So the speculation grows. Will Marsha Warden run for re-election this August? Now that Eric Crafton has picked up papers (3/11/08), we have to wonder if he is seriously contemplating giving up his Council seat in order to run. If so, what will his objective be?
I have to say that the campaign for School Board #9 is taking an unfortunate turn. I have no personal opinion of Eric Crafton, because I have never met him. I do know, however, that his positions and his tendency to grab headlines seems more likely to divide and distract the school board than to move us closer to the central goal of an excellent education for the children of Nashville.
I am well aware of the need for dramatic change in the way the school system pursues its goals, but it is clear that we need a school board that can forge consensus and compromise so that change advances those goals rather than leading us further from them. We need a school board that can govern as a board should, hiring and maintaining high expectations for the Director, making sure that the District's priorities remain clear and well-focused, and representing the entire community's common interest in high quality education for the children of Nashville.
The school board has been drawn too deeply into the micromanagement of the system responding to personality and politics when sound judgement and direction were earnestly needed. We need more board members who help to clarify and pursue high standards of performance not people who grab headlines for their controversial pronouncements.
As I said, I don't know Eric Crafton personally, and I have no reason to doubt his intentions, but I do know the presence he has in the papers of this city. I am afraid that the bold move of resigning his council seat and joining the school board will move the board further into controversy and micromanagement rather than helping it to move forward in its proper role.
As we seek a new Director of Schools, I cannot imagine a worse time for that to happen.