Last week, Nashville educator and ProjectLIT founder Jarred Amato posted a Twitter thread about “priority schools” just as the latest round of Tennessee “reward” and “priority” schools were being announced.
The link to the entire thread is above, but here is some of what he had to say:
When policymakers and ed leaders talk about “priority schools,” wish they’d acknowledge how hard those students, families, and educators are working to overcome a system that is designed for them to fail.
Wish they’d spend real time in those schools, not to place blame or intimidate everyone with their suits and clipboards. But, to listen, to support, to truly care. To recognize the greatness. To identify where resources are needed.
Wish they wouldn’t wait until schools fall onto some special list to provide them with the resources they deserve.
Wish they’d use their power and influence to call out the racist and oppressive systems, instead of working (intentionally or unintentionally) to maintain the status quo.
Wish they’d stop looking for quick fixes and shortcuts that may help them get promotions or cute headlines, but ultimately aren’t making any real difference in the lives of students or families.
Wish they’d stop focusing exclusively on test scores (especially from a test that still needs a lot of work) to determine if a school is a good place for kids.
Wish they’d stop blaming families for choosing charter schools. Never worked in one (and they’ve got their own flaws), but shoot, there’s got to be a reason, right? Let’s stop with all the politics and talk about why.
Wish they’d help us flood our “priority” schools (and all of our schools) with TONS of books and love and support and snacks and books and materials and counselors and teachers and computers and community partners and trust and books.
Wish they stopped searching (and paying) for “turnaround” consultants and BS programs that are bandaids at best, educational malpractice at worst. Instead, let’s invest in communities, in people committed to the work.
Wish they’d acknowledge that this work is hard, that not everyone in our country (or city) actually wants ALL children to be literate, to be successful. That there are lots of folks benefitting from this system who will do whatever it takes to protect it.
Read the entire thread.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport