ASD Flexes Muscles in Memphis

Jon Alfuth over at Bluff City Ed has an update on the ASD and its actions in Memphis and in Nashville.

Alfuth’s report includes information on the teacher group organizing against ASD takevovers and concerns expressed by Shelby County Schools Superintenent Dorsey Hopson.

Most troubling is the notes about Chris Barbic’s remarks asserting the ASD could take all 85 schools on the priority list and noting that the ASD has been essentially playing nice up to this point.

Here’s the excerpt:

The most interesting and worrisome part of the last article for me are two quotes from Chris Barbic, the ASD’s Superintendent. First, Roberts quotes him as saying

“I think its important to remind everyone that a lot of things we are doing are by choice. If we wanted to, we could take over all 85 schools next year (bold added by me for emphasis).”

Second, he also states that they don’t have to do a matching process but that they have chosen to do so, and laments that they are being “beaten up” for what they are doing. He also says that they (presumably the community) “would be beating us up for not doing it (the matching process).”

These quotes trouble me because they perpetuate the message Memphians have been getting that “we (the ASD) have the power, and you should be thankful that we’re including you.” While I don’t know what else was said in the interview, it worries me that this is the type of rhetorical language that we’re seeing in the wake of a strong anti-ASD outpouring. Barbic does qualify his first quote by stating that they’ve chosen to work with SCS instead of pursing the total takeover course of action, but the lead sentence makes it clear who really has the decision making power.

In the end, the ASD opposition is all about who has the power to improve our schools, and quotes like this don’t do anything to alleviate the idea growing locally that the ASD is engaged in a hostile takeover of Memphis.

The entire update is worth a read.

I tend to agree with Jon that the challenge to the ASD is essentially about power. Parents, teachers, and even SCS leaders feel like they lack the power to make decisions about the schools.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

2 thoughts on “ASD Flexes Muscles in Memphis

  1. Parents it time for YOU to really flex your muscles. Ban together and take your kids out of public school system. Organize and help each other realize this goal. For those that MUST work and have no way to home school or the kids are too young to be left alone you must reach out for your friends, neighbors and relatives for help. Join the FaceBook group from TN called STARVE THE BEAST USA. The Beast cannot survive without it steady supply of nutrition (our children) REMOVE your kids from the system in large enough numbers to make them sweat. You must make this sacrifice for your children and for the future of your grandchildren too. Believe me they will be begging for you to send them back and this is where you make you wants known. SHUT DOWN THE ASD. We do not need the ASD to fix education in TN or in any state. Understand their goal is NOT to provide a better opportunity for your children. The goal is to shut down and destroy public education and the next step will be to eliminate elected school boards. Once that happens the doors to those Charter schools will shut in your face like the doors of a bank vault. And then what will you do? Who will you go to for help? There won’t be anyone or any place to go. So stop it NOW before it is too late and while you can. But it will take a sacrifice and commitment on your part. And you might find that home school is a much better alternative for your children, for you and for the family. Many, many TN parents have taken the leap because of ASD and Common Core and they are thrilled with the decision.

  2. Remember….Chris Barbic is a graduate from the Broad Superintendent Academy Class of 2011 where they are taught how to privatize public education through Charter Schools. And once the deeds are done you are going to see the Broad Foundation, Gates Foundation, Walton Foundation etc swoop down and buy up every Charter organization in America lining their pockets with untold fortunes. Mom and Pop Charters will not be able to stand up against these big profiteers that want our kids in order to train them to fill their workforce needs. We are moving into the era of the Communist workforce model not an education model.

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