Teach for America Nashville Earns Top Spot for TN Teacher Prep Programs

As an employee of the public school system, it was my job to rally against anything that threatened business as usual. Let’s just say I was busy. Within a relatively short period of time, proposals inundated the school district, each offering challenges to our status quo. Charter schools, school uniforms, year-round calendar, and alternative teacher licensing programs all hit the scene hard and fast and … Continue reading Teach for America Nashville Earns Top Spot for TN Teacher Prep Programs

In First Forum of Election Season, Tennessee Candidates for Governor Talk Education and I’m Listening

It’s about to get real in Tennessee politics with the official launch of the gubernatorial election season. Tonight, candidates will participate in the first of many forums and it happens to be devoted to education in Tennessee. Kudos to the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) for recognizing the importance of kickstarting the new year and the road to November with education as the North Star. Continue reading In First Forum of Election Season, Tennessee Candidates for Governor Talk Education and I’m Listening

Tennessee’s Literacy Initiative Must Work Quickly for Today’s Students

In 2025, seventy-five percent of Tennessee’s third graders will read at grade level. At the present, not even half of third graders are there. This Chalkbeat article shares the good news of Tennessee’s year-old effort to boost reading proficiency with the addition of literacy coaches to school districts that sign on to the initiative. So far, 99 out 146 school districts are part of the … Continue reading Tennessee’s Literacy Initiative Must Work Quickly for Today’s Students

Tennessee’s Untapped Superpower: Making Kids Invisible

by Lane Wright, Editor at Education Post When I was a kid, sometimes my friends and I would ask each other which superpower would we give ourselves if we could. Inevitably, the power to make yourself invisible was always hotly debated. (Why would you want that, you creep!) Well today, Tennessee has a superpower—not to make itself invisible, but to make some of its students … Continue reading Tennessee’s Untapped Superpower: Making Kids Invisible

ESSA: From Hiding Black Students to Making Them Disappear

Tennessee schools might be “hiding dropouts” and gaming the accountability system. That’s the finding of a recent report by the data-centric journalism group ProPublica. The report, while focused mostly on Florida, suggests schools all over the country (again, possibly in TN) may be pushing low-performing students, many of whom are black, into “alternative schools,” as a way of preventing their low test scores and graduation … Continue reading ESSA: From Hiding Black Students to Making Them Disappear

Tennessee’s Children of Incarcerated Parents; 5 Things You Need to Know

Rep. Brenda Gilmore (D) and Sen. Steve Dickerson (R) have introduced legislation (HB 0825/SB 0919) requiring courts to offer individually assessed sentencing for nonviolent offenders with children under the age of 18. The legislation arises out of research finding Tennessee exceeding most states with incarcerated custodial parents. Here’s 5 things you need to know (as published by the Free Hearts organization): 1 in 10 children … Continue reading Tennessee’s Children of Incarcerated Parents; 5 Things You Need to Know

Welcome to Tennessee, Where a Diploma Isn’t Really a Diploma For Too Many

UPDATE: Immediately after this post was first published, I was directed to an article by Chalkbeat’s Grace Tatter published “22 hours ago” offering evidence that clearly refutes the numbers originally reported by the State Department of Education relating to Tennessee’s diploma drama. Even as the number of students who didn’t meet the necessary requirements is not as large as we thought (just a few minutes ago), I maintain one student is … Continue reading Welcome to Tennessee, Where a Diploma Isn’t Really a Diploma For Too Many

Education in Tennessee is Up and Coming But That Doesn’t Help Today’s Students

Last week, Education Week released its 2017 Quality Counts national report card on education and Tennessee scores below the national average in every indicator.  The good news is that we have repaired that which was perennially broken while significantly ramping up standards and expectations. The bad news is we’re missing those that fall into the gap between what was and what will be.  According to … Continue reading Education in Tennessee is Up and Coming But That Doesn’t Help Today’s Students

Tennessee Has a Real Chance to Advance Voucher Legislation- Thanks Trump

Joel Ebert of The Tennessean reports on Repbulican lawmaker Rep. Bill Dunn’s failed attempts to pass voucher legislation and renewed hope resulting from increase in GOP legislators recently elected.  The legislation allows for students receiving free and reduced and zoned to schools in the bottom 5% based on performance indicators to qualify for “opportunity scholarships” to private schools. I have been agnostic about vouchers as … Continue reading Tennessee Has a Real Chance to Advance Voucher Legislation- Thanks Trump

#YesOn2MA – Extending the Love to Children of Color

Dear Massachusetts voters: Thanks to social media the line of demarcation between the North and South is virtually nonexistent, so your battle to place a cap on charters makes me feel right at home. While Tennesseans enjoy a legislature that is friendly to charters, those of us living in the capital city of Nashville stand ready to jump the next nonsensical hurdle; or thinly veiled attempt to cap … Continue reading #YesOn2MA – Extending the Love to Children of Color