Tonight’s Discussion on Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

Wow. Today is the day. I have been planning for a community discussion on literacy since October 2017 — in my head, at least. It was then that the literacy crisis in Nashville became real for me. I was sitting in the very spot in which I am writing this post, mining through the 2017 TNReady data and I noticed teardrops on my keyboard. Sounds … Continue reading Tonight’s Discussion on Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Libraries in the Community

The singular mission of Volume & Light is to amplify and spotlight issues and innovations that impact Nashville families. Take a stroll through my blog-ventory and you’ll see sharp-elbowed titles about literacy, unearned privilege, charters schools, and Project LIT (Libraries in the) Community. Yes, Project LIT Community (PLC) is assigned its very own category and I don’t care. So, of course, when I plan a … Continue reading Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Libraries in the Community

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

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

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

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