Will Pinkston, an alumnus of Metro Nashville Public Schools and an MNPS parent, today announced plans to run for re-election to the Nashville School Board in 2016.
Elected to the school board by a wide margin in 2012, Pinkston is backed by a large coalition of South and Southeast Nashville community leaders, public education advocates, parents, teachers, and state and local elected officials (see Friends of Pinkston list, Volume 1, below). He is running for another four-year term to keep pushing for large-scale improvement in MNPS and stop efforts to dismantle the school system.
“Working with a new mayor and a new Metro Council, we have a profound opportunity to get the entire community rowing in the same direction for the first time in nearly a decade,” Pinkston said. “I’m optimistic about the upcoming director search and I’m excited to continue working for our students, parents, teachers and taxpayers.”
In advance of the 2016 reboot of the search for a new MNPS leader, Pinkston released a position paper, “What We Need from the Next Director of Schools,” which can be found at pinkstonforschools.com.
A 1989 graduate of Overton High School, Pinkston earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee. He represents school board District 7, which stretches from the 12South area to Percy Priest Lake. The heart of the district includes schools in the Glencliff, Overton and Antioch clusters.
Pinkston is an outspoken advocate for high-quality English learner programs to help the city’s youngest New Americans. He is a critic of unabated growth of charter schools after two independent studies — including one commissioned by the Mayor’s Office and the Metro Council — found that charters have a negative fiscal impact on traditional schools.
On the school board, Pinkston has helped lead the charge to establish meaningful academic achievement goals, hold the MNPS Central Office accountable for results, expand pre-kindergarten programs, and demand Nashville’s fair share of state education funding.
Previously, Pinkston served as a senior advisor to former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and helped develop education policies that made Tennessee the fastest-improving state in the history of the Nation’s Report Card. Among other roles, he managed the public campaign in support of Tennessee’s standards-reform movement, which Harvard University’s journal EducationNext described as “The Tennessee Miracle.”
Pinkston is a former reporter for The Tennessean and The Wall Street Journal. At the Journal, he contributed to the Sept. 12, 2001, edition, which earned the newspaper’s staff the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. He now works as a strategic communications consultant advising businesses and nonprofit organizations in the education, health care and workforce development fields.
Pinkston’s campaign re-elect kickoff event will be held at Casa Azafrán on Nolensville Road, home of the Casa Azafrán Early Learning Center, on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 5:30 p.m.
MNPS is the 42nd-largest school system in America, serving more than 86,000 students.