Happy Birthday To Me: Parents Are Not To Blame For Nation’s Literacy Crisis

A wise woman once told me in my twenties “we all have a little girl inside us hurting and hopeful. And we have to honor her, too.” I think about Little Vesia all the time, as it is she who guides my advocacy and passion for the ignored, and commitment to the unheard. Like the woman, the little girl is eager to serve without condition … Continue reading Happy Birthday To Me: Parents Are Not To Blame For Nation’s Literacy Crisis

Nashville Can’t Keep Whitewashing Its Problem Educating Black and Brown Students

Interested parties have known about it for weeks. Many people have sat in front me over coffee referring to the “rumors” about the “potential” number of schools on the dreaded Tennessee Department of Education’s priority list. But they already knew. They knew the list of Nashville schools performing in the state’s bottom 5 percent would reach into the twenties. That every single school on the … Continue reading Nashville Can’t Keep Whitewashing Its Problem Educating Black and Brown Students

Can We Talk Education Like We Talk Football?

Football fans in Tennessee are sobering up from a rare, dizzying weekend of winning. We celebrated University of Tennessee’s shutout of UTEP and Vanderbilt’s performance at South Bend against the Fighting Irish, even though they lost it was a solid showing. I’m still reeling from the news that my alma mater, Austin Peay State University with its young rockstar coach (who will without a doubt … Continue reading Can We Talk Education Like We Talk Football?

Middle School Parents Need Statistics Degree To Understand Student Info

The father of two Metro Schools students and twins due in December walked up to me with these words: “Ms. Vesia, you know anything about these progress reports?” Ms. Vesia has not seen a progress in many years. Ms. Vesia is thrilled about this fact and all too eager to relay the message. But not even my smugness could deter the guy from walking to … Continue reading Middle School Parents Need Statistics Degree To Understand Student Info

Is The New Nashville An Egotistical Opportunist With A Wobbly Soul?

New Nashville appears to be developing into a privileged, poverty-hating, gentrification train railroading anyone without resources to help it reach the top. Sounds so Kardashian, right? Last night, after months of corporate-to-politician glad-handing and backroom skullduggery, Metro Council voted to approve a new MLS soccer stadium on beloved real estate near the city’s core. The “fairgrounds”, the former home of the annual state fair and … Continue reading Is The New Nashville An Egotistical Opportunist With A Wobbly Soul?

Sorry To Bother You With Data But What Gets Measured Gets Done

August came in like a lion and is still roaring at peak strength on the local and state education fronts. I’ve checked out the numbers. The state’s year-over-year school performance data and the test scores in Nashville are painting a depressing picture for our city and state. I watched the drama play out surrounding the TNReady results, participated in several coffee meetings with a variety of … Continue reading Sorry To Bother You With Data But What Gets Measured Gets Done

Leaders of Tennessee’s Largest and Most Diverse Districts Done With TNReady

Outgoing Governor Bill Haslam and his Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen received a letter submitted by leaders of the two largest and most diverse school districts in the state of Tennessee requesting to be relieved from the state’s only standardized assessment. Metro Schools director Dr. Shawn Joseph and Shelby County superintendent Dorsey Hopson want nothing more to do with TNReady attributing their declaration of “no … Continue reading Leaders of Tennessee’s Largest and Most Diverse Districts Done With TNReady