Thursday, September 25, 2014

(update) School Board meeting of 9/24/2014: Jesse Register will be leaving.

9/25/2014 I have still not watched all pf this school board meeting and may not get the opportunity to watch it and provide time stamp notations, but another report of what happened is added to this report.

Here is the link to the Agenda.  

This big news from last night is that Jessie Register, Director of Schools, will not seek an extension of his contract. I hate to see that.  I have not always agreed with everything he has done but he has done some good things, such as the privatization of janitorial service which saved the system money and took courage to stand up to the unions.  Most recently I have been pleased with his proposal to deal with failing "priority" schools by being willing to close some failing schools, giving parents school choice and transitioning some schools to charter schools.

My early preference for a new director, should he want the job,  would be Dr. Alan Coverstone, the Executive Director of the Office of Innovation of Metro Schools.

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean, Sept. 24, 2014- Jesse Register says he will not seek a contract extension as director of schools of Metro Nashville Public Schools, ending silence on his future and paving the way for a closely watched search for his replacement. (link)

Below is a report from Brett A Withers posted to

 - Dr. Register acknowledged the East Nashville United group's efforts
to get parents/community members out to participate in the meetings that
have been scheduled with the priority schools. A few of us were in the
audience and acknowledged Dr. Register's comments.
- School Board Member Elisa Kim reported that Dr. Register's
announcement has captured the "undivided attention" of East Nashville
families and urged him to create an advisory committee that represents the
diversity of East Nashville. East Nashville United tweeted our
appreciation of Ms. Kim's championing of this central point of our platform.
- School Board Member Amy Frogge complimented the East Nashville United
group's communication pertaining to the complex issues surrounding school
- School Board Member Will Pinkston asked Joe Bass to clarify what
efforts MNPS is making to inform parents about the priority school meetings
in writing and whether any written communications have been provided in
translation for the benefit of parents who have limited English language
ability. Mr. Bass offered to provide a copy of the written notices, and
Dr. Register indicated that live translation services can be arranged. I
assume that such a request would come from the school principal.
- School Board Member Anna Shepherd asked whether transportation
arrangements are being provided for families with limited transportation
options. School Board Member Jill Speering touched on this issue in a
follow-up conversation with me after the meeting.
- School Board Member Jill Speering asked when the ASD take-over and
KIPP school conversion location decisions would be announced. Dr. Register
replied that he would expect an announcement after January 1st.

In other school board news, Dr. Register announced that he will not seek a
one-year extension of his contract when it expires in June 2014, but he
pledged to work with MNPS to ensure a smooth transition when the new
Director is identified.

School Board Chair Sharon Gentry announced new committee assignments.
Board Members Pinkston and Pierce will chair the board's Community
Engagement Committee. Board Member Kim will chair the Director Evaluation

All in all, the East Nashville United group was pleased that the school
board members seem to be responsive to our communications urging
consultation with affected families prior to making decisions to close or
convert schools. Thanks (or thanks in advance) for your support on these

Brett A. Withers
Eastwood Neighbors


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