Love/Hate Mail 

Remembering Stephen

Thank you for a wonderful tribute to my amazing and talented Uncle Stephen and his unique vision ("Remembering Stephen McRedmond," April 7). We love him dearly, and his humor, kindness and creativity will continue to inspire us all.

Meghan Murphy
Alexandria, Va.

The article on Stephen McRedmond was beautifully done and very appropriate. Stephen was a gentle, kind and wonderful contributor to Nashville. Only Christine Kreyling could have captured his spirit and vision as well. Well done.

Bill Mullins
Nashville

Thank you for your beautiful and well-written tribute to our dear friend, Stephen. We are shocked and grieving, but are thankful to have known him and to have been inspired by him. He brought much joy to many. May God's mysterious peace and comfort surround, sustain and renew all those who have been impacted by his sudden and tragic death.

Greg Gardner
Nashville

Farewell, Ned

I remember so well the economically deprived (translation: poor) little children dancing for Ned Ray McWherter in one impoverished county to a scratchy Beach Boys record ("The Last Common Man," April 7). The governor, a big burly man, was moved to teary eyes. So was I.

Sue Allison
Smithville, Tenn.

MTA WTF

The article pertaining to bus ridership is severely lacking ("Just Another Guy on the MTA," April 7). The writer didn't ride the bus at peak times, nor did he attempt to go out at night or on the weekends. I've been without a car for two years here and I can assure you that there are many obstacles to riding the bus. The biggest issues I've gathered from my experiences and those of others is that our city has very few bus shelters, and trying to enjoy Nashville at night or on the weekends without cabbing it or bumming rides is difficult since service is limited or nonexistent. Before you do an article like this you should interview some people who actually use these methods of transportation for commuting, surviving and thriving in Nashville.

Michelle Mansour
Nashville

Bicycle built for you

The piece on biking to work actually sounds really discouraging. Stay away from downtown, only use bike lanes, if it rains you have to sit in a pool of funky soup. People, it isn't nearly that bad. I commute year-round, even when the weather is less than perfect. I assure you there are strategies that make life on the bike easier. Thanks for the read, but check out www.bikeforums.net for some commuting tips. Also, biking got the same convenience score as walking? What?

Sam Frazee
Nashville

Defending the academies

We would like to correct the misrepresentation of high school academies in the article "Coarse Correction" (March 31). The primary purpose of the Academies of Nashville being implemented in Metro's 12 comprehensive high schools is to prepare all students for college and career. That's why the five-year master plan for Metro's academies (available on the district website) explicitly calls for postsecondary connections to each school — so academy students can begin earning college credit toward a postsecondary degree. Tying each academy to a career or thematic focus introduces real-world relevance into the core academic curriculum. Students may or may not end up pursuing a career in their academy focus area after college, but they are learning how academic skills in algebra, biology and English are applied to problems and scenarios they will face in the years ahead. Learning academic subjects within a context is proven to improve learning and understanding of complex subjects. The broader community has rallied around this innovative model for learning. To date, 127 Nashville-area businesses, community nonprofits, higher-education institutions and arts organizations have signed on as academy partners, offering their knowledge, expertise and support to students and teachers.

Today's global economy requires students to have a college degree or some sort of postsecondary credential in order to have a prosperous career that can support a family and a quality of life to which we all aspire. The unfortunate reality is that for years, an overwhelming majority of high school graduates in Metro schools have been insufficiently prepared for college. As an example, despite the best efforts of excellent teachers and an outstanding International Baccalaureate (IB) program, 61 percent of Hillsboro's students failed to reach the minimum definition of college preparedness in 2009 and 2010 — a 21 composite score on the ACT. We commend Dr. Register and his leadership team for insisting that these results are unacceptable, and for carrying out systemic reform through the Academies of Nashville, of which IB is a part, to ensure that all students in our city are college- and career-ready.

Marc Hill
Chief Education Officer
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Sydney Rogers
Executive Director
Alignment Nashville

Connie Williams
Executive Director
PENCIL Foundation

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