Education — July 11, 2015 at 7:19 am

DENIED: Former EAA chief John Covington eliminated from consideration for Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools


Former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington is out of the running to head up the Metro Nashville Public Schools. After being selected as one of the final four candidates by a search firm with ties to the Broad Foundation and that has promoted him in the past, Covington’s history of failing school districts and then leaving abruptly led to him being dismissed:

The Metro Schools superintendent search is down to three.

Pushing past calls to delay the search, the Metro school board felt the interviews were strong enough to introduce the three finalists to the Nashville community. [..]

The group decided to cut from the running controversial candidate John Covington, who also interviewed Friday. Although he had a strong interview, questions surrounding his tenure and abrupt departures as a leader in Kansas City, Mo., and Michigan ultimately derailed his candidacy.

The board felt it would be too hard to build community consensus around Covington despite his experience.

“I think where I would anticipate pushback and a challenge in building relationships it would be with him,” board Chairwoman Sharon Gentry said.

Assuming that local community members can use Google (unlike the search firm Hazard Young Attea & Associates, apparently), I’d say community consensus likely would have been unanimous in saying “NO!” to John Covington.

Covington, for his part, played the victim:

“I have generated a considerable amount of negative press,” Covington said in his interview. “Most of what has been said is a misrepresentation of the truth and undermines a career spanning nearly three decades.”

For those of us who have had front row seats watching Covington in action, there isn’t much of a career to undermine. Thankfully, like the Richland One School District in South Carolina before them, Metro Nashville Public Schools dodged a bullet.

I commend them for their savvy use of Google.