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Education in Nashville

In Metro Nashville Public Schools, African American students are three times as likely to be suspended as white students. Students with these kinds of disciplinary records are more likely to drop out of school and end up in the criminal justice system. Additionally, primarily black schools are often underfunded and students of color have fewer opportunities for advanced academics.

To effectively break the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts students of color, the NOAH membership selected the area of Education as one of its top priorities. NOAH’s Education Task Force recognizes that only powerful organizing and leadership will bring about the systemic change necessary to eliminate racism in our school system.



Davidson County education ranking out of Tennessee’s 95 counties


Black students expelled or suspended in Davidson County every year


Incarcerated individuals over 18 have not graduated high school


What Should Be Done?

Robust implementation of Social Emotional Learning programs has proven to reduce suspensions, increase student achievement, and allow students to address the emotional and behavioral issues that challenge their success. Nashville schools need the resources to maintain SEL programs and other wrap-around services that will help their students succeed.

Additionally, the school board needs to broaden its participation opportunities during meetings. By allowing parents, students, and educators to raise their concerns, the school board will be able to support the needs of Nashville students.

About the Education Task Force

The NOAH Education Task Force (ETF) includes teachers, parents, professionals in the education sector, Metro Nashville Public Schools graduates and other NOAH member representatives concerned about eliminating racism in the school system. The ETF has three committees which are focused on three specific issue areas:

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Breaking the school- to-prison pipeline through robust SEL supports (including Restorative Practices) in all schools. Learn more about our Social Emotional Learning Committee, which meets every fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m.

About Academics

Increasing racial equity in Advanced Academic programming and pushing for a historically accurate curriculum. Learn more about our Academics Committee, which meets every first Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m.

State Funding

The state of Tennessee provides woefully inadequate funding to the state’s largest school districts, leaving it up to Metro Nashville to foot the bill for our priorities. Learn more about our State Funding Committee, which meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m.

The Education Task Force meetings are always the first
Monday of the month at 6:30 pm. Register here:

The NOAH ETF has developed powerful relationships with MNPS school board members, including board chair Christiane Buggs, and Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle; Metro Council people, including Delishia Porterfield, Tom Druffel and Bob Mendes; and Tennessee legislators Rev. Harold Love, Rep. Bob Freeman, Rep. John Ray Clemmons and Senator Jeff Yarbro. The ETF is also in relationship with the EdTrust of Tennessee, the American Muslim Advisory Council, the Nashville Public Education Foundation and others.

  1. The NOAH ETF was successful in getting Metro Nashville Public Schools to alter its discipline policy to exclude suspensions for elementary school students. Unfortunately, this policy was rolled back in 2020 when principals lacked resources to provide social emotional learning supports. The ETF continues to fight for replacement of these policies as well as the funding and support for SEL programming.
  2. The NOAH ETF held four successful public meetings for school board candidates in 2020 with over 3,000 people in attendance, including facebook viewers. One elected school board member cited the NOAH public meetings as the most organized and powerful public event for this election.
  3. The NOAH State Funding Committee held a legislative roundtable with the majority of the Davidson County delegation present. This meeting developed the relationships necessary to help the ETF strategize on funding issues going into 2021 and 2022.