As we have pointed out previously, in 1996, then-Shelby County Commissioner Mark Norris argued that Memphians should not have the right to vote in the election of Shelby County Schools board members. In a meeting of the Board of Commissioners Education Committee on April 26, 1996, he said: “The people who live in the district [...]
From Education Week August 2, 1995, an article about a city referendum, consolidating a larger school district into a smaller one, and no interference from Tennessee Legislature. Here’s the article from 15 years ago: The word on everyone’s lips here is fear. That’s not the usual sentiment in this river city of 155,000 souls. Farsighted [...]
There hasn’t been a group of white politicians working this hard to keep a majority black constituency from voting since the days of the poll tax. Now that we think of it, we wish we hadn’t even mentioned the poll tax, such is the willingness of far right Republicans like Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey [...]
My new year’s resolution is to be a more active participant in our community, because Memphis is a city that thrives on and requires civic involvement.
We received this commentary from a Memphis City Schools teacher: Let it be said that during the current Memphis City Schools charter debate, one expert opinion has not been sought: the teachers. As a teacher in the system, I feel that I have not been properly prepared to make the biggest decision that our city [...]
Anytime there is a choice in Memphis and Shelby County governments between secrecy and transparency, it should be a no-brainer. That’s why we hope that Memphis City Council, in a Tuesday vote, bats aside the suggestions by its myopic economic development officials – supported by the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce – to close some [...]
We’re not sure if we’ve ever before received an invitation that made us feel guilty. But that’s how we felt when we got an invitation from our friends at Live From Memphis. It was an invitation to attend their 10th Anniversary celebration this Friday night. The truth is that they shouldn’t have to throw this [...]
We write an awful lot about the importance of a college-educated workforce, which accounts for almost 70% of a city’s economic success. Our friend, George Lord, sent us this link to a map that shows the percentage of the population with college degrees and allows for a quick comparison to our peer cities. In particular, [...]
There is nothing more faddish than economic development. Cities centralize economic development, cities decentralize economic development, cities create five-year economic growth plans, cities renounce five-year economic growth plans, well, you get the picture. But one thing is undeniable: there is no substitute for an actively involved city mayor. That’s why Memphis paid a high price [...]
This commentary by Memphis civic leader J. R. (Pitt) Hyde is a reminder that the important school reform work under way in Memphis City Schools must be protected if it relinquishes its charter: There is a great deal of uncertainty about the future direction of public education in our community, but of one thing we can be [...]
In a year-end 2010 wrap-up story, the Memphis Daily News referred to the Year of Resilience in which the bright spot in the local economy was that “Memphis’ hospitals, health care companies and biotechnology sector remained strong throughout 2010.” As we look toward 2011, there is no reason to think that this segment won’t have [...]
Now we’re really confused. First, Memphis City Schools Commissioner Jeff Warren fought for a slowdown to develop a plan to decide the future of Memphis City Schools, but just hours before losing decisively in his push of a Shelby County Schools-inspired agreement last night, he pulled his own plan from his back pocket. Or, more [...]
Food, like so many other things, doesn’t just happen. It takes time, patience, and effort. You have to want to achieve the final goal — a beautiful tomato or a fantastic meal — but don’t miss out on what it takes to get there. Spend even a little time with a farmer or chef and [...]
With the beautiful new Green Line and my cool new bike from Victory Bikes, I resolve to bike much more often. Also, anyone who talks negatively about Memphis (it’s got to stop) I will punch in the head.
My New Year’s wish is that the schools, the parents, and the children of our community find a way to openly and freely discuss sexuality, the burdens of teen parenting, and the ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies and the spread of HIV/AIDS/STDs, and that we finally and forever recognize abstinence alone is not an answer.
I am incredibly hopeful for what the New Year will bring in Memphis. Across the country and in our own community, we are seeing increasing evidence that children in even the most challenging circumstances can achieve at the highest level. The road to transforming our city’s education system into one that consistently produces excellence will [...]
This annual holiday in honor of America’s great nonviolent prophet, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is always a timely occasion to read the inspiring words of a minister who understood that his faith called for him to stand up for those traditionally frozen out of public decision-making and whose right to vote was always at [...]
We’ve asked some friends of ours to provide us with their thoughts about the new year, and we’ll be publishing them this week: I have no insider information, crystal balls or investors lined up. BUT… I think 2011 may be the year we finally start to figure some things out. More specifically, I think 2011 [...]
The Commercial Appeal’s Zack McMillin does another fine job of reporting on the school controversy, this time explaining the elements of the agreement advanced by Shelby County Schools and Memphis City Schools board member Jeff Warren: As the Memphis City Schools board prepares to consider a proposed stand down agreement with Shelby County Schools on [...]
Previously posted November 22, 2010: Shelby County Schools Board Chair David Pickler extending an overture to Memphis City Schools is the equivalent of Dr. Kevorkian volunteering to work in ICU. You know he’s going to do something, so you really don’t have anyone to blame but yourself if you fall for his unctuous pleas. After [...]