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I felt the need to officially disclose that I am NOT and the education category of my online think tank is NOT and has never been affiliated with I-Zone (Innovation Zone) or Teacher Town in Memphis, which is apparently designed to make Memphis the come-to place for Education Reform. I am NOT and the education reform category of this blog is neither affiliated with any other education consulting agencies in Memphis or anywhere else. After reading and hearing about Teacher Town and i-Zone, it amused me that the nature of these agencies is so similar to that of the education category of my/this blog, and I am compelled to offer this clarity…

Accordingly, no school districts in this city, state, or nation, or on the globe, per se, are required to consult with or pay either of the named or any other agencies for any information acquired from this blog, though, of course, those agencies can charge for any services or ideas that they provide on their own. Since I am the one and only one who has invested significant time, without pay, into brainstorming solutions to discussed issues here, I am the one, if anyone, who should be compensated for it and/or funding should be disbursed directly to school districts or specific schools that have need and are interested in implementing ideas from this or any of my other blogs, and to no other middle persons. I’m further stressing this because of an encounter that I had with Teacher Town, to which I applied for employment and was invited for an “interview” after discovering an opening on a job board…

The initial turn-off was the location, primarily because of where I’d been instructed to park, on a street curb in front of a building several buildings behind the agency, which is located in the Memphis College of Art building downtown. After entering the facility and informing the security officer, who had not given me parking instructions, of where I had parked, he stated that I should have parked in the Memphis College of Art’s parking lot, which sounds more logical (though placement of an organization of this nature in the building of an art college is questionable), and which is where I’d initially parked until calling the building and being told by a lady who answered that I was to park “behind the building.”

After speaking with the security officer, I decided to take his advice and walk back to my car to park in the Memphis College of Art’s parking lot after all. I signed into the building, still a few minutes prior to my scheduled interview, and I was flabbergasted while walking through the lobby as I encountered a painting, among several on the walls, of Kevin Hart, or someone who very closely resembles him, with a noose around his neck. I could hardly believe my eyes. I was spooked out for sure, but decided to proceed with the interview anyway… Candidates scheduled for an earlier interview were still being seen when I and several other ladies arrived via elevator to the floor on which the organization is based. I and each of these ladies took seats outside of the fated meeting room…

…I was impressed upon entering this meeting room with the extended conference table to which I and the other ladies who were scheduled for this particular session would be seated for discussion and a work simulation that required us to provide solutions to real issues in schools… One of the issues was student safety. The school of subject, literal or theoretical, was located in a high crime area where students frequently encountered violence while en route to and from school, and we were to offer a resolution to this. We were also to provide a solution to poor student academic performance for students in schools being serviced by the agency. We were also to explain how we’d handle being assigned budgeting duties by a superior whose job it was to handle the budget…

Of course, I had a lot to say, and when they saw me writing so much they decided to, instead, have us to discuss our ideas with selected partners that we’d stand and present with before the interviewers. I presented my solution for student safety as a chief priority. My suggestion was/is to purchase patrol cars for each affected school that would patrol areas within the school zone(s) while students are in route to and from school. I further suggested that the patrol car(s)* should have cameras and multi-screen monitors that would display activities in hot spots. I also suggested that the school officer(s) should wear cameras, just as city police officers should all be required to wear them, for the purpose of capturing and providing footage to appointees who would be responsible for identifying culprits and conducting focus groups and fairly disciplining students involved in altercations and/or notifying local authorities, where relevant (*School patrol cars could also bear the names and logos or mascots of their respective schools). A single patrol car could be assigned to multiple schools with varied start and dismissal times and/or the elementary, middle, and high school campuses of schools that share a common namesake).

To address the issue of poor student academic performance, I suggested that all schools should acquire reading software to help struggling students learn to read and/or improve reading proficiency. Students should be required to utilize these programs for designated periods of time during each school day, and the software should be designed to capture students’ progress over time… I did not get a chance to provide an answer on the budgeting issue, but, to answer it now, I’d be very leery of a superior whose job it is to balance an agency budget asking me to do it. If imperative, however, I’d do what I’m asked, and make note of any discrepancies found…

To make a long story short, I was not offered the position, and, despite the appearance that the agency and others similarly had been created, at least to some extent, based upon my blog, which was actually a Tennessee LLC until the last couple of months, when I allowed it and the yolandamichellemartin.org domain associated with it to dissolve, particularly considering that I had not and have never been compensated in any way for this work—My WordAds application to monetize this blog wasn’t even approved after about two years since I applied to the program.

Yolanda Michelle Martin Proof of Tennessee Business Dissolution

Proof of dissolution of my Tennessee business

Accordingly, I’ve decided to do some reorganization that’ll involve incorporating this blog into my own self-hosted professional website that would improve the odds of my being compensated for my work, while making educational and other solutions readily available to all school districts, etc., whether or not they could all afford to pay for my advice…

 

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