Principals Report To The Bradley County Board Of Education On Common Core

Friday, November 22, 2013 - by Tony Eubank

The Bradley County Board of Education continued its discourse over the merits of the Common Core curriculum during Thursday night’s meeting. First District board member Chris Turner in his Tennessee Legislative Network report stated that, while speaking with state representatives, he was told that the legislature is anxious to hear a collective opinion from the board on Common Core. 

Following Mr. Turner’s report, Board Chair Vicki Osment Beaty shared what she learned about local implementation of the Common Core. Ms. Beaty said, “I visited several schools and I asked them to give me positives and challenges.”

Ms. Beaty listed among positive impacts of the curriculum, as relayed to her by the teachers she spoke with, as higher comprehension skills, improved writing skills, cross curriculum literacy, and uniformity in the curriculum that allows for a better measurement of student progress. Some of the stated challenges mentioned by Ms. Beaty included questions about the age or grade appropriateness of the elementary curriculum, multiple standards within standards, and the schools system’s technological preparedness for the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing.  

Taylor Elementary school Principal and Common Core coach Elizabeth Kaylor said the changes that have come along with the adoption the new curriculum are difficult, but that real change always is. Ms. Kaylor said new standards are rigorous and much higher than anything the school system has done in the past. She also added that, while teachers have put forth a great deal of effort in learning how to work with the new standards, more time for professional development is needed so that the teachers can gain expertise in the Common Core.  “They must be equipped to design and deliver lessons that ensure that students will be well prepared to compete on a national and international level. But why would we want anything less our children?” said Ms. Kaylor.

Ms. Kaylor continued, “I have been so impressed with the level of commitment that teachers at Taylor have demonstrated to being scholars of Common Core. They have eagerly participated in trainings and spent numerous hours on their own time to embrace this change. As a result they are becoming reading and math specialists and their students are attaining new heights.”

Vice Chairman Nicholas Lillios raised concerns about the rigor of the testing and the school system’s tech readiness for the testing. He also questioned the staying power of the new curriculum, “There have been several standard changes over the years. Every couple of years something new has come out. Is this one different? Does it stick? Or is it one of a chain of many more to come?” 

Mr. Turner added that he has heard all the "propaganda" before and reiterated the need to quantify the real impact of the Common Core. 

Beyond the Core discussion, the board also approved policy changes concerning discrimination, harassment, bullying, and intimidation. 

The Board also approved the calendar for the 2014-15 school year.  

Tennessee School Boards Association District Director Kathy Dougherty was in attendance to present the Board with the Board of Distinction Award. In order to be considered as a Board of Distinction, a school board must meet several criteria falling under the categories of policy, planning, promotion, and board development.


Upcoming City Council Agendas

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda: I.    Call to Order. II.    Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Anderson). III.    Minute Approval.              IV.    Special Presentation. V.        Ordinances – Final Reading:   ... (click for more)

Shooting Of 15-Year-Old Began As Argument Between Teens

According to police, the Tuesday night shooting of a juvenile on Taylor Street started as an argument between the two young men. Terry Marshell Smith Jr., 19, was arrested the following day. Police said the former Hixson High School student shot the juvenile in the shoulder after their argument and then fled the scene.  According to police, Smith admitted to the shooting. ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Orr In On Four Touchdowns, Irish Defeat Pioneers, 34-20

Notre Dame’s Kareem Orr, one of the area’s top college prospects, showed his versatility Friday night while leading the Fighting Irish to a 34-20 non-district football victory over East Ridge at Raymond James Field. Orr caught three touchdown passes, threw for one and had 121 yards of offense as the Irish leveled their 2014 record at 1-1. The Irish play at Chattanooga Christian ... (click for more)

Baylor Comeback Swamps Webb, 34-7

Baylor lost a fumble on the third play of the game and the visiting Webb Spartans scored five plays later, but the Red Raiders came storming back to win their second-straight game, 34-7, over the D-II, Class A two-time defending state champions. Quarterback Nick Tiano, who has already committed to Mississippi State, hurled two touchdown passes and scored a third on a sneak from ... (click for more)