Parent Voices: Reflecting on the Forum

Nashville Rise parent panelist Yousef Husseini reflects on the days leading up to the school board candidate forum and the event itself. With a daughter currently enrolled in a Nashville public school, Yousef recognizes that many children do not have access to a high-quality education. He wants to see that change.

DSC_0299Yousef Husseini
I had three goals in mind for the upcoming school board candidate forum. First, I wanted to be more informed on the current issues that our leaders and decision makers struggle with. Second, I wanted to understand the motivations behind the candidates that chose to run. Third, I wanted to know what qualifications each candidate held that made them suitable for such an important position.

My ideal school board candidate would:

  • be results oriented with a track record of success in endeavors they are passionate about
  • have something at stake (children soon to be or currently enrolled in Davidson County public schools)
  • recognize a child’s right to a high-quality education
  • hold a background in education that would be helpful to bring together charter, traditional and magnet schools

Prior to the forum, I knew very little about the candidates who were not incumbents. As the night went on, that all changed. I enjoyed getting to know each and every candidate that was present. I was blown away by the passion of all the candidates that answered our [parents] questions. The respect and gratitude they showed each other and the parent panel was amazing.

I thought one of the candidates summed up a goal of Nashville Rise very well.

“If we are kind. If we are brave. If we show up and never quit… Nashville WILL become the number one urban school district in the nation”.

I was so inspired by the event, and it left me wanting to learn even more about:

  • Recruitment, retention and rewarding great teachers;
  • What policies parents should pay close attention to;
  • Lessons learned in turning around under-performing schools;
  • What our school district can and should look like next year. And in 5 years. And 10 years.
  • Ways to encourage more students to aspire to enter and complete college;

And much more.

I am a proud father of a Davidson County student, a Middle Tennessee State University alumnus and a financial literacy volunteer for Davidson and Rutherford County schools. Through Nashville Rise, I hope to be a small part of what can eventually become a great movement of more than 10,000 parent volunteers. Perhaps, Davidson County can be so loud that Washington hears us. Why can’t the 28th Amendment to the Constitution be the right for our children to have a high-quality education? Only one in five students is currently enrolled in a high-quality public school in Davidson County. Join Nashville Rise and help 100 percent of Davidson County students get a high-quality education.