Press Release from the TN House Democratic Caucus, Jan. 21, 2014:
House Democrats call Barbic comments disturbing, ask Governor Haslam to disavow
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – House Democrats are calling on Governor Haslam to publicly disavow the comments by ASD Superintendent Chris Barbic that charter schools should not be held accountable for diversity.
“Only one day after the nation paused to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is disturbing to hear the head of our Achievement School District downplay the role of diversity in a well-rounded education,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “Too many people have fought too hard to bring about an integrated, well balanced school system for comments like this to move us towards resegregation.”
According to a report by WPLN’s Blake Farmer, “a crowd at Lipscomb University groaned as Chris Barbic, who leads the state’s Achievement School District, basically said it’s acceptable for charter schools to be somewhat segregated.”
In February of 2013, the Metro Nashville School Board adopted a plan to promote racial and socio-economic diversity in public schools in Nashville. The plan would require new charter school applicants to provide MTA transportation passes to low income students from across the city, among other initiatives.
“Governor Haslam should immediately disavow his administration from these offensive remarks by Chris Barbic,” said Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville). “Nashville has made great strides towards promoting diversity in our public and charter schools, and we do not need Mr. Barbic coming in here and excusing or condoning a segregated school system.”