In an editorial in the Tennessean, charter school parents from across the city delivered the statement of all statements by brilliantly banding together in a demonstration of resistance. About the same time Dr. Joseph was preparing for his inaugural State of Schools speech, the Tennessean was preparing to roll out a list of 374 names of charter school parents demanding respect from the school board and school administration.
Contrary to the picture some board members paint, we are intelligent, engaged, determined parents who want a better life for our children. All parents want what is best for their children, and we are no different. Our children are thriving. They are working hard and learning every day. They are encouraged at school to dream big, and they are receiving the education they need to reach those dreams.
Charter schools have been part of Nashville’s education tapestry for more than a decade, but the bitterness and brutal language surrounding the charter narrative only gets worse. So, for these parents to enter the bloody arena, take a stand, and sign their name is nothing short of courageous.
I can’t adequately express how proud I am of these parents for taking a public stand for their children, themselves, and the schools they have chosen. I’ve heard from too many parents who feel threatened by the officials elected to work on our behalf and it saddens me. Even sadder, many of them are not on the list. So please understand, 374 is a lot of parents, but there are others. And if you’re the kind to dismiss parent voices or comfortable with the idea of parents bullied into silence, you are a problem and should be removed.