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

Will Two Years Of Second Grade Solve The Literacy Crisis?

A piece of the sky has landed on my head. Similar the chick in the story Chicken Little, I am compelled to try to communicate to readers news about the falling sky, to translate a sense of urgency about the barriers to today’s children becoming fully equipped citizens of tomorrow. Unlike Chicken Little, my news, such as our children’s inability to read the world around … Continue reading Will Two Years Of Second Grade Solve The Literacy Crisis?

The ABC’s Of The ABC’s And What Parents Need To Know

I’m no educator, I just play one on Twitter. Seriously, I respect the profession too much to pretend or mislead. Yet, I find myself in this very specific space occupied by mostly educators discussing, debating best scientifically-based instructional practices and curriculum for reading. I have no business hanging out here but after nearly two years of searching for answers to the literacy crisis, here I … Continue reading The ABC’s Of The ABC’s And What Parents Need To Know