Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Excellence in 37208

Just as Nashville was shedding it’s “It” status and burgeoning as the Bachelorette Party Capitol of the world, the Brookings Institution released a report about Music City USA that sent shockwaves throughout the community. Black men born between 1980 and 1986 in the 37208 zip code have the highest incarceration rates in the country. Let me paint a picture: 37208 known as North Nashville is … Continue reading Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Excellence in 37208

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

Dreaming of A Pipeline of Parent Power from the Schoolhouse to the White House

“Everybody had given up on my son,” said the dad sitting across from me at a local coffee shop. Before the word “son” left his tongue tears started to fall. They weren’t dad’s tears. You see, I have never felt the desperation of a parent with an autistic child saddled with a loosely executed IEP, or one with a pre-teen who reads at a 2nd-grade … Continue reading Dreaming of A Pipeline of Parent Power from the Schoolhouse to the White House

To Democratic Debaters: A Message from Chiefs for Change and Save Our Charter Schools

For months we’ve watched Democratic presidential hopefuls tap dance to the rhetoric of powerful unions while stepping on the neck of the national network of charter school families, children and hardworking school leaders and teachers — all in the name of politics — and, sadly, with little pushback. That changed yesterday. On the eve of the Democratic presidential debate in Houston, TX, Chiefs for Change, … Continue reading To Democratic Debaters: A Message from Chiefs for Change and Save Our Charter Schools

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