#MCS Following the Media – 1/29/11-1/31/11

Students From Kingsbury and Whitehaven High Schools debate the charter surrender resolution

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the debate between two local high schools about the charter surrender resolution. I gotta say, those kids prepped their butts off on a topic that has vexed more than a few adults. Kudos to debaters Arlana Addison and Ebony Bailey of Kingsbury High School, Ashley Ray and Angel Conway of Whitehaven High School, their coaches, Ian Smith, Sam Kuttner, Malica Johnson and Jordan LeVeque as well as the Memphis Urban Debate League, a 501c3 non-profit organization for hosting the event.

While the event was an awesome exercise in critical thinking skills and preparation, one MCS board member, Kenneth Whalum, saw the event as a threat rather than a learning experience. The Commercial Appeal reported yesterday that Commissioner Whalum has threatened to pull the groups funding as a result.

This threat by Commissioner Whalum is a shameless attempt to stifle dialogue, and in the process, quash a lively and educational discussion on an issue that, more than anyone else, will impact the very students that participated in this event as well as their peers. Whalum should be ashamed, but I know he isn’t.

If you think this kind of exercise has a positive impact on educational outcomes, I urge you to make a donation to the organization. All donations are tax deductible.

In other news, today at 2pm, the Memphis City Council meets with members of the Shelby County Delegation in preparation for upcoming legislation pending before the state legislature. At this point, the bill in question is SB25 sponsored by Sen. Mark Norris of Collierville. This bill is scheduled to be in committee in the Senate tomorrow, and in the House on Thursday.

Due to the large majority enjoyed by Republicans, who are largely supportive of the bill, chances are it will sail through committee and end up before the full House and Senate when they reconvene on Monday. I’ll be keeping an eye on this and several other bills in anticipation of legal action threatened by Citizens for Better Education on state and federal constitutional grounds. How that plays out in the courts, and what impact it will have on the upcoming March 8th election is unknown at this time.

I’ll be keeping an eye out on this and several other developments as they occur. Have a great day and I’ll be talking to you tomorrow.

January 29, 2011

Showdown over schools: Money talks loudest in Memphis merger debate

January 30, 2011

House, Senate committees to review school-merger bills this week
MCS students weigh in on charter surrender debate
Memphis City Council Braces for Battle in MCS Charter Surrender
Students Formally Debate School Merger
Consolidation Debate From the Students’ Perspective
MCS students weigh in on charter surrender debate
Up for debate: Whitehaven, Kingsbury students argue pros, cons of merger

January 31, 2011

NY Times parachutes in, hits close to bull’s eye
ICYMI: Schools pieces from weekend
Memphis City Council could vote again Tuesday on surrender of city schools’ charter
Cash and Whalum: Uneasy Collaborators
Forum to Address Students’ Needs in School Showdown
Elected Leaders Meet Tuesday on Schools Legislation
Mayor Wharton Vows to Defend Referendum Vote
Student Debate Over Charter Fuels Legal Questions
Group Threatens Lawsuit if State Lawmakers Block School Merger Vote

One Reply to “#MCS Following the Media – 1/29/11-1/31/11”

  1. Thanks so much for the kudos. We are so grateful that people actually listened to our voices. It was also a chance for us to enhance our public speaking skills. It took us courage, hardwork and liong nights of vigorous work. We hope our hard work pays off some way in voter’s eyes. The education of the upcoming generation matters.

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