Nashville Business Leaders Demand More Accountability On MNPS Literacy

Community leaders gathered at the Adventure Science Center Monday for the release of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce annual report card. Credit: Marc Hill/Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Community leaders gathered at the Adventure Science Center Monday for the release of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce annual report card.
Credit: Marc Hill/Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Business leaders say they want Nashville’s public schools held more accountable for improving literacy among students. In an annual report card from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, they conclude there’s been little — if any — improvement across the district.

Here’s a direct quote from the chamber’s report card this year.

“Over the past two decades, Metro Schools has launched various district reading and literacy initiatives, with no discernible impact on overall reading results.”

PDF: Review the full 2016 report card

The chamber is asking that Metro Schools makes sure early grade teachers have “demonstrated expertise in literacy instruction.” Business leaders also recommend that the district measures each school’s overall performance specifically on helping poor readers.

“We have to do something big and bold to improve literacy, and we’re going to make that happen,” Mayor Megan Barry said at the report card’s release on Monday.

Metro Schools has generally welcomed the yearly criticism from the Chamber, and new superintendent Shawn Joseph said, “nobody is going to push this district harder than I am.”

But some school board members have grown increasingly defiant of the Chamber’s suggestions. In an act of protest, both Will Pinkston and Amy Frogge did not attend the report card release.

This story was originally published on December 19, 2016.

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