“Chattanooga has only one option, and it is private.” This anonymous opinion was referring to good schools in the Tennessee, specifically the Chattanooga area. In doing a little research on public schools in Tennessee, I came across a message board with many opinions that echoed that line of thought…if you want your kids to get into college, the only place to send them in Chattanooga is a private school. I did not grow up or attend public school in TN and didn’t move to the Chattanooga area until about 2 years ago, so I really didn’t know any reputations of school districts or specific schools of the area. But with the recent visit from eduction reformer Geoffrey Canada to UTC and our upcoming class project relating to public education, I wanted to know more.
The more I read from this message board (about TN schools in general, not just Chattanooga), the more angry I became. There was another comment stating as a parent in TN, you should do all you can to send your children to private schools. Let me pose a hypothetical here: what if, instead of focusing energy and finances on sending children to private schools, the energy was focused on bettering public school education for all children in the area? Wouldn’t it be great if not just a handful, but all of the children in your community received a good education? What would the future of that community look like if all of today’s children received a better education than yesterday? Instead of fleeing from the failing public schools, shouldn’t we as a collective city be helping those schools? My hope is that even a few people will say yes.
Stay tuned to my blog for more posts relating to our upcoming CreatAthon and more on public school education in Tennessee.