It's a no-brainer that educating Memphis' children should be one of the city's greatest priorities, but some scratch their heads in doubt when talk turns to raising taxes to get that done.
With that sentiment as a backdrop, supporters of a proposed half-cent sales tax increase to fund pre-kindergarten education are getting busy trying to drum up support. On Tuesday, the Rev. Keith Norman, president of the local NAACP, announced that the Memphis Branch backs the proposal.
The announcement via a media release simply spread a position that Norman had made known in late August at the Children's Museum of Memphis during a local group's kickoff of what is being dubbed The Memphis Pre-K Initiative.
The 4th Annual Southern Heritage Classic College Fair – hosted by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services – will be Saturday (Sept. 14th, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Pipkin Building.
"I get as excited about the college fair as I do about the big football game between Tennessee State and Jackson State," Wharton said.
"Exposing our young people to college opportunities is critical because a college degree means opportunities that are not as readily available to those who have no higher education. Also, in today's economy a college degree increases earning potential."
An achievement incentive to the tune of $3 million in scholarships was delivered to Memphis-area high school seniors on Wednesday courtesy of Tennessee State University and its first female president, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover.
A Memphis native, Dr. Glover unveiled the scholarships news during a special Presidential Scholarship reception at the Downtown Sheraton.
"We look forward to providing access to college for prospective students that are committed to achievement in the classroom as evidenced by their academic credentials," said Dr. Glover.
NASHVILLE – Teamwork does pay, even if you are not part of the team. Just be good at what you do.
Ask Ron Cobbs, a NASA avionics chief engineer assigned to the International Space Station operations. His input has helped investigators trying to unravel the cause of a spacesuit malfunction during a recent spacewalk.
"I personally am not part of the official Extravehicular Mobility Unit (space suit) investigation team that is looking into the suit anomaly," said Cobb, a 1989 TSU graduate with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. "
Cookeville – The people living in Cookeville expect to find newspapers at the end of their driveways and mail in their mail boxes, but not this: recruitment flyers from the Ku Klux Klan.
"The KKK Wants You," it says, and on it is a number and website so that those interested can get involved.
"It breaks my heart. It just breaks my heart. I grew up in Cookeville and I was a child when Martin Luther King gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech. We just honored that last week and I thought, 'It is 2013 and we're doing this again?' It's devastating to me," said one recipient who chose to remain anonymous.
The state commissioner of education's visit to Whitney Achievement Elementary School was about over as principal Debra Broughton was asked for her reflection of the fast-moving experience.
"This visit is empowering," Broughton said. "It is energizing and for the next quarter I can persevere knowing that we did the work and that we've laid a great foundation, that we can start to push harder and begin to see the fruits of our labor."
Commissioner Kevin Huffman's visit was one of several stops during a busy Wednesday in Memphis that included a closed-door session with some teachers. At Whitney, the tour group included Broughton, Achievement School District (ASD) Supt. Chris Barbic and State Rep. Barbara Cooper (D-Memphis) dropping in on several classrooms.
Recently, while speaking to a group of Memphians committed to raising the number of college graduates in the city, Dorsey Hopson started out by saying, "thanks."
Six months ago, he could not have envisioned standing before the attendees as the interim superintendent of the newly merged Shelby County Schools, he said.
Well, if so, that means that he did not see coming then what happened to him on Tuesday night. The Shelby County Board of Education – a seven-member body operating one short – unanimously turned to Hopson to lead the district on a permanent basis. The move meant the end of a nationwide search to find "the right person" for the job.