Hume Fogg students lend spoken word poetry to pedestrian safety

A group of students at Hume Fogg is fed up with Nashville’s poor track record in pedestrian safety.  A student group, Stop! Take Notice, formed to do something about it after the December 2013 death of their classmate in a crosswalk outside their school.

For a few years now, students have been fiercely advocating for better pedestrian safety around the city, including the passage of the Elena Zamaro Memorial Act which (slightly) stiffened the penalties for seriously injuring or killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk.  The student group has also installed eye-catching art around downtown to try to raise awareness among drivers about pedestrian safety.

And just a few weeks ago, the student group released an excellent video featuring a spoken word poem by former classmate Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay and videography by recent graduates Arif Bashar, Jonathan Warkenitin, and some of their classmates.  It’s well worth a few minutes of your time:

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MNPS’ transportation woes continue, this time with MTA bus passes

A lot of high schoolers at Metro Nashville Public Schools are having trouble getting their free MTA bus pass this school year, The Tennessean is reporting.  Through the city’s StrIDe program, public high school students in the county can use their school ID badges as bus passes.  But with the switchover to a new student information platform this year, a lot of students are having trouble getting those badges.

On top of those problems, many students (of all ages) in the system aren’t assigned to a regular school bus route yet — because of the adoption problems with the same computer system.

Earlier: Some MNPS students don’t have a bus route, even though the school year has already started

On the plus side, the school system’s spokesman says they’re on track to issue those ID cards a month earlier than last year:

Many students who attend an out-of-zone school, such as magnet school students, depend on MTA buses to get to school on a daily basis.  Joe Bass said that some students are being given temporary MTA passes to tide them over till the problem is resolved.  They expect all students to be issued school IDs by August 26.

Meanwhile, all of the school bus routing issues should have been resolved by August 13, the district reports.

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Stand for Children gets a whoopin’ from Nashville voters

TC Weber, a local education activist, wrote up a great (opinionated) synopsis of what happened in the latest school board race, and how the no-charters beat the yes-charters:

The results are a clear reaffirmation of the issues public education advocates across the city have been working on for the last several years. What makes things even more special is that this wasn’t a victory by one small group of advocates in one district. No, this was a true grassroots collection of city-wide advocates focusing not just on their district races but on all races. Over the last several months, through social media, these separate individuals from different pockets of the city reached out to each other and banded together across the city for the cause of public education.

Head on over to his blog to read the full piece, which is well worth your time.

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Vote tallies are rolling in, and…

It’s a whooping for charter school advocates vying for spots on Nashville’s school board.

Well, except District 7, where the anti-charter candidate (Will Pinkston) just barely eked out a win with 50.12% of the vote.  That’s compared to his closest challenger and charter school advocate, Jackson Miller, who got 49.14% of votes cast.

In other words, Pinkston beat Miller by just 36 votes.  And that, I tell you, is why your vote matters.

In District 1, Sharon Dixon Gentry won with 55.66% of the vote; District 3’s Jill Speering got 58.14%; District 5’s Christianne Buggs beat her three challengers with 58.25% of votes cast; and Amy Frogge got 63.94% of the vote in District 9.  All of those candidates were against expanding the footprint of charter schools in Davidson County, and each had at least one charter school advocate competing against them.

As of this story, all precincts had reported.  There were more races, of course, including District 1 on the Metro Council.  Nick Leonardo won that race with 57.37% of the vote.  And there were some primaries for state and national offices.  You can find all the results from Nashville on the Metro government’s webpage for election results.

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First Day at MNPS

It’s the first day of the school year at MNPS, as these excited parents are happy to show us:

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Cold Air; Slippery Roads

The air temperature will dip to 15° overnight.  Some drivers are reporting slick road surfaces out there (though arteries seem to be better):

A number of schools will remain closed tomorrow, including Davidson county.

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