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

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

TNReady Ambassador Program Informed By The Wisdom From The Frontlines

The Tennessee Department of Education recently announced the creation and deployment of a TNReady accountability corp to serve as the state’s eyes, ears, and thermometer on the ground. The newly minted group, TNReady Ambassadors, consists of 37 classroom teachers and testing coordinators who will be trained in all things TNReady and will “assist with planning and presenting professional development across the state; evaluate test day … Continue reading TNReady Ambassador Program Informed By The Wisdom From The Frontlines

TNReady Wasn’t Ready But Do Not Disregard Results

Let’s cut to the chase. Tennessee’s online standardized test administered last April is cloaked in controversy due to widespread technical issues at test time. Educators expressed anger. Lawmakers listened, then uncharacteristically leaped into action resulting in a test that carries no weight unless outcomes can add value. Test results are currently available for public consumption and the conversation, what little of it there is, is clouded … Continue reading TNReady Wasn’t Ready But Do Not Disregard Results

Here’s Something Different: Celebrating Tennessee’s Postsecondary Efforts

Education in Tennessee is a constant journey of contrasts mimicking the Volunteer State’s topography, with highs that rival the mountainous east, the lows of the central basin, and the volatility of the fault line beneath Memphis. We’ve seen great gains and soul-crushing setbacks. There is definitely a pronounced ebb and flow of education activity Tennessee; a predictable turbulence forcing Edu-watchdogs to live in a state … Continue reading Here’s Something Different: Celebrating Tennessee’s Postsecondary Efforts