In The City Paper, Brantley Hargrove has some more details on a meltdown in the making: the ouster of Mary Catherine Bradshaw, one of the most respected teachers in the Metro public school system, from her post as head of Hillsboro High's International Baccalaureate program. The lack of any explanation by school officials has left infuriated parents to speculate if MNPS means to reduce the quality of a Hillsboro education to glorified vocational training:
According to those close to the teacher, Bradshaw will be transferred to another school by the end of the semester. Metro schools’ news release doesn't give any reason. It only notes that the teacher will continue on with the school district.
But consult the Facebook page with nearly 1,300 members as of this writing — primarily friends and grateful current and former students — and theories abound.
Sources familiar with the situation say Bradshaw was approached during spring break by Hillsboro High principal Terry Shrader, who told her she'd be “happier” at another school. Neither Shrader nor associate superintendent for high schools Jay Steele responded to interview requests.
That Facebook number — which you can access at the Burros for Bradshaw page — may well hit 1,500 by morning. As some have noted elsewhere, it's perhaps a tribute to Bradshaw's 27 years of influence that the comments are unusually thoughtful, well written and grammatically correct. And there are signs the story is going national.
Parents are suggesting this seems an odd way to lure students back to MNPS from private schools and neighboring Williamson County. Meanwhile, a commenter at The Tennessean puts the situation in black-humored perspective, given the recent treatment of teachers in legislative houses across the country (including our own):
"Who needs tenure or unions......"