Shelby County Schools Equity Audit Revealed Black Students Had Higher Graduation Rates Than White, Hispanic Students for Past Three Years

A Shelby County Schools (SCS) equity audit revealed that Black students had higher graduation rates than their White and Hispanic peers for the past three years. Even when broken down by gender, both Black males and females graduated at higher rates than their White and Hispanic counterparts, respectively. The Shelby County Board of Education reviewed this information on Tuesday. The University of Memphis’ Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREC) conducted the audit, relying on data from SCS and the Tennessee Department of Education (TNDOE).

SCS Equity Officer Michael Lowe gave a presentation on the audit during the Tuesday board meeting. He noted that SCS didn’t actually receive the white paper of the entire audit report. Instead, the presentation was based on CREC’s executive summary of the report. The Tennessee Star requested the full audit report from Shelby County Board of Education Chair Miska Clay Bibbs. She didn’t respond by press time.

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Nashville Appoints Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Officer

Andrea Blackman

Civil Rights library curator and social justice advocate Andrea Blackman will serve as Nashville’s new Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer.

Mayor John Cooper announced this latest appointment on Wednesday. 

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Critical Race Theory in Our Backyard: Metro Nashville Public Schools’ ‘Equity Roadmap’

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) may be the next leader in critical race theory (CRT) integration into classrooms. Their “Equity Roadmap” largely originated with MNPS’s newest Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Executive Officer, Ashford Hughes Sr. – a big CRT advocate and outspoken anti-racist.

Hughes served previously as the Chief DEI Officer for Nashville Mayor John Cooper from February 2018 until October 2019. During that time, Hughes submitted a report that was also called a “roadmap” to achieve DEI throughout all of Metro Nashville – the “DEI Roadmap.”

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University of Tennessee Chattanooga ‘Race Discussion Guide’ Singles Out White People

A “Race Discussion Guide” issued by the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) emphasizes its focus on the role and reality of White people. The Office of Equity and Inclusion created the guide with the purpose of helping UTC students, faculty, and staff navigate conversations on race.

In the 7 pages of information offered, the guide exclusively referenced White people no less than 17 times. Many of those references were linked to assumptions about White people or relationships with White people. Nowhere in the guide does it mention any other group of people by their skin color, such as Black individuals.

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New Bill Would Allow Tennessee’s Government Employees to Opt Out from Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Trainings

Tennessee’s government employees may be entitled to opt out of certain trainings, seminars, or educational courses if it violates their morals, ethics, values, or religious beliefs. According to a set of companion bills introduced last month, the exemption would be enforced across all levels of government throughout the state.

Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) issued the first version of the bill, followed less than a week later by Representative Glen Casada (R-Franklin) issuing a companion bill.

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