Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

Two years ago this month, the Nashville Literacy Collaborative, a large group of Nashville’s socio-political elite assembled to announce a blueprint to double the number of 3rd graders reading on grade level by 2025. Currently, 28.8 percent of 3rd graders are reading “on track” or “mastered,” Black students 19.2 percent, and Economically Disadvantaged 15.2 percent. The Collaborative’s stated goal is to double these percentages in … Continue reading Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

How Are The Children? Find The Answer In Policies That Rank System Above Students

This morning’s headlines were so tragic that I had to cut short my morning Twitter curating time. Before I knew it I had slipped into darkness, enveloped by it, even as the sun was doing her best work. On my timeline this morning: the heartwrenching video of a Kurdish mom holding her dying baby girl; a heart-stopping video recreated from a scene from the movie … Continue reading How Are The Children? Find The Answer In Policies That Rank System Above Students

Nashville Charter School Principal To Be Honored By Congressional Black Caucus

Press release by National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Vesia’s note: We are so dang proud! WASHINGTON, D.C.- Lagra Newman, founder and head of school at Purpose Preparatory Academy Charter School in Nashville, Tennessee will be honored at the second annual Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Charter School Leadership awards ceremony and reception for her exemplary leadership in the charter school sector. The ceremony is open … Continue reading Nashville Charter School Principal To Be Honored By Congressional Black Caucus

A Parent Advocate Sued Anywhere Is A Parent Advocate Sued Everywhere

Parents standing up and in the gap on behalf of their children’s education is definitely my love language. Since my senior year of high school, when my own mother began to show up in small ways for me and full-blown advocacy for my younger siblings, I’ve never questioned the power and intrinsic value of a parent’s presence in a child’s educational journey. Thirty years later, … Continue reading A Parent Advocate Sued Anywhere Is A Parent Advocate Sued Everywhere

Vesia Wilson-Hawkins

In the Last Decade, A Lot Has Happened in Tennessee Education, Not Much Has Changed

In the 2018 audio documentary Hard Words, Emily Hanford shattered the age-old phonics versus whole language debate with cutting scientific evidence that leaves little room to doubt that phonics is to reading what atoms are to every-thing. Central to Hanford’s report and the resulting national discourse is the failure of colleges of education to prepare future teachers on how to teach reading. At a Loss … Continue reading In the Last Decade, A Lot Has Happened in Tennessee Education, Not Much Has Changed

Advocating For Families Means Loving Them Enough To Hold Them Accountable

“But in my heart of hearts, I know from experience there are situations where it’s true that parents aren’t working their end of the home-school partnership. I think we all know it but none of us dare risk revocation of our Black-card…” Chris Stewart I couldn’t believe he wrote it. The former single-dad who worked low wage jobs to support his son while taking on the two-headed … Continue reading Advocating For Families Means Loving Them Enough To Hold Them Accountable

Nashville Teachers’ Fight For Respect Began With A March, Now They’re Walkin’

Volume and Light is a blog focused on the families that invest in Nashville public education’s promise. The blog’s owner [meeee] is a Black woman, former public school student, parent, and staffer whose lens is informed by her experiences. I write, advocate, and work for families whose voices are forced into the void. I do these things because 30 years of personal and professional experience … Continue reading Nashville Teachers’ Fight For Respect Began With A March, Now They’re Walkin’