Contributed by Valor Collegiate parent Jim Myers as read at the June 13, 2017 school board meeting. Because five of nine board members were not attendance, the parents featured in this series expressed grave concern about the cold shoulder extended to charter schools and their families at board meetings. They have a voice, please listen.
Good evening Chair, members of the board who are actually here, and Dr. Joseph.
My name is Jim Myers and my address is 6620 Clearbrook Drive.
My wife, Suzanne Demmas Myers, and I are proud parents of a student who recently finished 5th grade at Valor Collegiate on Nolensville Road. Suzanne taught for ten years with MNPS, first at the now defunct East Middle School, where she was a Teacher of the Year, and then at Stratford Comprehensive High School.
Suffice to say, we value quality education.We chose Valor specifically for its commitment to real diversity, not in words, but in numbers. That diversity extends across socio-economic strata, across the panoply of cultures that call Nashville home and across the racial lines that have so long separated us from each other.
In short, it is a beautiful reflection of our community. We chose Valor because we saw a school ready to tackle contemporary issues in education within a diverse community. We were attracted to their rigorous curriculum, attention to character development through social and emotional skills, and to their robust mentorship program.
I am here because of continuing concerns we have that certain board members, instead of advocating for all students under the public education umbrella, seem to be devoting an inordinate amount of energy to a divisive agenda of attacks against charter schools like Valor, instead of working to solve problems and address the real and present issues that all schools share.
Option is not the enemy. One size fits all is the enemy.
There is no place for mediocrity, indifference, political gamesmanship, and the turning of backs on a significant swath of students, parents and dedicated educators. Just as Valor advocates for all of the students within its walls, so, too, should all board members of MNPS advocate equally for all schools under their oversight.
Learning takes place at the institutional level, too, where both common challenges and successes are shared. Learning comes from within. Together, we are better.