Friday, December 5, 2014

The NEA and others shows up at Neely's Bend Middle to protest proposed charter conversion.

Below are reports of what happened at the meetings at Neely's Bend Middle School and Madison Middle last night. Both are failing schools and plans are to turn one into a Lead Charter School which has had remarkable success in turning around failing schools. Many parents, the teachers union, and School Board members Amy Frogge and Jill Speering and several Council members object to the plan.

Teachers lined the walkway to Neely's Bend Middle
Prep in protest against the Achievement School District.
(The teachers were in town for an unrelated National Education Association conference.)

At ASD meetings in Nashville, more emotion than specifics

Parents express concern about state takeover of their low-performing schools

by Grace Tatter, Chalk Beat, December 5, 2014- Meetings held by the Achievement School District at two middle schools in Madison Thursday evening  were supposed to be a forum for parents to tell district officials what they wanted to see in a middle school, and for the ASD to explain what kind of changes a state takeover of one of the struggling schools would bring.

Instead, the meetings were high on emotion and low on specifics, leaving parents, elected officials, teachers, and ASD officials alike frustrated.

Parents and teachers in the northeastern Nashville community learned in late November that one of its two middle schools, Madison Middle Prep or Neely’s Bend Middle Prep, both of which received the state’s lowest rating for student growth last year, would be taken over by the ASD effective next school year. The ASD has the legal authority to take over any Tennessee school in the bottom 5 percent as measured by performance.

According to the state report card, Neely’s Bend and Madison had the lowest possible rating for overall growth last year, a one, while Brick Church College Prep had the highest, a five.(read more)

Parents Shout Down Charter School Reps In Dueling Meetings

 By Todd Walker. News Channel 5,  Dec 4, 2014 - Hundreds of parents turned out for dueling meetings about the future of their children's schools Thursday night.

One of two middle schools in the Madison area will become a charter school in the fall.
The uncertainty of which school will be chosen, either Neelys Bend or Madison Middle, brought out a lot of passion. Both schools are in the bottom five percent for performance, statewide.

At times, both sides looked more like a political campaign. Those for the change wore green t-shirts saying they supported LEAD Public Schools. LEAD will be the operator of whichever school is chosen to become a charter school.

People opposed to the change wore red and had printed signs and flyers. Those who hadn't already made up their mind found it difficult to get their questions answered.

Both meetings were wrought with outbursts and shouting matches. (Read more and watch a video of the meetings)

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