Education — July 8, 2015 at 8:33 am

UPDATED: Nashville school board members discover the truth about former EAA chief John Covington and are NOT pleased


Monday night I wrote about how former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington is one of four finalist to run a the Metro Nashville Public Schools. The fact that he made it that far is puzzling considering that he left his two previous leadship jobs abruptly and without warning. In Kansas City, the district he ran lost their accreditation shortly thereafter and, in Detroit, the EAA continues to flounder and Covington left under a cloud of allegations regarding misspending of funds for his personal benefit.

Word is now getting out, however, and some of the members of the Metro Nashville Public Schools board of education are not pleased. First we have school board member Will Pinkston who had this devastating assessment of Covington as a a finalist:

“How did someone with this kind of baggage get on the list?” Pinkston asked. “It really, in my opinion, causes me to question the integrity of the search process and makes me wonder if the search firm really did its homework.”

Pinkston is talking about John Covington, who resigned from his job as the Kansas City director of schools abruptly and early. Two months later, the district lost its accreditation.

Covington was then the director of all under-performing schools in the Detroit area. He resigned there after an investigation revealed he had spent $240,000 on travel expenses, including $10,000 in gas for a car he was chauffeured in.


Next comes Metro Nashville Education President-elect Erick Huth:

Huth was also critical of charter school advocate and finalist John Covington after critical news stories surfaced about his jobs elsewhere.

“Mr. Covington on the other hand, seems to have a trail of scandal running behind him where he goes.”

Oof, part II.

The search firm responsible for selecting Covington as a finalist, a group with a sketchy history of choosing truly bad candidates, defended the choice of Covington saying, “nothing that has surfaced we weren’t aware of.”

Apparently they either don’t have Google access on their firm’s computers or a well-documented history of colossal failures in leadership aren’t an impediment to being promoted by them.

Thankfully, the Metro school board is now aware of Covington’s dismal record and it seems increasingly unlikely that he will be given the opportunity to ru(i)n their school district given his past epic failures. If they have any further questions, I commend their attention to THIS. Because here at Eclectablog, we will NOT allow his failed legacy to go down the memory hole.

UPDATE: So, this is comical interesting. One of the references that Covington used on his job application to run the Metro district said she would NOT recommend him:

The Metro Nashville Education Association says John Covington, one of the four finalists to lead Nashville schools, listed at least one reference on his application that doesn’t check out. Erik Huth, president-elect of the local teachers union, said in a statement Wednesday that questions arose after the union called Andrea Flinders, head of the Kansas City teachers union. Covington previously worked in Kansas City and listed the local union leader there as one of his many references.

“We called the president of the Kansas City local about the reference and she laughed, thinking it was absurd,” Huth said in a media release.

She had not been asked by Covington to be a reference and had not been contacted by the search firm to verify her name being used. She was clear she would not recommend him for the job. This raises even more questions about the validity of the search and the documents supplied to the board.”