Obama 303, Romney 235
Obama 50.6, Romney 48.7
Can we pause for a second in the endless SCS-over-MCS discussion and talk about the fact that 75% or less of either district's students are not graduating ready for college? Why do we as a metro hold up SCS as a paragon of academic virtue when their scores show 57-60% proficiency on Tennessee end of course exams, which are widely regarded as some of the least rigorous in the US? When 4% of MCS grads and 20% of SCS grads are scoring just a 21 on the ACT, when the average freshman ACT at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville is a 27? The fact is that both of these districts are not preparing the majority of their students to succeed in the modern economy. It's about time that we as a city, county, and metro stop pointing fingers at each other and recognize that our educational systems are failing our kids and failing our future.
The answer is involved and dedicated teachers who accept nothing but the best for their kids. It doesn't matter if this is at Soulsville or in MCS, in the ASD or SCS.
Educating children is not the same as running a football team. In athletics, there are clear talents and schools with the resources to attract them. The 100,000 students, almost all of them black, being failed daily by this city are not suffering from lack of resources. They are suffering from a lack of belief, both from themselves and from a community that does not believe they can do it.
This year I taught middle schoolers in one of Memphis' worst public schools to read and interpret Shakespeare. Don't look through the window and tell me what I am doing is impossible when every experience, every day, tells me it is not. It is easy to cast rocks from afar and play into the preconceived notions of deadbeat parents and kids who don't care. What's harder is learning that those notions are false.
By Richard Alley
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