State Board Of Education Is Being Manipulated

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Tennessee State Board of Education's decision to reduce teacher pay by reducing experience steps from 20 to four and by not giving pay increases for those who rise above the master's degree level is the result of manipulation. Enter Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, formerly associated with Teach for America, a "non-profit" group, whose founders include a former IRS Commissioner. Suddenly pressure is being brought on those who entered the profession expecting pay steps for experience.  

Now, in spite of the state board offering to let local boards choose their own pay plan, pressure will be brought by political leaders to do no more than the minimum the state offers. The result will be the exit of more experienced professionals who see little future in staying until retirement. Then the Teach for America cadre of young teachers will just happen to be there to fill those vacancies making substantially less pay and expected to do greater things than those who left. Coincidence, I think not.

I know there will be the usual responses of teachers get paid too much and only work nine months a year (it is 10 and with summer school it can be more). Try cutting your salary by two months pay and divide it out over 12. Then there will be comparisons to Wisconsin and New Jersey. I can assure you from my own knowledge, teachers here are not compensated in any way like those states. And you are not taxed to the level of citizens of those states.

What this move demonstrates is a slick manipulation of people who want schools run like businesses. Schools can never be exactly like a business as they have no quality control over raw materials and the market doesn't dictate the price. They can be more business like and one way is to show respect for the people charged with shaping the minds of those who will one day be charged with taking care of our nation and us. 

Ralph Miller
Chattanooga



What Is Conservatism?

 What is being a conservative really all about? Of late more and more of the news is talking about conservatives in D.C. wanting - urging really - for the country to embrace being a conservative.   I really don't know what that means. In the world around us those that speak the loudest are the few with money, lots of it. Koch Brothers, Mercer Family and even ... (click for more)

My Experience With The Assessor’s Board Of Equalization

According to the Hamilton County Website, the County Board of Equalization “hears appeals from citizens who do not agree with their property assessments.” That sounds good. I sure don’t agree with mine. It “exists to give every property owner a chance to be heard. The goal is not to be an appraiser, but to decide values based on consistency, equity, and evidence. When properties ... (click for more)

Witnesses Say 69-Year-Old Jogger And Alleged Rapist Were Both Bruised Up After 2014 Encounter

Witnesses said a 69-year-old jogger and his alleged teen attacker were both bruised up during their 2014 encounter in North Chattanooga. Diontae Smartt, who was 17 at the time of his arrest, is standing trial for aggravated rape in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole. He is free on bond. The male jogger took the witness stand at the start of the trial, saying he was attacked ... (click for more)

Mae Beavers Resigns From State Senate To Focus On Governor Race

Tennessee State Senator and conservative Republican candidate for Governor Mae Beavers has announced that she will resign her seat in the legislature effective Friday , Sept. 1,  at noon to focus on her race for governor .   She also disclosed key additions to her gubernatorial campaign team. “It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Gets Revenge With Boyd-Buchanan

The Notre Dame volleyball team may have felt they let one get away in the championship match of the Hixson Invitational Saturday afternoon against the Boyd-Buchanan Lady Buccaneers, but they were bound to not let it happen again. At least, not during a home match against these same Lady Bucs Tuesday evening in the rowdy confines of their Jack Steiner Sr. Gymnasium. The Lady ... (click for more)

Despite Sloppy Finish, Lady Raiders Sweep McMinn

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland High School’s volleyball team came close to completely satisfying its coach Tuesday. The Lady Raiders then got lazy. Coach Trish Flowers, who has another state tournament contender on her hands this season, let the squad feel her displeasure in the postgame huddle. “I was within just a few minutes of being in a good mood,” said Flowers, ... (click for more)