Thanks to Music City Bloggers for tipping me to the on-line video of the debate. I have just had time to watch it, and (as usual, I am less cynical than you ;))I do recommend sections of it as pretty useful (http://www.wsmv.com/nashvillemayor/index.html).
Fast forward through the early sections where the candidates simply repeat the canned answers that have become so familiar, and ultimately unhelpful.
I thought the section with the video taped debates showed Karl Dean to be much better on education than I have seen him yet in the campaign. He made the clearest statement I have heard him make yet regarding what might happen in a situation where tax revenue runs short and his education priority is put to the test. If I hear him correctly, he is actually providing somewhat of an answer to the questions I asked after the JCC forum. It sounds like he really will fund education first in order to maintain a firm and consistent commitment to reforms and programs that take many years to see through to completion. Comment if I am wrong, but that is pretty close to what I have been waiting to hear. The need for stable and predictable funding was studied under the last mayor (and found to be important, but ultimately unattainable). If Karl Dean is truly committed to that, it could go a long way toward restoring confidence in the system for those families who currently choose Williamson County or private education when choosing where to live.
Bob Clement stresses public school choice here. OK, as far as that goes, but how will you get it done in cooperation with the school board and Director of schools remains an unanswered question.
There is still time to push this question further so that we get some real commitments about education instead of endorsement battles.