Dear Parents: A Message From Your Child’s Teacher

Dear Parents,

It has taken me way too long to write this to you. Honestly, I know I should have weeks ago when the school year started, but as they say, I wanted to “hit the ground running.”  As the year has progressed, I wanted to take a couple of minutes of your time.

As your child’s teacher, I must tell you I lose a lot of sleep at night. I worry if I can reach every child in the allotted time and whether my lesson was engaging and made sense. While I hope that each lesson is as exciting as I plan it to be, more often than not the blank stares let me know that the versions of the children in my head when I’m planning aren’t the same ones that show up to my class.

But that’s ok. You should know I’m quick on my feet – I embody the true meaning of teaching being a “practice.”  I could spend more than the 90 minutes I have with your child on English because I love reading! I’m an avid reader and I know that literacy and education have been what pulled me out of poverty. My parents weren’t high school graduates until I was an adult, so I understand more than you can imagine.

I hope you know that although you love your child more than anything, I want the best for them too. That’s why I show up when I’m sick, I show up when I’m exhausted and I show up when my spirit is low. Teaching 100+ students a day can be draining – I give parts of me to each one – each child is a unique individual, needing a different thing.  In my classroom, I teach more than reading strategies; I teach life lessons, connecting the text to the real world while trying to connect to my students.

When they sometimes come to school angry because of something that has happened at home, I’m usually the one they take it out on. I become more than their teacher, helping them to see that whatever correction you gave was in love and the adherence to that correction is the best thing they can offer you. I’m a comforter and team player – I know that we can do great things together!

And that’s why I want to apologize for not calling to tell you of the great things that your child has done. Many times, when you hear my voice, it’s a “bad report.” I’m sure you dislike receiving these calls as much as I hate making them. I wonder about whether you think I can’t handle my class, or that I’m being too hard on them. One could argue that I am.

Many of my students, your babies, are below grade level and not competing on a local or national scale. They have a desire to do well, but for many reasons, haven’t been provided an adequate foundation to succeed.  I apologize for the teachers who have failed you in the past – it infuriates me as well! This is why I overcompensate for what they have lacked. I try to cram in foundational skills and grade-level content, knowing time is against us in this race. Your child may call me intense but fun, straight-forward and rigid. I know it can be overwhelming to learn so much in a day; therefore, I apologize in advance for the heavy sighs that come after the mention of my name.

In all of that, I promise to give my very best to your child each and every day – even if that takes away from what I give my own.  Teaching is not just my profession. It’s my calling and I have calculated the risk and understand the sacrifice that my own daughter makes so that I can be so much to so many. I’m not asking for your sympathy – just think of that when you’re upset about summers off and extended breaks – it’s the only time I really get to spend uninterrupted with my own child.

Lastly, I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach your most prized possession. Thank you for sharing your child’s light with me for the time they are in my classroom. Thank you for being a partner in this educational journey. I promise to never take for granted the responsibility bestowed upon me.

Parents, I need you more than you think. If I hadn’t said it before – I’m saying it now. We’re gonna make the impossible possible! Together, we can do more than we ever could apart!

With all my best,

Your Child’s Teacher.

I Am White Man; HEAR ME ROAR

Oh, boy. Thursday was a DAY.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing for Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, one of the 4 (or is it 5? I can’t keep up…) women who have accused him of being a sexual assailant. The hearing was supposed to help the committee and the American public get a better understanding of the allegations, hear both sides of the story, and possibly determine their validity in a non-partisan, objective environment.

Yeaaaaaaaah, that didn’t really happen.

The first clue that the GOP was full of games and shenanigans was the presence of Rachel Mitchell, a special prosecutor from Arizona, experienced in sex crimes. The Judiciary Committee has no women on the GOP side, so what do these old-crotchety-white-men, looking only to promote their agendas do? Hire one from across the country and fly her in to question Dr. Ford, so that they don’t *look like* the bunch of old-crotchety-white-men attacking a survivor of sexual abuse in order to promote their agendas that they are.

The Ms. Mitchell plan however, proved to be a bit of a backfire for the Republicans. With the committee members taking 5-minute turns, and the political parties alternating each turn, Mitchell was only allowed to proceed after her questioning had been interrupted by apologies and praise from Democrats. Through this frustrating and tedious process, Mitchell ended up bolstering Dr. Ford’s credibility, almost beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Towards the end of Ford’s interrogation, Mitchell surprised many viewers by jokingly asking “would you believe me if I told you that there is no study that says that this setting in five-minute increments is the best way to do [this]?” As if to say “Look, I’m just here to do a job and stay neutral. So if you don’t get the result you want, it’s not my fault. Don’t @ me, GOP bros.”

The GOP was dejected and the outlook was grim. Faux News Anchors were voicing their fears aloud, saying this was a disaster for Republicans. Meaning it looked like Dr. Ford was telling the truth, and people believed her. (Spoiler Alert: She’s telling the truth. #BelieveSurvivors) What, oh what were they going to do? The truth is such a foreign concept to the GOP, they were genuinely baffled at the situation.

Just to remind everyone: Supreme Court positions are LIFETIME appointments, and the vacancy Kavanaugh was nominated to fill already came about in a very peculiar way (with the suspicious, early retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy), and at a very peculiar time (after the Republican majority Senate CHANGED THE RULES in order to confirm Trump’s first pick, Neil Gorsuch…after stalling out Obama’s pick so that Trump could get the pick in the *first* place).

Supreme Court rulings affect people for GENERATIONS. If a president as incompetent as Ding-Dong J. Trump is placing TWO people on it, we should ALL be concerned and pay complete attention to the moral character of his nominees. This is, in essence, an intensive background check on someone who wants a very important job. (Kinda like the one we should have done on Donald Trump, #ButHerEmails…)

With Dr. Ford being embraced by the nation as a sympathetic witness, Kavanaugh decided to enter his testimony with brow furrowed, jaw clenched, and eyes full of invisible tears. He alternated between looking like a spoiled brat, whining about crusts not being cut off his PB&J, and someone suffering from the worst dry mouth and seasonal allergies ever. I’m assuming he was trying to convey the emotional rollercoaster he has been on since these allegations surfaced, but the only thing many saw was a privileged white male fake-crying because this girl and her rape trauma were standing in the way of his big promotion. Poor wittle Bwett Bwett.

Mitchell began her line of questioning, but Kavanaugh did not prove to be as willing or cooperative a witness as Dr. Ford. When the Democratic senators had their shot, his agitation and deflection only increased. This was probably evident to the GOP—which is why they suddenly and without announcement decided to dump Mitchell, mid-hearing, and resume the questioning themselves. It was quite the change of course, and to usher it in with proper fanfare, Senator Lindsey “I wanna be Francis Underwood so bad” Graham decided it was his time to SHINE. And by shine, I mean throw a nonsensical hissy fit that would rival a Real Housewife.

Lindsey came out BIG MAD. He wanted the world to know. He had to let it show. It was also the cue for the rest of the GOP committee members to fall in line. Questioning Kavanaugh magically and theatrically turned into pacifying Kavanaugh. By the end of their turns, Faux News was spinning this as a major comeback for the GOP. Even after determined Dems like Booker and Harris left him little to no wiggle room, Kavanaugh was still lauded by the right as an honest man being smeared by this rape nonsense. One can safely assume they don’t really care if he did it, they just don’t want it to LOOK LIKE he did it. (Another Spoiler Alert: He still looks guilty AF. Because he is.)

If and when the vote proceeds on Friday, we can only hope that enough people on the right saw through the magician’s distraction and are not easily fooled by sleight of hand. Aside from the fact that Weepy McRapeyBeer does not seem to possess the mental or emotional stability of a supreme court judge—do we REALLY want to put ourselves in a position to have to explain to our daughters how not one, but TWO men accused of sexual assault are literally in charge of laws that affect sexual assailants? How do you make the same mistake twice in a lifetime, America? Oh…wait. White men are still in charge. Got it

The Encounter at the Fence

In just two months, I’ve heard the many stories that before now, I only read about via news articles and saw briefly across news stations. I’ve talked with families of students, community members, 1st and 2nd generation citizens, and students themselves about their stories of being marginalized, oppressed, discriminated against, and left out. I’ve wrestled with how to properly connect, communicate, show concern, and ultimately make an mpact. No class or textbook prepares you for this. I have no idea of the depths of their struggles, but I’m willing to learn even as I still battle with my own. But yet…even with the storytelling; there is this strong desire to want to know, to want to see.

Where would I start? Where could I go? As far as my freedom papers and my scared mind would take me-

The BORDER.

I walked to this thing trembling to this fence, this border, this place where one side represents bondage, broken families, and a mind full of hopes and dreams and the other of alleged freedom and opportunity. I watched family members cry and laugh with one another through a fence holding onto each other’s words as the aching memories they would soon become. I spoke to natives with my limited elementary Spanish. I laid hands on the fence. I bowed my own head and wept prayed to the same God that made me and made them.  I performed and shared communion with those that looked nothing like me. Talk about a moment….a heavy one, but a real one.

There aren’t even enough words.

To describe what just took place at that fence – he Border, on one side-the hopes of freedom, and the other side-the happenings of freedom.

Note to self: LaShundra-as much as people around you complain, don’t you ever let it discount your ability to walk away from that fence, tears dried, fears settled with moments of freedom to live. To some, it means nothing at all. To others, moments they long to live. Don’t ever forget that.

And….To some of my students and families-their (only) way out! *sounds familiar*

As an Educational Leader, it’s not enough for me to simply care. I must immerse myself enough to know! How could I ask of any teacher, administrator, board member, etc. to do what I hadn’t yet to do? I dare not. That process of doing, learning & knowing (for me) started today. I didn’t visit the border as a sight-seeer but as a student. Now….this is #professionaldevelopment.

Thank you, God for the encounter at the Fence.

“Celebrating the culture of others but doing more than caring, but being considerate enough to learn.”

 

Not enough mirrors….Where are all the teachers of color? A response from one of them.

It doesn’t mean all the people in their lives have to do that mirroring, but they should have some. And we know that in the teaching profession, there really are not enough mirrors.”

-Lecturer Sarah Leibel

I recently had the humbling privilege of reading, “Where Are All the Teachers of Color?” by Josh Moss (2016). This quote caught my attention enough to want to expound on it. As I maneuvered through the other reading, I kept this one line/ quote in my head but it later made its way to my heart. As I’ve gone along conducting empathy interviews this past week which is a central part of my current graduate study, I kept this quote close. As I walked through the hallways of my current school, this quote resonated. As I thought about our class session this past Tuesday, the quote kept lingering and burning. As I reflected upon my own K-12 schooling, I thought about the faces that had greeted me at doors.

Not enough mirrors…Not enough of me seeing the possibilities, the opportunities and even an adequate representation of a majority of those that looked just like me. Many years later, here were are, having to face this reality that there are still not enough mirrors. Where the population of the minority has now become the majority, still no mirrors. As we briefly discussed during last Tuesday’s class, one can only wonder if the intentionality will ever be there?

We continue to talk about the initiatives to attract teachers of color to the classroom and even with these initiatives, the data is still startling. What about this system doesn’t appeal to teachers of color? I actually can answer that question by sharing my own perspective and truth. I made a personal and later public vow (after I resigned from teaching) that I would never (willingly) be apart of the problem. I wouldn’t lie to students via final grades reflecting their allegedly learned skills and competencies and then pass them on. For students that couldn’t read, I wouldn’t simply excuse it. I would move beyond calling it out but help that student learn to do what other sometimes seem to brush easily past. I will not look into the eyes of innocent faces and not try my best to properly equip them for futures that await them. So for this particular teacher of color, no amount of money and/or incentive could ever get me back into a classroom to pass on those lies and such inequitable practices that I had to witness daily and I still sadly observe in schools across this country.

The numbers will continue to be what they are if that’s a part of the argument of any teacher of color, and I do not pass any blame. I totally empathize with their stance. Regardless, it’s indeed mine. There is another mirror that one is forced to see and that is the one that looks back at you. At the end of it all, the journey, after the bell rings, one has to look back at themselves in the mirror of truth and own everything he or she has done morally or immorally.  

Why the turnover? Because maybe teachers of color can’t bear what comes with the harsh realities of that mirror. I am not sure there will ever be enough mirrors.

After submitting these thoughts and my reflections from the empathy interview, one of my Caucasian colleagues shared these thoughts followed by a question:

I also found the image of the mirror to be very moving and profound. I very much appreciate hearing your story of why you’ve stepped out of teaching. My questions is what can we do in our process of designing our schools to create systems and environments that make educators’ reflections less harsh at the end of the day?

In what I hope to be a continual discussion, this is how I responded, “I think it starts with morale and buy-in. And just as we’re creating/designing schools for, and not with the community, we do the same intentionally with staff and more specifically teachers.

 

Working beyond the walls: How much are teachers collaborating?

Another school year is underway. And yes, the year might be filled with professional development opportunities, but how much of those are geared towards professionals working together?

Are we still allowing walls to separate and isolate us? I’ve had the opportunity to visit other schools and school districts outside of Shelby County. I am often intrigued by how collaborative other learning environments seem. In spending time with the High Tech High Network in San Diego where collaboration is one of the words you’ll both see and hear a lot, it made me wonder if this could be possible for my home district and how could we take the necessary steps to ensure we are maximizing the learning not just students, but also for adults.

Which led me to this question, “How do we create a culture of collaborative adults?”

In taking this journey of school design and development, it’s been refreshing sharing with the High Tech High network and watching practitioners have dialogical interviews, thinking time and moments, constant reflections and moments with team members to plan, share hopes, fears and goals for the school year and also talk through what the shared space of learning look like for kids. As many may or may not know, I am in the process of taking the journey of opening an all-girl, project-based infused charter school. The model that I am currently researching and learning more about is that of the High Tech High Organization.

Here are a few of my observations at  High Tech High:

-Grade level teams had time to think through their schedules for classroom/student coverage, possible project ideas and goals, and what each member of the team hopes to learn from another.

-Each person had the opportunity to talk through their personal and professional hopes, fears, and goals for the school year.

-Each person was transparent with their comfort level in teaching in their area of expertise and/or content.

-Teachers were able to develop a style and preference based on what’s best for students

-Teams were able to teach collaboratively and ensure equity was embedded throughout the teaching and learning.

Of course, this is a totally autonomous environment. However, I wonder how empowering it could be for our schools to adopt a more collaborative feel amongst its teachers beyond the standard grade-level team meetings, but instead have a more open canvas to think through and create what the learning environment could potentially look like for both students and adults.

I can’t say that I have an accurate insight of each school in Tennessee and the workings of each, but from what I know, I don’t see collaboration at this level and I wonder what this could potentially look like if our walls (classroom walls and professional walls) could slowly begin to come down. In an ideal world, I would do some facilitation beyond this blog.

I would personally take the time and visit as many schools as possible to see what collaboration looks like and how effective is it? How do school leaders define collaboration and if it is evident, to what extent? And if It is not, why?

I honestly think all the adults in the building should be talking. As interesting as that sounds and as uncomfortable and complex that may seem, I think there’s value in collegial relationships being formed to the highest degree to ensure the success of both adults and students.

 

Kids Just Wanna Learn

It has been almost 10 years since I became a teacher.  I didn’t have many expectations when I began. All I knew was that I wanted to provide the tools students needed to change their life because education had done just that for me.

A poor black girl from inner-city Chicago, I was bused to a gifted center from 3rd grade to 8th grade, where I was one of seven black kids in the entire grade. It was there I learned what I needed to excel, not just in the classroom but in life. Even though we were in a gifted school with students from all over Chicago, we still took the state tests. I recall those being the worst days of the school year.

I didn’t loathe taking the state assessments because they were hard; I hated them because those were the days that I felt like we didn’t learn anything – where we had to spend hours taking a test to tell us what we already knew.

I remembered that as I read about state legislators from Nashville and Memphis for are calling for an “indefinite pause of the state’s embattled test”. (Read more here.)

When I first heard of this, I was discouraged and angry.  Yes, the last few years have been a mess in Memphis and I assume the rest of Tennessee with the state tests.  From software problems to connectivity and a plethora of other issues, the past couple of years led to it not being counted against students or teachers. As an educator who not only sets high expectations for my students but also myself, I first saw this as an excuse for sub-par educators to continue to fail our students, specifically black and brown students in the inner-city.

I say this because, even though the state test didn’t “count”, I still received a report those years for my daughter, who scored “Proficient” in all of the tested categories.  I must also say that we don’t reside in a neighborhood with a track record of failing. Thus, whether the tests counted or not, learning still happened.

I straddled the fence on this topic, seeing both sides of the argument and leaning one way or another depending on what adult I spoke to.  Many parents and educators I spoke to want the test to be halted simply because it hasn’t’ been executed correctly. There are questions about the standards and alignment and how to adequately prepare. In those conversations, my biased ears heard “I want to be able to teach to the test.”

Another individual I spoke to questioned how halting the test would lead to achievement.  Many times, in failing schools and even districts, the buzz words are “growth” and not “achievement,” because there are so few students who are at grade level. Since the deficits are vast in some areas and schools, it’s important to also note growth, as the levels of achievement are seemingly non-existent. (Read more about growth vs. achievement here.) She feared that halting the test would lead to a lower percentage of growth (and achievement) as the years went by.

I wonder if the legislators realized these points when they stood in agreement to halt such an important measurement. Did they think of the long-term effects of a decision such as this? How it not only impacts education but the growth of the city and state? Would parents, professionals and others desire to live in a city/state where there is no defined measurement of academic achievement?

I’m usually very clear about where I stand, yet in this case, I still waver, so I asked my 10-year old daughter for her input.

“I mean, what’s the point of taking the tests if they don’t show how smart I really am. I thought they were easy but also a waste because I just wanted to learn.”

When she spoke, I smiled. Because the desire of all kids is learning, whether they are in a gifted school or not. I wonder if we focused more on teaching and giving the love of learning to students, if we would even be in this situation?

Diversity By Design

Crosstown High School is a charter school in Memphis that was designed to be diverse in race, socioeconomics and academic achievement.  The school hopes to better represent the area and teach students how to relate to one another.

“It’s going to be ongoing work. It’s never going to be finished.”

Read more here

Where are the students? A common narrative.

It’s less than a week away from school starting and according to SCS officials and floating news reports, there are a whopping 20,000 children who still have not registered for school.

Some schools started as early as last Wednesday, a few started on this past Wednesday, and Shelby County Schools officially went back on Monday,August 6, 2018.

Even with very rigorous and intentional pre-registration efforts by the district, the number of non-registered students is still astronomically high, though not surprising.

In recent years, there have been similar reports and discussion around “Where are the children?” and more directly, “Where are the parents?” These children, of course, can’t register themselves.

It speaks to a bigger problem that leads to late registration of students, inaccurate resource counts from school leaders and the inability to properly plan when the numbers are so low, imbalanced, and inaccurate. It goes to the frustration of having to play catch up and/or just not being certain as to who and how many will show up for the first day.

The question lingers around how more convenient can the process. Currently, there’s both the option of online and in-school registration and multiple times in which both pre-registration and enrollment can occur. So if time is not the issue or convenience, then what exactly keeps parents from registering their children before the first day of school?

I reached out to a few parents and community leaders and asked them the simple question, “What do you think caused 20,000 students from being registered for school?“

Below are a few of the responses:

No sense of urgency from families/parent/guardians; No connection between school/community/families. The process itself is difficult, having to have proof of residency; No deadline is required to have a child registered which means no consequence for not being registered; if the district doesn’t take it seriously, why would the parent? Also, you have some families who may be in fear of deportation…

-Ashley Johnson, Community Member

ICE, maybe!! I got a text today from someone who said immigration came to their job a couple of weeks ago to interview all of the Hispanic employees and today they found out everyone has to leave but two!

So if Hispanic adults are losing their job then I’m sure they’re fearful for their kids.

What I don’t understand is why haven’t the media asked what is the demographics of those students that have not registered yet for school? That’s endless media hits for them if they uncover it’s related to ICE.

-TJ Jefferson, Community Member

Lack of access to computers even though there are libraries everywhere. 2. Using someone else’s address and getting that proof to the school. 3. Not able to get to the school because of work schedule. 4. Just bad parenting decisions.

-April Terrell, Community Member

Lack of Parental Concern. I have asked and some have the registered their child was told nope very nonchalant. They’re more focused on social media and other nonfactors and the new parents who wouldn’t even vote really hurting our babies.

-Wanlisha Hawkins, Parent

I honestly think it’s related to a computer glitch. I’m getting system generated emails. Taelor was registered back in March. I received that email back in March. I have no clue why I’ve received two more emails since then, a few calls and text messages AND an email from the PTA president. And that’s something they wouldn’t dare disclose to the public. They need to have more proactive measures: a child needs to be registered and approved for the next school yet prior to receiving their last report card. Heck, make it earlier than that! Any changes to addresses or transfers need to be received and processed by August 1st.

-Crystal Sawyer, Parent

Interesting perspectives from both community members and parents. They even added some insightful suggestions too. I do believe the number has to be more streamlined and figuring out more who those 20,000 students are. Are these numbers reflective of students who are in fear of being deported? If so, what measures are in place to assist with this reality for families? Is this more of a city-wide issue than just the school district?

The school year’s start is right around the corner. For the sake of the academic and social success of students, let’s hope this number significantly decreases soon. Whatever the actual issues, they should be revealed and addressed so that as a community we can solve why students not being registered.

Dear White Teachers

It’s true that our perceptions are a collection of experiences lived through our concepts of reality.  What we “see” can vary from person to person, even in the same family. Perception is the reason why two siblings can have the same parents but have very different experiences. Perceptions are also the lenses in which we see others and how we treat them. Saying that, I wrote a short letter to white teachers who work in “the hood”.

Dear White Teachers,

If you work in an underserved, habitually and systemically deprived neighborhood as a teacher, you are not a savior. You do not wear a superhero cape that is invisible to everyone but you. Thus, it is not a part of your “calling” to save the little black and brown children. I’m sorry, but Jesus already did that.

I’m not speaking on anyone’s intentions because intentions can be good and still result in unfavorable outcomes. Neither am I devaluing the work you do, getting up each day and teaching can indeed be hard. I’m specifically speaking to the part of you, many times unintentional, that feels “good” about your work, the self-rewarding aspect of your internal makeup that doesn’t see that we don’t need your type of help. Honestly, we don’t need your help at all.

It doesn’t matter if you think you can relate, being an ally in this cause doesn’t mean you understand the depths of the generational effects of a white society. We weren’t emphatically taught of our importance and value by society. Not in the last couple of lifetimes. We consistently see images of us in every sector of media, here and abroad, as less educated, lesser civilized and less human. Our daughters still have a sliver of choices in the dolls that depict us. We have a section of books at the library, and an even smaller sliver of curriculum that we can identify with in our schools.

More often than not, my white counterparts struggle with classroom management. Whether they are “from” the area or not. Each year, I’ve encountered Referral Randy and Send-Out Susan, teachers who have no concept of the perception they had to the children they served, the entitlement that they exhibited when they entered a classroom that echoed an air of insistence in which students had to listen to them just because they were white. Let’s not forget to mention the desire to listen to hip hop and rap music during the day to connect, or even being the teacher who stays after-school to run a gender specific group. I have consistently sat in data meetings of these teachers who believe that any growth is good, that they are the best teacher since sliced bread, when their actual data is sub-par.

I personally take offense to the ways in which their efforts are seen as adequate when growth will most likely occur when an adult is consistently present. In education, there shouldn’t be a consolation prize for simply showing up. Yet, their unperceived entitlement results in a belief that their lower standard of excellence was good enough. To be completely honest, I can’t just blame them.

Society has consistently shown us that white mediocrity is acceptable, most times even rewarded. George Bush was a mediocre student – and he became President. I’ve repeatedly seen my white counterparts, both male and female, perform at a lower standard in the classroom and get promoted. I once worked in an organization whose head of curriculum couldn’t pass the Praxis teaching certification exam and only had a Bachelor’s degree – in music. I constantly witness white teachers have sub-par achievement and growth data and return the next year to teach the same subject.  In what other professions can you continually fail and continue practicing?

I recognize you may believe there is fallacy in my argument, however I write this from a place of personal truth. The essence of truth isn’t facts but lies in the pursuit of what is absolute. We absolutely don’t need ineffective teachers educating those students who have habitually been underserved, both intentionally and unintentionally. We absolutely don’t need your help in perpetuating the stigmas that exist on us by not reflecting on us in our entirety, while not placing undue emphasis on our current circumstance. And we most certainly, absolutely, don’t need your pity nor do we appreciate that you feel “good” about your work after teaching us for a day, week, months, or years.

What we do need is for you to operate in the spirit of excellence – our bar, not yours. The same level of excellence that we’ve operated in for decades and even centuries (check our scoreboard). We, I, need you to do more, especially for those who are playing catch-up in the classroom.

Signed,

Concerned Black Teachers Everywhere

Ahead of the Game

Memphis students are registering for school in greater numbers this school year than they did last year.  Outreach efforts to parents are paying off tremendously.

“We’ve been trying to meet parents where they’re at. Our principals and teachers took ownership of registration.”

Read more here