Wednesday, May 6, 2009

MNPS Attire: Seven Schools Opt Out

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2009 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge uniform02.jpg
Metro public school administrators have approved requests from seven schools that want to opt out of school uniforms -- the so-called "standard school attire" (SSA) requirement -- for 2009-2010. When SSA was implemented in 2007, the school board included a provision allowing each school the chance to request an opt-out after two years. Only seven schools asked to opt out and all were granted:

- Hillsboro High
- Hume-Fogg Magnet High
- Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet
- Meigs Magnet Middle
- MNPS Middle College High
- Nashville Big Picture High School
- Nashville School of the Arts

To opt out a principal had to give reasons and also show support from students, parents and staff. It's hard not to notice that opt-outers, aside from Hillsboro, are all magnet and special schools. Why only these making the ask? Perhaps they're the schools where skepticism to SSA by parents and teachers was strongest from the outset, but your guess is as good as mine.

Research evidence is clear that school uniforms fail to improve school outcomes, and MNPS officials have offered no persuasive evidence that SSA yields positive outcomes in Nashville either behaviorally or academically. We do know that SSA is costly to parents and time-wasting for teachers and administrators who have to police it. Nonetheless, stakeholders at most schools in the system are apparently content to stick with it. As a parent at one of the opt-out seven, I'm glad to be free of this nonsense.

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