I don't have a bias against charter schools--and the story very clearly reflects that as the write-ups of both Nashville PREP and LEAD are fairly glowing.
I do think the Great Hearts model raises a lot of concerns--especially if school officials don't provide transportation and don't make it a point to market themselves to neighborhoods across the city. (Magnets don't have to provide transportation because they're generally located in diverse neighborhoods to start). In any case, both the school board and the administration have said again and again that they will scrutinize, if not reject, any proposed charter school that tries to create a suburban-style public school inside the district. I'm not sure the Great Hearts folks get that just yet.
As the co-author of this story, I just want to say MdASH's terrific post restores my faith in the purpose of a comments section. Great points all the way around.
Laura, do you work in pr? If so, some tips:
Alan Coverstone is not a school board member. He's an administrator. You can't vote him out of office.
Mark North is a school board member who represents the Madison area. You can vote him out of office but only if you live there--and not, say, in Phoenix.
Either you believe in the First Amendment or you don't. It's that simple.
And yes, the state has the right to regulate public spaces but not if it's solely for the purpose of stifling expression. Passing ad hoc rules and regulations in order to kick out people trying to make a statement breaks the First Amendment, period. I think most judges, conservative, liberal, would view it that way too.
Oh--and by the way--the First Amendment that people like Meador and the OWS crowd are fortifying is the same First Amendment that allows people to make anonymous comments on a blog ripping a democratically elected president. You guys owe all of them a favor.
Considering that none of us have put violent criminals behind bars, I think we should at least listen to what Preston Shipp has to say. The guy is not just a random, anonymous commenter on the Internet; he's a respected litigator who has met with enough families of victims to understand the enormity of their loss. So if he can empathize with Cyntoia Brown, then the rest of us can at least try to do the same.
Great story, btw.
I have been looking into it. And so far I've found nothing to counter the fact that four players--including the team captain--went on camera and said how much the team liked and respected the coach. Players also said the same thing--on the record--to the New York Times. Again, that means more to me than the speculation of an anonymous poster or what a few players may or may not be saying on Facebook. But if you have any real information to pass on, email me at MattPulle@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
That should have been "terrible nationwide publicity for over a month." Probably shouldn't post before that first cup of coffee.
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