WILL THE DENVER PLAN BECOME THE NASHVILLE PLAN
Last week, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph announced that the district was preparing to undergo a realignment that would change how the central office supervises the district. According to Joseph, the move will create four zones, each with its own community superintendent, overseeing numerous school clusters, or groups of schools. In talking to people about this, their initial assumptions were that the clusters would fall into north, south, east, and west zones. But that’s not quite how things worked out.
Hillsboro, Hillwood, and Overton will be one cluster. Antioch, Cane Ridge, and Glencliff will be another. Pearl-Cohn, Hunters Lane, and Whites Creek will be grouped together. As will be McGavock, Maplewood, and Stratford. If you never saw the official announcement from MNPS, despair not; it’s only been released through MNPS’s job postings. Let’s take a deeper look at what this change could mean for Nashville’s schools. National readers you’ll want to follow along and I’ll explain why at the end.
Before we go any further, I want to go on record as stating that this is an awfully big change to be announced in such a haphazard manner with very little public input or discussion. This is not just a “leadership change” but rather a large-scale district realignment that could have serious repercussions for the district if it doesn’t work. All we have to do is go back ten years for evidence of how serious the repercussions could be. Nashville operated under a similar structure during Dr. Pedro Garcia’s tenure as Director of Schools. But then MNPS changed to the current system after the state took over the district in 2008 due to low performance. Currently we have three Executive Officers who oversee all the schools in each separate tier: high school, middle school, and elementary school. That means we have an expert at every tier, which is important because the needs of each tier are so disparate.
To be fair, some would argue that the previous system under Garcia was not a major contributor to the need for corrective action by the state. Low performance was more a result of No Child Left Behind being enacted, which changed the way things were WILL THE DENVER PLAN BECOME THE NASHVILLE PLAN « Dad Gone Wild: