“This is what my principal had to do today:
- Spend his time going through the building with the Governor’s security detail instead of dealing with students.
- Tell his teachers that they could not attend the TN Ready event.
- Tell his teachers how to dress tomorrow.
- Have teachers.....who can’t attend (neither can he, evidently) set up tables and chairs for the attendees after school.
- Tell teachers that students could not use the library all day tomorrow (there goes effective plan time for 6 teachers.)
- Figure out a plan that would disrupt our dismissal as little as possible, since they insist on parking in the lot where parents circle around for the car rider line.
On Wednesday, I learned (but NOT from the State Department of Education) that a school in my district had been selected for the listening tour. (I had the thought earlier that morning and expected that one of the schools in my district would be selected.) As Chairman of the Knox County Board of Education my name was on the NO CONFIDENCE LETTER voted on by the Knox County Board of Education that was sent to the state Department of Education. In case you forgot, the last time the Board of Education passed a resolution by Ms. Rountree against TNReady testing in 2016 they chose her district--and Mount Olive Elementary--for the dog and pony public relations production to celebrate our success in science in October 2016.
To refresh your memory, you can read more about that here...http://shoppernewsnow.com/betty-bean/amber-rountrees-big-october/.
Coincidence? Probably not...and it isn't about accessibility or availability at Halls Elementary.
Their choice of time was another issue. The meeting was scheduled from 3:00-4:30 p.m. even after being warned about long car rider lines, and being asked to push the start time back to 3:30 to allow for traffic to thin out. Another major problem was that teachers are under contract and can’t leave until 3:15 and 4:00 p.m. Is the state Department of Education really that out of touch?
They allotted only 90 minutes to learn how they could make the testing process better after four years of failures. The Knox County Board of Education recently sat from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. listening to community members affected by budget cuts. Yet the Department of Education allotted 90 minutes to discuss how to improve the process by which millions and millions of dollars have been wasted each year on TNReady testing. Now I am not recommending listening for 8 hours…but 90 minutes?
At first we heard the meeting was open to all educators, but the Department of Education quickly declared the meeting was "by invitation only" and limited to approximately 30 guests. So the Department of Education is holding a “listening tour” but the people they were going to listen to were already selected! Let me be perfectly clear. Contrary to the Governor’s comment, a representative from an independent, non-profit organization called SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education) told Knox County Schools which two people to invite to be a part of the discussion. I wonder if any other districts were also told who they could invite? Even the teachers at Halls Elementary were not allowed to attend and it is my understanding the Principal was not invited either until later today.
Check out the people conducting the listening tour here...https://tennesseestar.com/2018/08/21/lame-duck-governor-haslam-announces-six-stop-education-listening-tour/.
Do they really want to listen or is this entire six stop tour a big sham wasting more money and time? I will let you decide because I believe Tennesseans and especially Knoxvillians are smarter than this. This has been an utter PR disaster on the part of the state, and this is only the first stop of six statewide.
I will blog tomorrow about my experience in the listening tour meeting.