Lee names members of standalone charter authorizer

Republican Gov. Bill Lee has appointed the members of the new state charter school authorizer. The new standalone panel can overturn local school board votes to reject charter school applications.

The members are:

  • Tom Griscom of Hamilton County
  • David Hanson of Davidson County
  • Alan Levine of Washington County
  • Terence Patterson of Shelby County
  • Mary Pierce of Davidson County
  • Christine Richards of Shelby County
  • Derwin Sisnett of Shelby County
  • Eddie Smith of Knox County
  • Wendy Tucker of Williamson County

Griscom is a former editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Smith is a former Republican state representative from Knoxville. Pierce was known as the Nashville school board’s leading charter school advocate before announcing last year she wouldn’t run for re-election. Hanson is a board member of the Beacon Center, Teach For America Nashville, and Valor charter schools.

Under the previous law, the State Board of Education served as the charter authorizer. But it had overturned only three of 21 denials, and supporters of the change hope the new panel will be less deferential to local school boards.

Democratic Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis, who opposed the bill, told rural and suburban colleagues that under the bill “everybody gets a taste of the charter medicine” that has previously been applied to to cities.

10 Responses to Lee names members of standalone charter authorizer

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    Teddy says:

    Mary Pierce of Nashville is an outstanding choice!!!

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    By “charter medicine” I think Antonio was warning his colleagues that they can expect that representatives of the government school’s bureaucracies as well as their teacher’s unions will come to them trying to get government to protect their monopoly like monopolists have done since time immemorial.

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    Christina Norris says:

    Stuart Anderson, the ‘charter medicine’ is seeing funds to existing and underfunded public schools decrease.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Christina Norris, only leftists regard government schools as a sort of icon. To conservatives, governments are terrible producers of goods and services, including schools. Indeed, almost any government product or service could be produced more efficiently if privatized that’s why governments around the world are doing so.

      Charter schools are simply a way for the government to privatize education and subjecting it to the rigors of competition through the free market to the ultimate benefit of the taxpayers and students. If underfunding was the issue schools like those in Newark and Washington D. C. should be among the best in the nation which simply isn’t the case. Government schools should be eliminated if possible, or at the very least have their funding decreased as they lose students to charter/private schools.

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        Lenny says:

        When did subsidies become a pillar of free market economics? Does Montgomery Bell, Ensworth, or Baylor need a charter or voucher money? No, but the shitty home school online companies are going broke and looking for a handout. Stuart, let the free market work and keep government out of the private sector.

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    Lisa says:

    Ad hominem arguments damage your credibility and your position.

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    AJ Building says:

    Glad to see ol’ Eddie Smith clarifying his 100% support for charters! He’ll never win another race in Tennessee. Go away, Edward!

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    James White says:

    Thomas Sowell: If you are serious about wanting to improve education, do not vote more money for the education establishment that has been dumbing down the schools for years. Vote for vouchers, tax credits, or anything else that will transfer decision-making power to parents.

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