Wed04162014

News

A call to keep the focus on the children

In a Wednesday morning meeting with Memphis City Schools Supt. Dr. Kriner Cash, representatives from several organizations discussed ways to improve city schools. Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell
Special to the Tri-State Defender

In a Wednesday morning meeting with Memphis City Schools Supt. Dr. Kriner Cash, representatives from several organizations discussed ways to improve city schools.

The Rev. Dr. Dwight Montgomery, president of the Memphis Chapter SCLC, offered his impressions.

Tri-State Defender: How did this meeting come about?


Rev. Dr. Dwight Montgomery

Rev. Dwight Montgomery:
Representatives of SCLC, Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Memphis Education Association, and the Parent Teacher Association met with Dr. Cash to discuss a “Position Document” we gave him back in November.

TSD: That document has been made public. What is your impression of your meeting with Dr. Cash?

Dr. Montgomery: He was very cordial and receptive. Some recommendations he agreed with and others he did not, but we had a very productive meeting of the minds. Our common ground is we’re keeping the focus of our education system where it belongs: on providing the best and highest for our children.

TSD: Do you feel the focus has been taken off our children?

Dr. Montgomery: Let me put it this way: All of the organizations involved in (the) meeting came out strongly against surrendering the charter because we didn’t feel that information from either side was accurate or sufficient for voters to make an intelligent, informed decision. And that’s still a problem.

TSD: Where do you see the charter issue going?

Dr. Montgomery: Conflicting information from both sides has made the debate on this issue disorderly and irrational. Our children read the newspapers, and they see the news on television. Some of these elected officials should be ashamed of themselves for being such poor role models. This name-calling and over-the-top accusations are unacceptable.

If we vote to keep Memphis City Schools, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us.

If we vote to merge the two systems, we have even harder work ahead.

Either way, more parental involvement is needed in our children’s education. We say let the process go forward. People have a right to decide at the polls, but Memphis voters must be informed with the truth. If that is done, I believe we can then decide what is in the best interest of the children.

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