"Good, bad, or ugly- the numbers matter. We urge every Nashvillian to learn about their local school board district, get to know the candidates for elected office, and be equipped and empowered to engage with key decision makers- including our Metro Nashville Board of Education."
Tara Scarlett Op-Ed: Nashville school board district data empowers local voters
By Tara Scarlett
Data empowers sound decision-making. That is true for parents, teachers, and school leaders, and importantly, elected officials.
Even while a lot of media and attention is paid to state and federal races this election season, public engagement in local school board elections is just as significant.
On August 2, along with the statewide primaries, Nashville will decide on four of the nine school board seats— Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8.
School board members have a major impact on education in Nashville, and this election will set the direction for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and the 85,000+ students it serves.
And while voters should certainly learn about candidates for the Metro Nashville school board, they should also learn about the school district, the students served, and the teachers and principals it seeks to attract and retain.
The Scarlett Family Foundation is invested in helping more Middle Tennessee students get a quality education. There are many partners in this work, and we support school, nonprofit and community efforts focused on making improvements and increasing success at the K-12 level.
"Reform is not easy. It requires patience and resolve from a diverse number of stakeholders."
Despite innovative approaches to education Tennessee children still lagging
During the past five months the major candidates for governor of Tennessee and U.S. senator have shared their ideas on several crucial issues facing Tennessee. This month, in the final installment of our series, candidates address education. Early voting for the Aug. 2 primaries and county general elections begin July 13.
“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”
No, Thomas Jefferson did not write that, and no records exist that he said it, yet the quote has been attributed to him in thousands of arguments on the importance of education because it is apt.
While the wording is not Jefferson’s, the quote does embody the founding father’s philosophy and sentiment.
As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates Thomas Jefferson first advocated for a tax-funded system of public education in 1779. He could not get his bill passed as a member of the House, nor during his two terms as governor. It was not until after the Civil War that Virginia established a system of tax-funded public schools.
The gulf between talking about the importance of education and making the words have meaning through action was not then, nor is it now, easy.
[Read more at The Tennessean].Read More
I know this is going to be a team effort, but I want to work to make sure the community knows they have someone leading the work that they can trust.
Here’s what Sharon Griffin wants to do in her first month as Tennessee’s new turnaround leader
Tennessee’s state-run district faces many challenges as it enters a new era under its third leader in six years, but prominent among them is addressing community pushback and distrust.
Sharon Griffin kicked off her tenure as the Achievement School District’s chief on Friday. One of her first orders of business will be reconnecting the district with the community it serves most — Memphis.
Griffin, a longtime Memphian, said she wants to quickly launch an advisory team of local parents, students, and faith leaders after hearing from the community that they want face time with the district’s leadership.
“I want to provide a face-to-face avenue, something I’ve heard loud and clear that the community wants,” Griffin told Chalkbeat. “I want to give a place and space to voice concerns and support… I know this is going to be a team effort, but I want to work to make sure the community knows they have someone leading the work that they can trust.”
Commissioner Candice McQueen told Chalkbeat this week that the state is banking on Griffin as the kind of leader who can re-establish the district’s credibility with the communities it serves — in particular because of her experience in turnaround work in Shelby County, her natural charisma, and her communication skills. McQueen hopes Griffin can help the district deliver the academic improvements it promised when it was created. [Read More at Chalkbeat Tennessee]Read More
“Research shows that music and arts education enhances students’ overall academic performance and improves their attendance and engagement in school, building well-rounded students ready to compete in tomorrow’s workforce.”
Tennessee districts could get the chance for an infusion of money to support arts and music in their schools.
Tennessee Gov. Haslam and the Country Music Association Foundation announced Thursday the launch of a competitive, statewide grant that seeks to expand student access to music and arts.
The $1 million will fund, in its first year, eight grants. The State of the Arts program is expected to last three years and kickoff in the 2018-19 school year, according to a news release. [Read more at The Tennessean]Read More
I am eager to see the impact that the next cohort of dedicated educators has in lifting Tennessee students to greater academic achievement.
Whenever I spend time with the Tennessee Educator Fellows, their passion and commitment to achieve great things for their students always impresses me. Each cohort of educators astounds me with their thoughtful reflections and drive to become the advocates their students need.
Right now the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is accepting applications from outstanding K-12 educators for the next cohort of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship. Teachers, librarians, school counselors, and interventionists who work in K-12 public schools in Tennessee have the opportunity through the fellowship to create high-level impact beyond the classroom.
One dynamic example is the work Dr. Diarese George started as a 2016-17 fellow. During his fellowship, Diarese selected improving teaching diversity as his key issue, and he founded the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance to elevate the voice, presence, and support for educators of color… [read more on SCORE]Read More