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Chamber Report Card: MNPS Takes a First Step Forward - Time to Pick Up the Pace

by Marc Hill | Dec 20, 2011
The Chamber Education Report Card Committee presented its 2011 report card for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) today at the Adventure Science Center. In looking back at the 2010-2011 school year, the committee felt MNPS has “taken a first step forward,” by showing broad, if modest, improvement across nearly all academic measures. Co-Chair Ron Corbin added that it was time for the district to “pick up the pace” of improvement, particularly on the ACT exam, a strong predictor of college preparedness and success.

Co-Chair Pam Daly shared public opinion polling data exclusive to the Chamber report card, showing Nashvillians overwhelmingly understand the importance of the public schools, even if their perception of MNPS performance over the past three years has remained static. In addition to assessing overall school system performance, the committee analyzed parent and family involvement. Poll respondents listed parent involvement as the No. 1 issue facing Metro Schools, and most of the committee’s recommendations addressed this area.

2011 Committee recommendations:
1) Create a professional development curriculum for educators on how to communicate and work with culturally diverse parents and families, and incentivize teachers to take the training.
2) Set ambitious goals for parental usage of Gradespeed, the district’s online portal for student progress and assignments, and ensure ease of use with cell phones and other mobile devices.
3) Ensure a welcoming, customer-service-oriented culture toward parents and community by raising the expectations, accountability and compensation for front desk staff in each of our schools.
4) Use the MNPS data warehouse to help determine the effectiveness of resource allocation to drive improvement in the classroom.
5) The State of Tennessee should make growth on ACT performance a factor in determining whether high schools and systems meet the state’s annual accountability targets.

In his response to the committee’s presentation, Dr. Jesse Register shared that “the five recommendations are very much on target.” It was standing-room only at the presentation today, with business leaders, school district staff, non-profit executives and elected officials all receiving a hard copy of the report. We’d like to thank members of the Metro school board who attended: Gracie Porter, Mark North, Jo Ann Brannon, Sharon Gentry, Michael Hayes (a former co-chair of the committee), Anna Shepherd, and Kay Simmons. Metro Council members in the audience included Berkley Allen, Jacobia Dowell (a former member of the committee), Steve Glover, Walter Hunt, and Sandra Moore (a current committee member).

Click here for more photos from the event.

Category: Education