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Bernie Driscoll

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Bernie Driscoll
Bernie Driscoll.png
Former candidate for
Board member, Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education, District 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionAugust 7, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Campaign website
Bernie Driscoll campaign logo

Bernie Driscoll was a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education in Tennessee. He was defeated by incumbent Jo Ann Brannon in the general election on August 7, 2014.



See also: Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools elections (2014)


The August 7, 2014, general election ballot for District 2 included incumbent Jo Ann Brannon and candidates Edward Arnold and Bernie Driscoll. The District 4 ballot included incumbent Anna Shepherd and candidates Rhonda F. Dixon and Pam Swoner. District 6 incumbent Cheryl Mayes faced Tyese R. Hunter. The District 8 ballot included candidates Mary Pierce and Becky Sharpe.


Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, District 2, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJo Ann Brannon Incumbent 55.7% 3,233
     Nonpartisan Bernie Driscoll 32.6% 1,893
     Nonpartisan Edward Arnold 11.4% 659
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 21
Total Votes 5,806
Source: Davidson County Election Commission, "Unofficial Results," accessed August 7, 2014 These election results are unofficial. They will be updated once certified election results are available.


The Nashville Election Commission does not publish and freely disclose school board candidate campaign finance reports.


Driscoll was endorsed by the Service Employees International Union, in addition prominent charter school backer Jeff Bradford, CEO of the Bradford Group.

Campaign themes

Driscoll says the following about his campaign on his website:[1]

As a parent advocate, I have advocated from my children, their schools, cluster, and district on a number of issues over the past 15 years. I would like to take this experience working with school board officials, teachers, administrators and local leaders to help us take our district to the next level. I want to assure families that children are prepared for post-secondary education. This will take the efforts of everyone involved in the process.

As a board member I pledge to put the needs of children first and develop parents into informed advocates for their own children, schools, and clusters.

I love our district’s diversity and rich cultures. Our city’s mix of global cultures, languages and perspectives make up the next chapter in Nashville’s history with our children being our most important asset.

I look forward to your vote and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your questions.

If you would like to volunteer, contact, or donate to my campaign, I look forward to your support. [2]

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

Outside spending and charter schools

As debating over charter school regulations has increased in recent years, more outside money was funneled into school board races in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. This is a drastic contrast to years back, when races were generally described as low-cost and low-stake. As of June 2014, CEOs, investors, business executives, doctors, lawyers, parents and homemakers have all pooled over a quarter million dollars into this year's school board races. And those with the biggest contributions in their war chests were candidates on board with charter schools. Candidates Rhonda F. Dixon, Bernie Driscoll, Tyese R. Hunter and Mary Pierce maintained a positive view on charter schools and their effect on the district, while incumbents Jo Ann Brannon, Cheryl Mayes, Anna Shepherd and candidate Becky Sharpe were less enthusiastic about their implementation. The Nashville Chamber of Commerce contributed a significant amount of money into the race, splitting $30,000 up amongst the three incumbent board members and District 6 candidate Mary Pierce.[3]

Views on Common Core

A large issue in the Metropolitan Nashville school board race proved to be Common Core, with candidates expressing varying views on how the district should respond to the national education standard. District 4 candidate Pam Swoner maintained that the standards are too confusing for children, saying that the nation, "[needs] to go back to a basic structure where there is fundamental information given to the children and give them some time outside so they can run and play and make them happy.” District 2 candidate Bernie Driscoll differed from Swoner, claiming that the standards aren't stringent enough. All three incumbents who ran for re-election, Jo Ann Brannon in District 2, Anna Shepherd in District 4 and Cheryl Mayes in District 6 stand behind Common Core. According to Mayes, those who oppose the standards "don’t really understand it."[4]

About the district

See also: Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Tennessee
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is located in Davidson County, Tennessee
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is located in Davidson County, Tennessee. The county seat of Davidson County is Nashville. Davidson County is home to 626,681 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[5] Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is the second-largest school district in Tennessee, serving 80,393 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[6]


Davidson County overperformed in comparison to the rest of Tennessee in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 35.0 percent of Davidson County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 23.5 percent for Tennessee as a whole. The median household income in Davidson County was $46,676 compared to $44,140 for the state of Tennessee. The poverty rate in Davidson County was 18.5 percent compared to 17.3 percent for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2012[5]
Race Davidson County (%) Tennessee (%)
White 65.8 79.3
Black or African American 28.1 17.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.4
Asian 3.2 1.6
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.2 1.6
Hispanic or Latino 9.9 4.8

Presidential Voting Pattern, Davidson County[7]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 143,120 97,622
2008 158,423 102,915
2004 132,737 107,839
2000 120,508 84,117

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[8]

Recent news

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