“The more sitting [and studying], the more wisdom.” (Mishna Avot 2:7)
For decades, every major city has attempted to reduce the disparity in educational achievement between those in poverty and the more affluent. Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable is eager to support efforts by Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and others in the community to address the issues. School districts have been trying, but progress has been limited. A well-educated population would be a boon to every community. With the number of technical job openings in Nashville increasing, education must be a high priority. Those without a good education will remain mired in poverty which often leads to trouble in school, drug involvement and other crimes.
Several programs are in place to address challenges and opportunities. Academies of Nashville completely overhauled the programs and the curriculum of every comprehensive high school to offer learning addressed to career paths as well as to college preparation. MNPS is collaborating with Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in an extraordinary Pre-K program with learning centers at Ross, Bordeaux and Casa Azafran. Community Achieves brings wraparound services to schools, which serve as a hub for the community the school serves. In 2014-15, 14 schools served 11,865 students. Five more were to be added this year. Mayor Barry has committed to tripling the number of Community Achieves schools. PASSAGE, Positive and Safe Schools Advancing Greater Equity, addresses the disparity in discipline between white and minority children in schools. NJSJR encourages the continuation and expansion of forward-looking initiatives that strengthen public education in Nashville.