Vesia Wilson-Hawkins

In the Last Decade, A Lot Has Happened in Tennessee Education, Not Much Has Changed

In the 2018 audio documentary Hard Words, Emily Hanford shattered the age-old phonics versus whole language debate with cutting scientific evidence that leaves little room to doubt that phonics is to reading what atoms are to every-thing. Central to Hanford’s report and the resulting national discourse is the failure of colleges of education to prepare future teachers on how to teach reading. At a Loss … Continue reading In the Last Decade, A Lot Has Happened in Tennessee Education, Not Much Has Changed

Nashville Teachers’ Fight For Respect Began With A March, Now They’re Walkin’

Volume and Light is a blog focused on the families that invest in Nashville public education’s promise. The blog’s owner [meeee] is a Black woman, former public school student, parent, and staffer whose lens is informed by her experiences. I write, advocate, and work for families whose voices are forced into the void. I do these things because 30 years of personal and professional experience … Continue reading Nashville Teachers’ Fight For Respect Began With A March, Now They’re Walkin’

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

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

Learning Heroes Help Parents Bridge The Gap Between Report Cards And The Truth

At a Friday morning coffee meeting with a new friend who works at a highly respected Tennessee education policy organization, I was happy to share information about a project I’ve been married to for the past year. Equally excited and bummed about the findings from months of research, one of the things that I had not been able to justify, I admitted, was that more … Continue reading Learning Heroes Help Parents Bridge The Gap Between Report Cards And The Truth

Charter School Operators Must Lead With The Survival Of Charters In Mind

Bernie. SMH. Two-time presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders separated from the fat pack of Democratic POTUS wannabes by [quite literally] taking a page out of the NAACP anti-charter school playbook and inserting it into his 10-point education plan. Two weeks ago, Sen. Bro. Sanders called for an end to the unpopular for-profit charters that are unlawful in most states. According to the National Alliance for … Continue reading Charter School Operators Must Lead With The Survival Of Charters In Mind