Sunday, August 24, 2008

NashvOLD could learn from ChattaNEWga

Commentary by Cesar A. Muedas
Chattanooga is 55 years younger than Nashville (yes, I did the fact-checking) but maybe ahead of our Nashvilleans times at least with regard to two unique attractions:
(1) The Tennessee Aquarium
Indeed a gem that every family should visit. The real deal; and worth every penny of the admission fee.
Back in Nashville, and for the record, I like Opry Mills and do not have anything against the Rainforest CafĂ© – our family had dinner there only 8 days go – and nothing either against the Aquarium Restaurant - I chaperoned my daughter’s brownie troop’s visit there last year. But comparing either to the Chattanooga experience is like comparing a seahorse to a Tennessee walking horse (and, by the way, you still have until August 30 to see several of the latter at the Shelbyville National Celebration).
(2) The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported two days ago that …

The first public charter school in Hamilton County will serve girls only.
After school administrators praised the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy’s application at Tuesday’s work session, the board on Thursday voted to approve the school’s opening in July 2009.
Hamilton County has received several charter school applications since the state began allowing them in 2002, but all of them either have been denied or have withdrawn their applications after approval.
“I think they made one mistake in their application,” joked Hamilton County Board of Education member Rhonda Thurman of the newly approved school. “They said they planned to advertise (to get students to come) — I don’t believe you’re going to have to advertise.”
Seven of the eight board members voted for approval, while the eighth member, Joe Conner, abstained from voting because he was absent during Tuesday’s work session discussing the school.
Within the next 30 days, members of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation, the school’s sponsoring organization, will begin negotiating with school system officials to draft a contract […]
The academy, which will operate on a year-round schedule similar to Hardy Elementary, will serve girls in schools failing to make adequate yearly progress — currently Howard School of Academics and Technology, Lookout Valley Middle-High, Ooltewah High, Soddy-Daisy High and East Side Elementary — or students who themselves have failed to score proficient on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests […] — the academy will begin in 2009 only with grades six and nine and will continue to grow one grade per year.
I am already a fan of the future Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy! Thanks to the Hamilton County Board of Education for showing us what progress can look like.
And finally, I could not escape a final insinuation that came to mind as I was typing this Chattanooga/Nashville piece:
Mayor Corker → Senator Corker ……….Mayor Dean → ?? Mmmm…
Cesar Muedas loves Nashville and is the proud parent of a third-grader (daughter) and first-grader (son) attending public school in MNPS.

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