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

Advocating For Families Means Loving Them Enough To Hold Them Accountable

“But in my heart of hearts, I know from experience there are situations where it’s true that parents aren’t working their end of the home-school partnership. I think we all know it but none of us dare risk revocation of our Black-card…” Chris Stewart I couldn’t believe he wrote it. The former single-dad who worked low wage jobs to support his son while taking on the two-headed … Continue reading Advocating For Families Means Loving Them Enough To Hold Them Accountable

It’s Just Literacy, No Big Deal

In August 2017, former Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the Read to be Ready program with an ambitious goal of 75 percent of all third-graders reading at or above grade level in the year 2025. In response to the news, I wrote: “…in eight years Tennessee promises all but 25% of its third graders will be able to read at grade level. We … Continue reading It’s Just Literacy, No Big Deal

Tennessee’s Love Affair With Its Racist Past Must End

I live in a state that is required by law to observe Nathan Bedford Forest. Today. In his first year as Tennessee’s 50th governor, Governor Bill Lee signed a proclamation designating July 13 a day to observe the guy as a “recognized military figure and native Tennessean.” According to Gov. Lee, he signed the proclamation because the law requires him to do so. Just as … Continue reading Tennessee’s Love Affair With Its Racist Past Must End

An Independence Day Message To The System Protectors and Opportunity Hoarders

It’s not broken. It was built this way. It was built to oppress. It was built to control. It was built for profit. It was built for political gain and power. It lives off of us. – Ava DuVernay On the weekend leading up to Juneteenth, Black Americans’ Independence Day and my wedding anniversary, I watched with my husband of 25 years, 11 months, and … Continue reading An Independence Day Message To The System Protectors and Opportunity Hoarders

Nashville’s First Black Female Schools Leader Is Criticized For — Leading

I’ll make this brief. “Researchers found that when a group is shown photos of different people, black women’s faces were least likely to be recognized out of a group of white men and white women. Statements said by a black woman in a group discussion were also least likely to be correctly attributed compared to black men, white women, and white men.” Harvard Business Review … Continue reading Nashville’s First Black Female Schools Leader Is Criticized For — Leading

Tennessee: Replace Hate and Ignorance With Love and Tolerance, For the Children

In February, an 8th grade social studies class in (wealthy) Brentwood, TN was given a homework assignment for Black History Month that required them to “create a list of expectations for your family’s slave.” Shortly after the Brentwood incident, a school in neighboring Columbia, TN came under fire for an eager teacher who asked students “would you rather be a slave or shot and killed?” … Continue reading Tennessee: Replace Hate and Ignorance With Love and Tolerance, For the Children

Tennessee Clumsily Waltzes Into The World Of Private School Tuition Assistance

Say the word voucher without a hint of vitriol in the company of hardcore Democrats and you have effectively declared war. Last week, my timeline was littered with white people calling other white people racist in response to the Great Voucher Battle of 2019 at the Tennessee State Capital. I understand the anger, but, uh, some of the name-callers should absolutely refrain from pulling the … Continue reading Tennessee Clumsily Waltzes Into The World Of Private School Tuition Assistance