While most of us were tending to holiday celebrations a valuable Nashville education asset disappeared. The Yahoo Group NashvillePTOTalk was deleted in its entirety. The last message I got through it was dated Saturday, 12/27/08. If one of the regular posters on the list hadn't written a note to other active posters I'm not sure I would have noticed for another week or more.
The list was created in March of 2002 by Phil Oliver with this mission statement:
"Nashville PTO Talk" is a forum for parents and teachers in Nashville, Tennessee, who want to support responsible public school reform. Nashville's metro schools are pursuing the announced goal of "strengthen[ing] parent/community ownership of the school system," with significant increases in parental involvement in PTOs and as classroom volunteers; and the board of education has issued a strong mandate to the director of schools to raise student achievement. Parents have a crucial "ownership" role to play, along with teachers, administrators, and the larger community, in insisting that achievement not be gained at the cost of real learning: learning that is both challenging, lasting, and fun. School should be a positive and nurturing environment where children learn to love learning, and where teachers are given the resources and the freedom they need to foster that kind of environment. Here is a place for all of us in Nashville who care about the future of our children and, therefore, of our schools, to talk about it... and to assert our "ownership."Phil was kind enough to welcome this homeschooling mom's participation and I have very much appreciated the give and take that occurred on the NashvillePTOTalk list. In May of 2005 he handed the list over to MNPS parent Carol Hanson. I've written Carol for an explanation of the list's disappearance.
This is a bad time to lose a valuable salon for discussing public education in Nashville. I hope the effort to recreate it goes well. Stay tuned and we'll let you know where and when it's reincarnated.