The Tennessean is doing a three part series on Metro Schools. A complaint in this morning's edition is that Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and even the head of the Metro Council's Education Committee, Metro Nashville Councilman Mike Jameson (East Nashville) send their children to private schools. Personally, I think that as long as it takes their tax money and their vote to run the system they have full standing in how it's run. Obviously, Ms. Umberger of the TEA ascribes to the 'you don't have a legitimate voice unless you've got skin in the game' point of view. She may want to rethink that.
This from a segment of the series today:
Taxpayers are also very sensitive when the very people who work in the school system say it's not good enough for their own children.
Cheryl Umberger with the Tennessee Education Association, the teachers union, was more critical of city leaders who opt out of public schools:
"Teachers are very sensitive when the people in charge of making major decisions that govern their school system don't invest in that school system by sending their own children there.
Public school teachers in urban districts send their own children to private schools at a greater level than do other people. From the Thomas Fordham Institute we learn that of the top 50 cities Nashville ranks 38th in the number of teachers that do not enroll their children in the government schools. That's 28.6% of Nashville teachers don't enroll them in MNPS vs. 7.2% of the rest of the population. That's just over 7% more than the national average.
I'll never insist that any child be required to stay in a system that doesn't work for them or their family--a teacher's child included. However, my suggestion is that the teachers in the government schools lead by example and walk the walk before they demand it of others.