful place for values and decency. It is also home to Southern Methodist University, another beacon of a productive life and a genteel life.

As far as public education in Davidson County,be it charter or otherwise I don't give it much after Julia Green and Hume Fogg.

My grandson said that he had heard a lot of bad things about the public schools in Nashville. I said to him, "You heard right about the schools and you don't even want to know how glad I am that you have no association with the majority of the kids that attend public schools"

He said in reply, "I am so happy right where I am"

By: yogiman on 9/10/12 at 6:31


What do you and your fellow vets think of the American flag that was put on display outside a local Floria Democratic Party headquarters that was featuring Barry's face?

A beautiful flag, or an insult to flag of this nation?

By: bfra on 9/10/12 at 6:38

yogi - The educations of today aren't equal to the educations of yesteryear.
I KNOW I should ignore, but: Thank Heaven our children aren't being taught like yogi!

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 6:41

In spite of the awards and glad-handing, it looks as though TFA is not delivering the goods....again, from Wikipedia:

"Critics of Teach For America have also cited the results of Mathematica Policy Research's 2004 study as an indication of Teach For America’s lack of efficacy (see Educational Impact). These critics claim that while the study shows that students taught by Teach For America teachers perform better in mathematics than those taught by non-Teach For America teachers, the improvement is very small, and that furthermore there is no difference in reading performance between the two groups.[12][14]" (End quote.)


Of course, if the real goal was not educational excellence, but union-busting, resume-building and student loan payback incentives for recent college grads, then Teach For America must be given an A+. Mission accomplished.

State Governors are enthralled with the program, in spite of its obvious failures....you gotta give Wendy Kopp credit for being able to bullshit so many, for so long....of course, she is a supreme example of how self-bullshitizing people can excel in our society today.....if these zealots are rich, well-connected, white, beautiful and articulate....especially if their BS dovetails in with some political agenda.

By: yogiman on 9/10/12 at 6:45

Just wondering: How many Muslim delegates does the RNC have? It was shown the DNC had more Muslim delegates than Montana, Oklahoma and Utah combined. They have quadrupled their delegates since 2004.

There was 100 Muslin delegates at the DNC compared 50 for Oklahoma, 34 for Utah, 31 for Montana.

Will any other religious group need to attend the DNC in 2016... if we have an election then?

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 6:49

Rasp, we do share some common ground....could you please pass the Grey Poupon?

And thank you, for reading and responding to my commentary.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 6:56

That Fluke woman comes to mind, when I reread that last paragraph in my 7:41 post...well-connected, white, beautiful and articulate...that's Ms. Fluke...she'll probably run for office and win....US women seem to love her and US males are hot for her bod....what more does a politician need?

We want politicians that look and sound good...our television-based society demands this... using today's standards, Abe Lincoln would never have made it to Dog Catcher level....just too butt ugly.

By: yogiman on 9/10/12 at 6:57


The children's education took a "left" turn when the federal government took over the education of the children by insisting all children should be taught the same subject.

All children are taught the same subjects in communist nations. As close as I can figure you age, you was taught in a communist fashion. You was taught the same subjects as the other children in the USA schools.

The government furnishes the books. When I was a child, we bought our books from a privately owned book store and not all children were taught the same subjects.

The most advanced educated children of today are going to private schools or educated at home.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 6:59

"Dick Head"? I once knew a man named, "Richard Brain"....no lie....of course, his detractors referred to him as Dick Brain.

Can we all play nicely in the sand box this morning?

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:00

Ben Dover....are you out there?

By: Captain Nemo on 9/10/12 at 7:02

I think education started to go south in Nashville during the Fulton administration, when he would not raise taxies.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:03

Yes, Raspy, there is gold in BS....the world's oldest profession: "Holy Man", is a prime example to back up the claim....do we agree on that?

By: bfra on 9/10/12 at 7:08

d7 - Fulton was too busy messing up Church St., trying to make it look like Central Park, messing up traffic & all the while, trying to keep every hair on his head in place.

By: bfra on 9/10/12 at 7:09

Loner - I would be nice, if we didn't have loose rocks in the sand box!:-)

By: Captain Nemo on 9/10/12 at 7:11

GOP and the American flag.


By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:13

Back to the topic, this is pulled from the original NCP article:

Eight minutes into the Metro school board’s May 29 meeting came an email exchange between top state education officials. The board had just acted swiftly to reject Great Hearts Academies’ charter school proposal for Nashville — and Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and his upper brass were keeping tabs from afar.

“Apparently being denied as I write this,” Stephen Smith, the department’s assistant commissioner of Policy and Legislation, fired off in an email.

Huffman, the recipient, replied within the minute. He assumed this would happen: “Bad move by MNPS. School has a strong track record of success and parents want it here.” (End quote.)

The advent of instant communication anywhere at anytime has created a new paradigm for governance....should cell-phones, I-phones, laptops etc. be turned off during these meetings....or is this new, technology-enabled factor a generally positive thing?

Does this new technology increase transparency in governance, or do these new tools unfairly aid the special interests and their lackeys in government?

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:17

Bfra: Loose rocks are bad...but cat- droppings in the sand box is a real bummer....maybe, we have both here? Better wear latex loves when playing in this sandbox? And a surgical mask?

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:19

The GOP should put Bishop Romney's face on the Stars & Bars....just to balance things out.....and to solidify the base.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/10/12 at 7:20

This story seems to me that Big Brother is micro-managing Nashville schools and the action taken also seem to be a little under handed.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/10/12 at 7:22

Loner dealing with crap, one should always wear protection.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/10/12 at 7:23


By: bfra on 9/10/12 at 7:23

Loner - 8:17 comment, love your way with words & accurate description of the sand box situation.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:29

Thank you, Bfra...but after re-reading the post, I might replace the "is" after "sandbox", with, "are"....cat-droppings is a plural noun , not a singular noun....nevertheless, I really do appreciate the kind words.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:31

Continuing with that sandbox analogy, let's not dig too deep....let us leave the buried droppings buried....the NCP spreads a new layer of clean sand here on a fairly regular basis....thank God for that.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:34

I just now noticed that in that same post, I left the "g" out in latex gloves...."latex loves" sounds pretty kinky....a Freudian slip?

I better take my meds.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/10/12 at 7:35

I started taking a rake and trash bag with me when I use to visit the play ground with my child. I would run the rack through sand to remove condoms, glass, cigarette butts and other unwanted items. Cat crape was the less of my worries.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:44

Teachers in Chicago are now on strike...Rahm Emanuel is being distracted from his fund-raising duties for BHO's Super Pac....ironically, a union is preventing the Dems from getting on with their primary duty: Raising Cash.....especially from union members.

If Rahm lets this drag on for weeks, BHO could suffer the consequences....the Republicans must be ecstatic to witness this turn of events....this is a great opportunity to bash unions in general and to move the working class back into Dickensian compliance mode.....Scrooge is alive and well and he likes Romney & Ryan.

One wonders, are these striking teachers agents provocateur, working for the GOP? It kind of looks that way to me.

By: bfra on 9/10/12 at 7:44

Nemo - Good suggestions, but those type of preventions haven't worked on this sandbox.:-) Any more suggestions? lol

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:47

Yeah, Captain, we have more than loose rocks and cat poop to worry about...the sandbox may contain all sorts of unsavory items....we now have a fresh layer...let's not rake the sand too deeply.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 7:54

I would expect that Rahm Emanuel is mailing a dead fish to the Teacher Union Headquarters as we speak...that's his MO. He is a ballerino too....nifty foot work....no BS on that....he served with the Israeli Defense Forces, not the US armed forces and his dad was a Zionist terrorist....if Rahm gets pissed, things could get real ugly, real fast in the Windy City.....Mayor Daley might end up looking like a benevolent and tolerant man by comparison.....skulls could be cracked, IDF style....Rahm is not playing with a full deck, IMO....he too is a self-bullsitizing man.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/10/12 at 8:12

bfra, Loner-

We could do the BenDover method and ignore the trolls, I will if you will.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 8:17


By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 8:21

We are discussing the same topic on this NCP thread:


Some cogent comments there.

By: govskeptic on 9/10/12 at 8:23

I can't seem to get the connection of Wendy Kopp being a very attractive
and extremely smart white woman and this local charter school story.
Unlike the federal government which lays down hundreds of rules but
supplies very little money, the State does provide many dollars and has
always had direction over local schools in instance just such as this.

By: Loner on 9/10/12 at 8:32

Back to Chicago's Teachers Strike, here is a choice snippet:

"The union countered by asking for a 30% pay raise over two years, followed by a request for a 25% increase over two years. Just weeks ago, Lewis told delegates the union had adjusted its demand and was asking for a 19% pay raise in the contract's first year."


Check out the union president....she has not missed a meal lately...the GOP is gonna love this....."Fat cat union bosses demand 30% pay raise for Chicago teachers".....pictures @ 11.