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 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

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

Black Nashville Takes A Stand For Students and Embattled Director Dr. Shawn Joseph

I didn’t want to go. I had no interest in attending an event billed as a rally for youth and Dr. Shawn Joseph during a time the embattled director of schools is fighting for a contract renewal. “What good,” I asked myself, “could a Thursday night church rally of Black community members and leaders do to bridge the school board/director divide, repair broken relationships between … Continue reading Black Nashville Takes A Stand For Students and Embattled Director Dr. Shawn Joseph

Saturday Night (XQ) Live in Nashville, A Celebration Of Schooling Reimagined

I spent the weekend thinking about how we do high school in America and for the first time in a long time, I found myself in a space that was 100 percent student-focused. This space also gave parents in the audience permission to dream about schooling made-to-order, rather than a pre-packaged freeze-dried way of doing things way past its expiration date. First, I must start … Continue reading Saturday Night (XQ) Live in Nashville, A Celebration Of Schooling Reimagined

The Writing On The Wall: WE ARE FAILING METRO SCHOOLS STUDENTS. DO THE THING THAT SAVES THEM.

After thirty months of observing the director of schools’ performance and intense media scrutiny, sometimes writing in support of the man and other times throwing shade on his administration, my effort to rise above the fray and focus on the children recently fell victim to the noise. It got personal. The writing has been on the wall for some time now, but it’s now screaming. … Continue reading The Writing On The Wall: WE ARE FAILING METRO SCHOOLS STUDENTS. DO THE THING THAT SAVES THEM.

Nashville Charter School Leaders: #WhyWeCollaborate

Not even this morning’s torrential downpour can dampen my mood. Before reaching (clamoring) for my first cup of coffee I checked my email. To my surprise, the first email is from a group of Nashville charter leaders letting us know they’ve been meeting on the down low for months and now they’re a thing. Charter leaders from the city’s highest performing schools representing more than … Continue reading Nashville Charter School Leaders: #WhyWeCollaborate

Retired Principal: “Stop Taking The Joy Out Of School”

Disclaimer: After reading my blog post, Nashville Can’t Keep Whitewashing Its Problem Educating Black and Brown Students, an educator and principal with 30 years of experience responded with 10 things he knows to be true about working with kids and teachers. Volume and Light unapologetically writes for parents; to amplify specific voices and their plights. However, today I’m pleased to share this principal’s words about … Continue reading Retired Principal: “Stop Taking The Joy Out Of School”

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

Can We Talk Education Like We Talk Football?

Football fans in Tennessee are sobering up from a rare, dizzying weekend of winning. We celebrated University of Tennessee’s shutout of UTEP and Vanderbilt’s performance at South Bend against the Fighting Irish, even though they lost it was a solid showing. I’m still reeling from the news that my alma mater, Austin Peay State University with its young rockstar coach (who will without a doubt … Continue reading Can We Talk Education Like We Talk Football?