Image Credit: MNPS
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Last week, the Metro Nashville Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution to address what they call racial inequities in advanced placement courses in public schools.
District 9 School Board member, Abigail Tylor stated that “Racially diverse schools, or schools where no single racial or ethnic group represents more than 50 percent of the school’s total enrollment tend to have the largest racial inequities in enrollment in AP courses.”
Tylor told the Tennessean, “There’s not anything different that makes white students higher or better academically, but if you look at the numbers of white and students of color in the program, it says something different.”
One of Metro Nashville Public Schools’ core tenants is to identify and remove “inequities” and the resolution passed this week aims to deal with perceived inequities in advanced placement classes.
To garner support for the resolution, the board cited data showing black students are three times more likely to have placement in reading programs for the gifted if they were previously taught by black teachers.
The board also stated that during the 2021-22 school year, white students were four times more likely to be placed in MNPS’s advanced education than black students.
MNPS touted progress toward meeting their equity goals by stating that they have recently placed at least one “gifted” teacher in every elementary and middle school in the MNPS system since the gifted program starts in kindergarten.
Board members went on to state that the completion of advanced academic courses better prepares students for secondary education and for career success. They state that completing such courses also improves access to scholarships and can reduce costs for the students and their families and can lead to earlier graduations.
The board had previously created an “equity roadmap” which defines equity as “Every student receives what they need, when they need it, to develop to their full academic and social potential regardless of their race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, language, religion, family background, or family income.”
The forward in the MNPS equity roadmap states:
“The MNPS Equity Roadmap is a response to the urgent need to reverse the longstanding inequities within our school system. This roadmap acknowledges that MNPS operates within the larger societal norms that consistently create racially and socially predictable and persistent inequitable outcomes. To change these inequities, the MNPS Equity Roadmap challenges us all to shift our ideological commitment to become equity leaders by centering the needs of historically marginalized students and their families first at the forefront.”
“To achieve equity within our district, we must take a targeted approach to eliminating the racialized outcomes caused by structural racism and classism. The roadmap aligns a three- to five-year plan to address the inequities which occur as a result of societal and institutional racism and classism.”
“We will boldly emphasize the needs, experiences and outcomes for students who identify as: Black or African descent, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous or American Indian. We will also evaluate the experiences of students at intersections of race who identify with the following labels or identities: Immigrant, Refugee, English Language Learner, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer, Economically Disadvantaged, Special Education, Physical or Mental Disability, Homeless or Highly Mobile.”
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com