Metro Schools Director Pedro Garcia says the district needs to work harder at closing the achievement gap between black and white students.
“In the past we were still doing standards and curricula alignment and we’re pretty much there….so now it’s bringing everyone together to make it happen.”
Garcia gave his third annual state of Metro Schools address last night at Creswell Arts Magnet Middle School in North Nashville. He says the achievement gap will also take attention from the community and that it can’t be completely solved by teachers.
Garcia wants greater parent involvement, but he also mentioned several ideas like smaller class sizes, gender separated classes and access for all children to preschool.
For parent and Metro teacher Janice Davis, she liked what she heard about improving expectations of both students and teachers.
“I think they need to be raised. Because I think if our children have high expectations then we are going to be the top achieving district like Dr. Garcia and our mission says, so our standards have to be higher. And all children can learn.”
Garcia says improving student and teacher performance across the board isn’t necessarily a factor of funding. He suggests the district might need to re-direct resources as its facing a 10-million dollar budget shortfall for next year.