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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Tennessee Supreme Court Agrees to Hear State’s School Voucher Appeal

The Tennessee Supreme Court has agreed to the state’s appeal on the constitutionality of its education savings account program (ESA). The pilot school voucher program has been tied up in a legal battle for all of 2020 after its passage by the General Assembly in 2019, thereby preventing any planned advancement of the program.

The program was previously ruled unconstitutional by Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Anne Martin. She assessed it would disproportionately impact two counties: Shelby County Schools (SCS) and Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). Those districts reportedly contain about 90 percent of the state’s failing schools list. The Court of Appeals upheld Martin’s decision last September.

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After Around 25K Truant and 6K Transferred Students, Metro Nashville Public Schools Announces It Will Resume In-Person Learning

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced Monday that phased in-person learning would begin this week. The news was presented at a press conference on Monday. MNPS Board Chair Christiane Buggs, MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle, Meharry Medical College President and CEO Dr. James Hildreth, Meharry Medical College Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement Patrick Johnson, and Nashville Mayor John Cooper were present.

According to the reopening plan, special needs students at Genesis Academy and High Roads School of Nashville will return to classrooms on Thursday. Then, preschoolers, K-4 students, and those with exceptional needs may return starting February 9. Grades 5 and 9 may return on February 18, followed by grades 6, 7, and 8 on February 25. The last to return will be the remainder of high schoolers – grades 10-12 – on March 3. 

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Mayor Cooper Claims Metro Schools May Open Up ‘Very Soon’

Mayor John Cooper claimed on Thursday that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) may open up in the near future. He cited the downturn in local COVID-19 case metrics as the main indicator of this prediction, though he didn’t offer any specific timelines.

“[O]ur COVID metrics continue to improve,” stated Cooper. “We’re working with public health and MNPS to evaluate the timely and responsible return of an in-person learning option on a daily basis. Current case trends will allow MNPS to have an in-person option very soon.”

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Metro Nashville School Board Doesn’t Have a Set Date for Reopening Schools

Tuesday’s school board meeting made it clear that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) doesn’t have an exact date for getting kids back in the classroom. As in past weeks, Metro Nashville Board of Public Education reiterated that reopening would be contingent on the level of community spread charted by the city.

In a director’s report presented by District 6 representative Fran Bush, it was revealed that the current level of community spread sits at 8. Bush repeated the same information found on the MNPS website regarding reopening: in order to gradually reopen, the measurement needs to be at 7 or below.

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Metro School Board Chair Vacationed in St. Lucia Shortly Before Closing Schools Due to COVID-19

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Board Chair Christiane Buggs caught parents’ ire for continuing to keep schools closed in light of her activities in recent months. Shortly before the ongoing school closure began in November, Buggs hosted an election watch party and then vacationed internationally.

Buggs defended the board’s initial decision in the fall to adjust all schools to virtual learning. She described it as a necessity, explaining how her own father was concurrently battling COVID-19. Buggs explained that he was infected while working at one of their middle schools. She stated that preventing the spread was paramount to in-person learning, which she described as a “convenience.”

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Metro Nashville Schools Sending All Students to Distance-Learning After Thanksgiving

Citing the “the alarming increase in the spread of COVID-19,” Metro Nashville Public Schools will move all students to distance-learning after the Thanksgiving break.

The district on Monday evening tweeted, “Metro Schools is returning to all-virtual learning following the Thanksgiving break on November 30 through the end of the semester, December 17.”

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Catholic Charities Receives $7M State Grant to Expand Services into Middle Tennessee Counties, But Model May Duplicate Liberal Advocacy Policies from Nashville

Catholic Charities of Tennessee is receiving $7.3 million in state grant funds to expand social services to 10 Middle Tennessee counties, but part of the organization’s model is based on liberal services performed in Nashville.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) said it is giving $50 in grants to 23 organizations and educational entities through its Two Generation (2Gen) approach.

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Metro School Board Member and Plaintiff Fran Bush Says Constitutional Lawsuit Against Former Superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph is Still Pending

The lawsuit against former Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph and the Metro government is still pending, one of the plaintiffs, a school board member, says.

Fran Bush is one of three MNPS school board members who are suing Joseph and the Metro government. The other plaintiffs are board members Jill Speering and Amy Frogge.

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Truancy Letters Sent to Parents of Virtual Learners Should Be ‘Thrown in the Trash,’ Metro Nashville School Board Member Fran Bush Says

Metro Nashville reportedly sent nearly 6,000 truancy letters to the parents of students doing virtual learning, and one school board member says that is wrong and the letters should be “thrown in the trash.”

School Board member Fran Bush made the comment to The Tennessee Star on Sunday.

MNPS sent the truancy letters because of poor student attendance in distance learning, NewsChannel 5 said. The letters threaten legal action against parents or guardians of students who have five or more unexcused absences.

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Leahy on The Tennessee Star Report Tuesday Morning: MNPS District Six School Board Member Posts Truth to Facebook About Schools Reopening and Sports Resuming

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report host Michael Patrick Leahy discussed a recent Facebook post by school board member Fran Bush criticizing Metro Public school’s refusal to resume in-person learning and sports.

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Parent Says Nashville Public Schools Teach His Daughter that White People Are Bad

A parent who said his daughter attends the Metro Nashville Public Schools tweeted that an English lesson plan tells her that White people are appalling racists.

That man, who uses the name GrantB911 on Twitter, also said he’s pulling his second grade daughter out of the public school system immediately.

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Metro Councilman Steve Glover Discusses Budget Priorities and Public vs Charter Schools

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – host Leahy was joined in studio with metro councilman, with Steve Glover and all-star panelist Crom Carmichael.

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McGavock High School Aviation Teacher and His Program Compete for Share of $1M Award from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Program

  Derek Rowe, a Nashville high school aviation maintenance teacher, is one of 50 educators and teacher-teams who were named semifinalists of the 2019 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, according to a press release. Rowe, a teacher at McGavock High School in Nashville, and his skilled…

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Superintendent Should Report to Nashville’s Mayor, Carol Swain Tells WSMV, But Education Expert Says State Requires School Boards to Oversee Directors

  WSMV polled the four major Nashville mayoral candidates on whether the Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent should report to the mayor instead of the school board, and only one said “Yes.” That candidate was Dr. Carol Swain. WSMV’s story is here. The Metro Nashville mayoral candidates who were polled…

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More Than 900 Metro Nashville Teachers Stage Second Consecutive Sick Out Day to Protest Three Percent Raise

  Hundreds of Metro Nashville teachers on Monday called out sick for the second day in a row to protest the size of their promised pay increase. WKRN reported that at least 906 teachers were absent Monday. A Metro Nashville Public Schools official told the station that reasons included personal…

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Over 1,400 Metro Nashville Teachers, Staff Scoff at Proposed Three Percent Raise, Call Out Sick Friday

More than 1,400 Metro Nashville Public Schools teachers and school staff scoffed at receiving a 3 percent pay raise and called out sick Friday, WKRN said. A total of 1,093 teachers and over 400 staff members from at least 18 schools called out. McGavock High School was one of the hardest…

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Metro Nashville Public School Board Member Will Pinkston Resigns as Vote on Terminating Director Shawn Joseph Appears Imminent

Sharing his letter of resignation with the public via Twitter, Metro Nashville Public School Board member Will Pinkston called out the body on which he serves “impossibly inept,” just as another school board member has announced plans to make a motion to terminate School Director Dr. Shawn Joseph. Elected to…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Student Discipline Is Out of Control

It would be awesome if every educator had a positive and supportive working environment where they could thrive personally and professionally, and where they were free to exercise their expertise and explore the full limits of their talents.

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Metro Nashville Public School Board Member Will Pinkston Reportedly Calls People ‘Nitwits’

Metro Nashville Public School board member Will Pinkston reportedly thinks that people who complain to him about the latest goings-on at the school system are “nitwits.” This, according to the Nashville-based NewsChannel 5, which publicized a series of tweets Pinkston recently released. “An email sent to Metro School Board members…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Let the Committee Decide

How did a system designed to provide government of, by, and for the people devolve into a system in which bureaucrats unaccountable to voters produce masses of law that was never voted on by an elected official?

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Metro Nashville Schools Director Ducks Questions on Sexual Harassment And His Handling of Complaints

Shawn Joseph

Metro Nashville Schools’ director is ducking questions on alleged widespread sexual harassment — and coverups — in his district, news outlets are reporting. NewsChannel 5 reported last week that school director Dr. Shawn Joseph tried to run from their reporter who wanted an interview on the topic and his role…

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Gubernatorial Candidates Karl Dean (D) and Randy Boyd (R) Both Invested in La Raza Affiliate Conexion Americas

Randy Boyd, Karl Dean

Gubernatorial candidates Karl Dean and Randy Boyd both considered Renata Soto’s Conexion Americas organization a worthy investment. Democrat Karl Dean used the government’s money while mega-millionaire Republican Randy Boyd used his personal wealth to help Conexion’s legal and illegal alien clients.

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Metro Nashville Faces Reality of Heavy Borrowing in $34 Million Revenue Shortfall

John Cooper

Surprise! Nashville is growing skyscrapers and other developments at an ever-increasing rate yet faces a $34 million revenue shortfall. Councilman-at-large John Cooper, who is on Metro’s Budget and Finance Committee says Nashville’s revenue continues to grow faster than most cities, to the tune of a couple billion dollars, NewsChannel 5…

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Council on Islamic Education Worked with Textbook Publishers, Educational Organizations and Teachers to Erase ‘Miconceptions’

Public school students across the country are receiving instruction about Islam from proselytizing Muslim speakers using the excuse of “correcting misconceptions” even though the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), worked for years with textbook publishers, provided teacher training and supplemental classroom resources for teaching about Islam consistent with state social…

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Students in Tennessee And Across the Country Are Targeted By Proselytizers of Islam Claiming to Address ‘Misconceptions’

Last month, students from Nashville’s Meigs Middle Magnet School received a presentation about Islam during a field trip to the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN). The mosque’s Director of Operations, Dina Sirois, told the students that they would “talk about beliefs and practices in Islam” and that “another little piece of your…

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Fourteen Students Charged in Brawl Fueled by Ethnic Tensions at Nashville’s Overton High School

Fourteen students at Overton High School in Nashville faced charges Tuesday after a massive fight broke out on campus. Police said the brawl was between male students of Latino and Kurdish descent ranging in age from 14 to 19. There were no serious injuries. Twelve juveniles were charged with disorderly…

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Administrator Accused of Sexual Harassment

An administrator with Metro Nashville Public Schools has been put on paid administrative pending an investigation into charges of sexual harassment. Moreno Carrasco, executive officer for priority schools, received a letter from employee relations last week citing “accusations of harassment committed by you towards female staff members at MNPS.” The…

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Chairman of Metro Nashville School Board Defends Mosque Speaker Giving Students Misleading Information

On October 17th, students from Metro Nashville Meigs Middle Magnet School visited the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) where Dina Sirois, the mosque’s operations director, told them that they would “talk about beliefs and practices in Islam.” The Tennessee Star contacted Ms. Anna Shepherd, Chairman of the Metro Nashville School Board about the audio recording…

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Textbook Shows Islamic Center of Nashville Speaker Was Misleading to Public School Students About Islam

The presentation to students from Metro Nashville Meigs Middle Magnet School at the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) on October 17th was misleading when compared to corresponding information in a popular Islamic school textbook. ICN’s Director of Operations Dina Sirois claimed that her talk to the students was not about…

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Metro Nashville Students Visit Local Mosque for Religious Instruction

On October 17th, students from Metro Nashville Meigs Middle Magnet School visited the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) where Dina Sirois, operations director of the mosque, told them that they would “talk about beliefs and practices in Islam.” An audio recording of Sirois’ presentation was forwarded to The Tennessee Star. Using a set…

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Teachers at Memphis High School Told Not to Give Students Grades Below 65

A Memphis high school is telling teachers not to give grades below a 65, leaving some teachers feeling frustrated, reports WREG News Channel 3. One teacher at Kingsbury High School shared an email with WREG that Assistant Principal Nora Jones sent to teachers Monday asking them to fill in missing grades…

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State Sues Metro Nashville Public Schools Over Student Contact Info, District to Sue State Over Funding

The state of Tennessee is suing Metro Nashville Public Schools for declining to release student contact information to the state-run Achievement School District run mostly by charter school operators who want parents to be informed of school options. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Davidson County Chancery Court, claims that a…

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Ignores the Constitution During Constitution Week

Metro Nashville Public Schools has not promoted Constitution Day or Constitution Week at the district level. District spokeswoman Michelle Machaud told The Tennessee Star that “we are not as a district” promoting Constitution Week but that “it may be possible social studies teachers are observing this.” The Star contacted several…

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Hundreds in Nashville Protest President Trump’s Constitutional Decision to End DACA

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Several hundred protesters marched along West End Avenue in Nashville late Tuesday afternoon to denounce President’s Trump decision to end DACA. “Up, up with liberation. Down, down with deportation,” chanted the marchers, as similar protests took place across the country. Meanwhile, Trump supporters who want tougher…

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Metro Nashville Schools Confirms Speaker From Mosque at Teacher In-Service, Refuses to Say If There Were Speakers From Other Religions

  Several days prior to releasing the story that Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) social studies teacher in-service featured Rashed Fakhruddin from the Islamic Center of Nashville, Olivia Brown, the Director of Communications for MNPS was offered an opportunity to explain to The Tennessee Star, whether other speakers were invited or did speak to…

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Nashville Public Schools’ Social Studies In-Service Event for Teachers Featured Speaker From Islamic Center

  The president of the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) spoke about his religion during a Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) social studies in-service event held on August 2nd for middle and high school teachers preparing for the start of the 2017-2018 academic school year. According to the ICN’s website,…

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Promotes ‘Faux Psychology’ Of Social-Emotional Learning

Metro Nashville Public Schools recently held its annual Social Emotional Learning Conference to promote practices that well-known education scholar Chester Finn has called “faux psychology.” The seventh annual conference, co-sponsored by the behavioral health team at Alignment Nashville, was held June 29 and 30 at Cane Ridge High School. More than…

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Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk To Launch Controversial Restorative Justice Program

  Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk is planning to start a restorative justice pilot program using practices that are lauded by some but criticized by others who say they downplay wrongdoing. The program would start in juvenile courts but could be expanded to the adult system if it’s successful, reports WKRN…

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Metro Nashville School Board Supports Metro Council’s Proposed ‘Sanctuary City’ Policy

  The Metro Nashville school board is supporting Metro government’s proposed “sanctuary city” policy despite a growing chorus of opposition. The board sent a letter to the Metro Council this week encouraging passage of the ordinance, which was approved on a second reading Tuesday and will be up for a…

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Movie Critical of Charter Schools and Vouchers Shown at Nashville Film Festival

  A documentary taking a critical look at charter schools and vouchers was shown Tuesday evening at the Nashville Film Festival. “Backpack Full of Cash” was filmed partly in Nashville and features Metro Nashville school board member Amy Frogge, who attended Tuesday’s screening at the Regal Hollywood 27 at 100 Oaks.…

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Metro Nashville School Nurses Receive No Formal Training On Female Genital Mutilation

Tennessee Star

Metro Nashville school nurses have not received formal training on how to spot potential cases of female genital mutilation despite state lawmakers drawing attention to FGM with legislation in 2012. The 2012 law requires health care providers to report injuries related to FGM, a brutal practice in parts of Africa, the…

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Metro Nashville School Board Member Mocks Gov. Haslam’s Letter To Students About Testing

Tennessee Star

  Metro Nashville school board member Will Pinkston said this week that Gov. Haslam’s letter to students to motivate them for standardized testing “might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.” Pinkston took to Twitter Monday to make his comments about the April 10 letter. This might be the dumbest…

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Memphis Middle School Student Attacks Teacher In Latest of Series of Violent Incidents

Tennessee Star

  A 12-year-old Memphis middle school student is accused of assaulting her teacher and school officers, WREG News Channel 3 in Memphis reported last week. The incident at Sherwood Middle School started after the student was asked to leave class because she was listening to music during a test, police said.…

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Bus Driver Shortage Frustrates Wilson County Schools, Reflecting a National Problem

Wilson County Schools has formed a task force to address a bus driver shortage, a problem that is plaguing school districts across the nation. The problem is so bad in Wilson County that routes sometimes have to be canceled because there aren’t enough drivers, according to WKRN News 2. The…

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Teacher Claims Lab ‘Confirmed the Presence of Mold’ at Bellevue Middle Prep in Nashville; School Officials Deny

Tennessee Star

  School officials say Bellevue Middle Prep does not have a mold problem, despite talk on social media and at least one teacher who claims that a sample taken from the school confirmed the presence of molds, according to the lab that tested it. In a March 21 email to…

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Proposes Expanding Programs For English Learners

Tennessee Star

Metro Nashville Public Schools hopes to spend $4.7 million on adding numerous new positions next year to meet the needs of students who have a native language other than English. In the district’s proposed budget for the 2017-2018 school year, MNPS plans to add 31 English Learner (EL) teachers to…

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Former INS Agent Michael Cutler: Illegal Immigrants Should Be Fearful; People Demanding Enforcement Are Not Haters

Tennessee Star

Across the state and country, activists are calling for curbs on immigration enforcement because it’s making illegal immigrants fearful. But that’s the way it should be, says Michael Cutler, a nationally-recognized expert and retired senior special agent with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). “You should be fearful if…

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