Parent Voices: On Refocusing the Conversation

Since I joined the Nashville Rise team, I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know many Nashville parents. The recurring theme in many conversations is that changes have to be made within our educational system. We are living in a city where a large percentage of families are facing challenges like poverty, language barriers or disabilities. In many instances, these same families are not aware that they can elevate their voices and unique experiences to inspire change. Nashville Rise parents are using their voices to spark meaningful change that our children need now.

Below Nashville Rise Parent Captain Quanita Adams shares her frustrations and her hopes. As an educator and a parent, she has joined together with others to work for the change she wants to see in her community and city.

Quanita Adams
I engage in the charter versus district conversation at least twice a week. Whether the conversation be internally, with a fellow teacher or at home with my children, many times, I think we are missing the point. All Nashville students do not currently have access to a high-quality education, which leaves families in at a crossroads. Do we settle for the status-quo, or do we exercise our right to choose a school that better meets our families’ needs?

At my home, the education conversation is ongoing. While my daughter and I are trying to decide where she will attend high school, I am struggling to understand why son can only read 25 out of the 100 words that he is expected to know by the end of his kindergarten year. I want my children to have access to the best education. My zip code should not decide the quality of education my children receive.

As a parent and a teacher, I am tired of the fight over the semantics. Instead, I would like to see the fight become about equitable education for all students. I want to send my children to school and know that they are in the classroom with teachers that are valued and supported. A school in which parents are encouraged to be involved in the academic and social well-being of their own children. A school that believes in the development of the entire child and not just a score.

That is why I chose to be a part of Nashville Rise. As a parent and teacher of Nashville Rise, I am ready to fight, to serve, and to sacrifice so that my children and your children can receive what they deserve – access to a high-quality education. Every child should have a chance to be all that they have been designed to be, and in the end, no one will ask whether they attended a charter or district school because the results will all be the same.