MikeByrd.net | local knowledge without a net.

Toward indigenous reform of public schools as an alternative to privatized charter schools

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike Byrd on April 28, 2010

I won’t lie. In the last couple of years I’ve gone from not really understanding charter schools to being alarmed that they may, in the name of children, be just another gateway for public cronies to allow private companies to raid our tax revenues.

Privatization seems to be the absolute state toward which Metro Nashville Public Schools are headed in order to compete via market principles with the private schools.

MNPS Director Jesse Register recommends it privatize.

Karl Dean intends to privatize.

The Obama Administration is mandating charter schools in Nashville.

As a newly minted public school parent I’m concerned that we’re going to lose the public option. So, I’m looking for alternatives for reform of our insular school system without giving it and revenues to private investors who have no public mandate to act in our interest other than what they can acquire from it. (more…)


SouthComm City Paper editor takes one step forward, two steps back on Metro Council member

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike Byrd on April 27, 2010

Of all the shortcomings of the establishment press today, none is more central to the corruption of the profession than the decision to prioritize balance over accuracy.

Josh Marshall

Recently ensconced City Paper editor Stephen George created a blogospheric, twitterific stir yesterday with his profile of Metro Council member Emily Evans. Despite his confessed efforts to deflect charges of sympathy for or hits against Evans, he incurred the wrath of several social mediarites, including Aunt B, who cavorts in the twilight zone between bona fide blogging and local news media.

On the one hand, I believe that George is correct in arguing that “Convention center crusader” is neither a sympathy piece nor a hit piece.  On the other hand, the narrative of the story belies a profound bias against Emily Evans as a parent who both “bailed” on her job and generates extreme reactions from quarters from which George distances himself as reporter. (more…)

Living in common sense

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike Byrd on April 14, 2010

In his book of interpretive essays on anthropology, Local Knowledge (the inspiration for this blog), Clifford Geertz writes:

To live in the suburbs called physics, or Islam, or law, or music, or socialism, on must meet certain particular requirements and the houses are not all of the same imposingness. To live in the semi-suburb called common sense, where all the houses are sans façon [without fuss], one need only be as the old phrase has it, sound of mind and practical of conscience, however those worthy virtues be defined in the particular city of thought and language whose citizen one is.

The latter communities are those I intend to peruse, with appeals to the practical issues that impinge upon and affect the local knowledge imbued here. I’ve done this elsewhere; this time in a different key.

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