Nashville Mom Shares Story of Inconsistency of Reading Standards from State to Local

We are in the throes of the fight of our lives to move our children toward a chance at having even a slice of the American Dream.

In Nashville, TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of all students in grades 3-8 are reading proficient. That’s eight points below the state average of less than THIRTY-FOUR PERCENT. 

A demographic look into Nashville’s number reveal a staggering EIGHTY-TWO POINT FIVE PERCENT OF black and brown students are NOT reading proficient. Not even proficient. 

For two weeks, I’ve been on a desperate search to find answers. From Reading the state’s guide on teaching literacy to soliciting answers on Facebook. 

Before we received the news about Nashville’s scores and still operating on the state’s average of less than 34 percent, I asked on Volume and Light’s Facebook page “am I the only one freaking out about this?” and this Nashville mom of four responded:

Maybe there is no reaction because the parents are not really aware. In my experience, I had a child that was making very good grades, “reading” above grade level, and showed no signs of deficiency. It was not until they were tested for entrance into another school that I found out they were two grades behind in their comprehension skills, which is an essential part of reading. Even when I spoke to my child’s current teacher, I was told they were on the path to surpass the grade level standard. So when you consider their grades, their abilities even in your presence and the reassurance of a teacher that the child is on track, you have no reason to believe that your child falls into the 66% of students who are not succeeding thus creating an extreme gap in accountability and problem solving. You shouldn’t blame a child for not learning something they are not being taught. You shouldn’t blame the parent for not recognizing a problem that is not being presented. I don’t even know if it is a teacher problem if they are just following the guidelines which they are being given. 34% is cause for alarm. Based on my experience, I believe the foundation needs to be re-evaluated. Any improvements made to the building will be for naught if the foundation is still weak.

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Vesia Hawkins

Extremely passionate about education choices, fairness, and good football.

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