Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TENNESSEE EDUCATION VOICES: Wendy Tucker « Dad Gone Wild

TENNESSEE EDUCATION VOICES: Wendy Tucker « Dad Gone Wild:

TENNESSEE EDUCATION VOICES: WENDY TUCKER


I started this series of interviews in order to get a better understanding of the people who shape education in Tennessee. In order to get a robust picture, it is important to talk with people with disparate views from my own. Wendy Tucker is a parent, advocate, adviser to former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, and current member of the Tennessee State Board of Education. Over the years, we’ve often found ourselves on opposite sides of education policy debates, and it hasn’t always been civil. A couple weeks ago, Wendy said enough was enough and how about we sit down and have a coffee. I agreed, and the result was an interesting conversation. I’m not sure that the conversation led to a change in belief for either of us, but we both gained a greater understanding of each other’s motivations, experiences, and intentions on which those beliefs were forged. Hopefully we also found out we were both a little more multi-dimensional then previously thought.
Dad Gone Wild: I’m always interested in people’s stories and how they came to be involved in public education. So how about a little bit of your history and how did you arrive where you are now? You’re not from Tennessee, are you?
Wendy Tucker: I’m not. I am from a small south Louisiana town, Hammond, Louisiana. Probably never heard of it. I am the youngest of four, raised by a divorced single mother. And I am the first in my family to ever graduate from college. That happened mainly as a result of a very persistent parent and two amazing teachers who didn’t take no for an answer because where I come from at that time, college in my hometown wasn’t really necessarily an automatic part of the equation. I was able to get a scholarship and go to Tulane, where I went to law school as well. After that, I came to Nashville and became a public defender. It was impossible to miss the connection between our young clients and the fact that TENNESSEE EDUCATION VOICES: Wendy Tucker « Dad Gone Wild:

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