I’m proud to be leading a growing constituency focused on the most important work in Nashville: delivering great results for kids. We should all be of the leadership of Dr. Jesse Register at Metro Nashville Public Schools and his board’s continued pursuit of a great education for all of Nashville’s students. I am also proud to be working with Chris Barbic and his team at the Achievement School District.
We have done some great things at Cameron College Prep. One of the main reasons we chose to apply to work with MNPS two years ago was Cameron’s historic place in Nashville. We’re honored by the support and friendships we have made in the South Nashville community, the Cameron Alumni, and Councilwoman Moore and the other elected officials who are working with us to restore Cameron to its rightful place as one of Nashville’s premier schools.
What we have at Cameron is two organizations and one School: We should all be proud that both Cameron Middle and Cameron College Prep are showing signs of strong student achievement. If you haven’t visited us at Cameron yet, please make it a priority. It will make you proud.
One of the promises of public charters in Tennessee is that they can serve as laboratories of learning and innovation; collaboration is happening side-by-side in the Cameron building. Collectively, we are breaking down barriers between organizations in the best interests of kids. We are providing innovative professional development and support for teachers in both organizations with our partnership with Lipscomb University, one of the top teacher prep programs in the state. Cameron is proving that the school name is less important than how well we’re serving our students and families.
The overall lesson we’ve learned from the early results at Cameron reminds me of a Henry Ford quote: "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."
|Working together? Ford's cops prepare to assault|
union organizers passing out leaflets, May 1937.
I suppose it is appropriate that Kane appeals to Henry Ford, since one of the characteristics that contemporary education reformers share with the industrial era automobile scion is aversion to trade unions and union organizing. It is understandable that Kane would also be proud of MNPS Director Jesse Register who has had his own problems with unions in the Nashville education system.
But again the script followed about charter schools, fostered by the LEAD founder is that they are hugely successful at catalyzing student achievement without the bar being set at the same level as it is for bona fide public schools. Instead, the script speaks in vague generalities and squishy categories that ask us to have faith in them without recourse to test results and harder measurements of performance.
One of the other claims that Kane tweeted last week during news coverage of his enterprise is that LEAD teachers are paid more than public school teachers. After trying unsuccessfully to hunt the exact salary numbers down, I tweeted Kane, who was once a John Kerry campaign speechwriter, and I asked him how much LEAD teachers make. He never replied and I cannot find his original tweet now. Does anyone reading this know where I might track down the salary numbers of LEAD teachers? Or is that information not public since charter schools are not by definition public?