Skip to Content

Mayor Briley Announces Education "Kitchen Cabinet" To Address MNPS Priority Schools

1/18/2019
Thomas Mulgrew 615-862-6461

Mayor David Briley today announced that he is convening an education “Kitchen Cabinet” to help address the needs of MNPS’ 21 Priority schools.

The Kitchen Cabinet is made up of a diverse set of educators, parents, nonprofit leaders and community advocates from across the city. It will meet three times in early 2019 and make recommendations to Mayor Briley on how the city can better support our lowest-performing schools.

The Kitchen Cabinet’s goals are as follows:

  • Analyze data on Metro Nashville’s Priority schools, including academic performance and strategies to support these schools.
  • Identify promising best practices that support school improvement, including those from other urban districts
  • Gather community input on how to support the district’s Priority schools and how to best leverage the role of the Mayor’s Office

“As mayor, I have a responsibility to ensure our students receive the best possible education,” said Mayor Briley. “My education Kitchen Cabinet will take a collaborative approach to addressing the systemic challenges faced by our Priority schools. At my direction, the group will act with urgency, as we know many students in these schools need and deserve better educational outcomes immediately. I look forward to seeing the group’s recommendations.”

The members of the Kitchen Cabinet:

  • Dr. Shawn Joseph, MNPS Superintendent
  • Dr. Sharon Gentry, MNPS School Board Chair
  • Harry Allen, Chief Relationship Officer, Studio Bank, MNPS graduate and 2018 NPEF Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
  • Dr. Jarred Amato, Teacher, Maplewood High School
  • Katie Cour, President and CEO, Nashville Public Education Foundation
  • Ericka Myles Dixie, Librarian, Alex Green Elementary School
  • Dr. Vince Durnan, Director, University School of Nashville
  • Chris Echegaray, Community Achieves Site Manager, Whitsitt Elementary School
  • Nancy Eisenbrandt, COO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Bob Kucher, VP of Programs & Partnerships, PENCIL
  • Dr. Watechia Lawless, Principal, Napier Enhanced Option Elementary School
  • Tameka Marshall, Teacher, Norman Binkley Elementary School
  • Erin O’Hara, Executive Director, Tennessee Education Research Alliance
  • Robert Taylor, Director- Men’s Initiative, Tennessee State University
  • Dwayne Tucker, CEO, LEAD Public Schools
  • Derrick Williams, COO, Communities in Schools
  • Tomás Yan, Teacher, Antioch Middle School
  • Maria Paula Zapata, Family Engagement Manager, Conexión Américas

The group’s three meetings will focus on the following: learning about state and district strategies to support Priority schools and identifying promising practices from other districts and across the country to support school improvement. The group will also be tasked with outside data review and reading to prep for each session. The work of the group will inform practices at all MNPS schools, where applicable.

In September 2018, the Tennessee Department of Education released the State’s list of the bottom five percent of schools based on test scores or graduation rates, also known as Priority schools. The list is generated every three years. The following 21 MNPS schools were identified as Priority schools:

  • Alex Green Elementary
  • Amqui Elementary
  • Antioch Middle
  • Bellshire Elementary
  • Caldwell Elementary
  • Cumberland Elementary
  • Gra-Mar Middle
  • Haynes Middle
  • Jere Baxter Middle
  • Joelton Middle
  • Madison Middle
  • Maplewood High
  • McMurray Middle
  • Moses McKissack Middle
  • Robert E. Lilliard Elementary
  • Rosebank Elementary
  • The Cohn Learning Center
  • Tom Joy Elementary
  • Warner Elementary
  • Whites Creek High
  • Wright Middle