For 16 years the Nashville Chamber of Commerce has been creating report cards for the Metro Nashville Public Schools. You'll have to take our word on that as they do not have 16 years worth of report cards on their website. That's probably because they do not want folks grading them on their report cards over that time and their lack of impact on the system. It's great PR to rent space, call a meeting, alert the press and pass out slick looking brochures (or promise their mailing at a later date) but it's another thing to actually have a cumulative record of how many of those 16 years they've said nearly the same thing about MNPS.
And not one of those report cards includes an apology for helping hire Pedro Garcia or elect BOE members that have enabled the system to be exactly where it is...on the cusp of being taken over by the State of Tennessee with an embarrassing graduation rate and a system that is losing its middle class base and no longer reflects our city on the whole.
Today's article in the Tennessean could have been written with just a few tweaks nearly every one of the past 16 years.
The article in the Tennessean ends with what is supposed to be the very good news of a miserly pilot program involving 40 out of 75,000 students that will teach them "about career tracks, resumes, fundraising, and job shadowing". According to the City Paper "The kids involved — 20 from each school — will meet two days each week to help kids internalize the reality of life after high school." Seriously, how hard is that to incorporate into every high school and how completely inadequate is this effort? The reality of life is that this is too small an effort to make any real difference to the students at MNPS and really only provides a photo op and line for his upcoming gubernatorial bio for the
Superintendent of Schools Mayor Karl Dean.
Again, from the Tennessean article:
"Among other things, the report would like to see comparison data so Nashville could compare its school performance with other American cities;"The Chamber doesn't have to wish for this, it already exists and if they'd been paying attention to more than their own agenda they'd have encouraged its use. Much of that data was provided by the Save Our Students folks the past several years or can be found at the excellent Education Consumers Foundation here: http://mosteffectiveschools.org/TN/nashville.htm