My name is DeMica C. Robinson, and I have one child, my daughter, currently attending public school in Nashville. I also have a son who is a graduate of Metro Nashville Public Schools.
When my son was in elementary school, he loved to learn. He made good grades and enjoyed school. As a parent, I appreciated the open-flow of communication with his teachers and school, and I felt like I knew what was happening day-to-day. When he transitioned to middle school, everything changed, and my concerns arose quickly. There was a lack of communication between teachers and parents, and my son no longer had the drive or desire to learn and excel that he once had. His grades shifted.
Looking back as a parent of a now rising second grader, middle school deeply concerns me. Will my daughter be equipped to move from middle school to high school and be successful? With many struggling middle schools, I feel that the only and best option might be private school. But why should I have to pay for a quality education when it should be available in public schools across Davidson County?
I want my daughter to have the opportunities that all or most private schools are afforded, but current statistics for public schools are saying something different – that my zip code can determine the quality of education that my daughter receives. Only 16 percent of students are enrolled in a high-quality school. That is unacceptable.
As a high school teacher, it saddens me to see young people being passed along that are not prepared for the next grade level. Someone has to be held more accountable. Is it fair to pass along a student when they are struggling academically as well as dealing with behavior issues? Many times students know that with little effort they can pass their classes and continue to the next grade. With no true rigor or challenge in education, how are we preparing students for success later in life?
Parents speaking out on real issues, true concerns and practical methods can help others who may be having similar experiences and can help spread information about resources to other parents and families. Parents speaking out can help elected officials and representatives of the school system to make more informed and calculated decisions in the best interests of our students.
My hope is that 100 percent of students will have access to a high-quality education regardless of their zip code. My hope is that our students will excel and thrive. My hope is for change.
I believe that change is coming, and Nashville Rise is the platform to motivate, invoke and ignite change in our current education system. Nashville Rise is informing, providing resources and equipping parents to be better advocates for our students. There is a movement that is happening in education in Nashville. JOIN THE MOVEMENT so you too can be informed, empowered and engaged.