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.


Chattanooga Man With 23 Felonies Gets 15 Years In Federal Prison

A Chattanooga man who prosecutors say has 40 prior convictions, including 23 felonies, was sentenced on Thursday to 15 years in federal prison. Darien Houston, 43, appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Prosecutor Chris Poole had asked for the high end of the range - 220 months, saying Houston is a member of the Vice Lords gang. He said the felonies include burglary, possession ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Thieves Roll Out Of Lookout Valley Walmart With The Goods

Police said thieves in two recent cases carried stacks of goods out of the Lookout Valley Walmart without bothering to pay. In one case, two black females had $313.84 in groceries. They presented a SNAP card, but it was declined. The women, who had the items in two large black purses, then walked out and left in a red Dodge Ram pickup truck. * * * In another case at ... (click for more)

A Slap In The Face To Local Police Applicants

Little Andy has once again shown what he thinks about the Chattanooga Police Department by ignoring all the applicants from within the department. There were several great candidates within the police department that had as much experience as the chosen one from 1,000 miles away. This is a slap in the face for any officer who is at the Chattanooga Police Department who has aspirations ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Soccer Remains Undefeated, Clinches 7-A/AA Regular-Season Title

The Signal Mountain boys’ soccer team did more than just spoil Notre Dame’s senior night on Thursday. After Robert Schorr scored off Graham Eschmann’s throw-in in the opening minute, the Eagles went on to preserve their unbeaten record and secure their first-ever District 7-A/AA regular-season title with a 2-0 victory over the Irish. But even the very early lead wasn’t ... (click for more)

Ninth Inning Rally Gives Lookouts 5-4 Win Over Barons

The Lookouts trailed by a run entering the bottom of the ninth  -- headed for their third consecutive loss. Chattanooga rallied for two runs to pull the game out, 5-4.  Details to follow. (click for more)