UTC Professor Studies Community Problems

Monday, September 24, 2012

The UTC Center for Applied Social Research conducted research for the Chattanooga Gang Assessment, a comprehensive community assessment that provides the foundation for a full community approach to gang abatement.  

“UTC’s specific role through the CASR was to conduct the Student and School Component of the Assessment,” said Dr. Barbara Medley, associate professor of Sociology and Director of CASR.   “This Component included a survey of over 5,000 middle and high school students from 13 schools throughout the county, 800 Hamilton County Schools teachers, administrators, and staff, and nine focus groups with school personnel and parents.”

UTC’s Center for Applied Social Research partnered with the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies to conduct the assessment. 

“The decision to be part of this project was directly tied to UTC’s mission as an engaged metropolitan university, and in this capacity, its responsibility as an institution is to be responsive to critical community issues such as gangs,” said Dr. Medley.

The Gang Assessment Project was funded by the City of Chattanooga, with additional funding support to UTC from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. 

Dr. Medley described several of the most important recommendations to come from the School Component thus far:

Both students and school employees felt strongly that gang deterrence requires a diverse, proactive agenda that includes innovative programs that meet a wide range of student interests and needs, including entrepreneurial and job-skills oriented programs. 

There is a need to increase the number of counselors and resource officers in the schools, whose primary role is working with students to address their problems and needs.

Programs and initiatives need to be developed that can strengthen families and parenting. 

The long-standing issue of poverty in core areas of Chattanooga must be addressed, particularly as to how it can be reduced more effectively through jobs and educational initiatives.

Commissioner McQueen Announces Special Task Force On Student Testing And Assessment

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the formation of a special Tennessee Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment to study and identify best practices in testing at the school level and how those assessments align with required state tests. “We have heard some concerns that there is ‘too much testing’ taking place. So as education leaders and stakeholders, ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools Have Several Upcoming Activities

Cleveland City Schools  Board of Education Meeting  will be  Monday, March 2, 5:30 pm  at the Administrative Office Building Board Room.  For more information contact Andrea Byerly,  423-472-9571 ,  abyerly@clevelandschools.org   Cleveland High School's  6th Annual Raider Outreach Day  is  Tuesday, March 3 ... (click for more)

Tennessee Temple University To Close After Almost 70 Years

Tennessee Temple University, after almost 70 years in operation in Highland Park, is set to close after this semester. Trustees are set to vote on Tuesday morning to merge Temple with Piedmont International University of Winston-Salem, N.C. Students who are not graduating this semester would have the option to continue their education there. Bryan College in Dayton, Tn., and ... (click for more)

Brand-New Cleveland Police Chief No Longer In Charge After He Is Caught With Officer's Wife

The brand-new Cleveland Police Chief, Dennis Maddux, is no longer in charge after he was caught in his police car with the wife of one of his officers. City Manager Janice Casteel said she will temporarily lead the department. She said Cpt. Mark Gibson will be in charge of day-to-day operations. City Manager Casteel said, "Pursuant to Article Vlll Section 2 of the City ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cameras Or Subterfuge?

State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) is an easy-to-like member of the Tennessee Legislature and the fact he is teaming with state senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) to rid the state of its loathsome traffic cameras is indeed a wonderful thing. The legislative action is long overdue, with the biggest winners being the out-of-state camera companies. That alone is just about all you ... (click for more)