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Hands on Nashville charges volunteers to help Metro Schools

Posted in Disasters, Nashville, Tennessee, Uncategorized, Voluntarism by Mike Byrd on August 13, 2010

In the wake of the May 2010 Nashville floods the refrain bounces around that Nashville never waits on anybody else to volunteer to relieve and to restore. That comment seems like an underhanded swipe at government response, which is not exactly off base.

However, it is disingenuous, since Nashville often does wait on non-profit relief organizations that contract with local government to organize volunteers. Hands on Nashville (HON) is one of those organizations. It says that it mobilized thousands in response to the May floods. While I do not question the truth of the reportage, I believe it is perilous in general for Nashvillians to accept a government contractor’s numbers on faith without some form of independent verification. But I digress.

Even before the May floods Nashvillians who wanted to volunteer for projects on neighborhood public schools, for instance, were required to sign up with HON for teams that were limited to a certain number of people. (more…)

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Toward indigenous reform of public schools as an alternative to privatized charter schools

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike Byrd on April 28, 2010

I won’t lie. In the last couple of years I’ve gone from not really understanding charter schools to being alarmed that they may, in the name of children, be just another gateway for public cronies to allow private companies to raid our tax revenues.

Privatization seems to be the absolute state toward which Metro Nashville Public Schools are headed in order to compete via market principles with the private schools.

MNPS Director Jesse Register recommends it privatize.

Karl Dean intends to privatize.

The Obama Administration is mandating charter schools in Nashville.

As a newly minted public school parent I’m concerned that we’re going to lose the public option. So, I’m looking for alternatives for reform of our insular school system without giving it and revenues to private investors who have no public mandate to act in our interest other than what they can acquire from it. (more…)