Students from Hamilton County Schools joined approximately 320 of their high school peers in Murfreesboro to express their views on public education in Tennessee at the Tennessee School Boards Association Student Congress on Policies in Education. The event took place on the Middle Tennessee State University Campus.
A delegation of 28 students represented Hamilton County at the event.
Now in its 32nd year, SCOPE is designed to give students a voice where public education issues are concerned and to involve young people in finding solutions to the topics that are discussed. Attendees participated in mock school board sessions, where they assumed the roles of school board members, school officials, parents, students and concerned citizens. The sessions were led by actual school board members, superintendents and education leaders from across the state.
In the morning general session, “Tennessee Transformers: Student Voice Takes on School Reform,” students had the opportunity to demonstrate how technology makes instruction engaging and relevant by working in small groups using iPads supplied by APPLE. Students worked on a project that demonstrated the power of technology in classroom instruction. Students were encouraged to bring personal electronic devices to develop video footage, take event photos, participate in online survey voting and spread the word through social media.
Students then chose speakers to represent each of their 16 small groups who went on to take part in full-scale debates on current education issues. This year’s four debate topics and results from the poll were:
1. School systems shall operate on a year round schedule. (Agree: 48.8 percent Disagree: 51.2 percent)
2. All students shall be required to take P.E every year. (Agree: 45.8 percent Disagree: 54.2 percent)
3. School shall discipline students for off campus cyber-bullying. (Agree: 52.3 percent Disagree: 47.7 percent)
4. Schools shall allow teachers to use social media to communicate with students.
(Agree: 45.8 percent Disagree 54.2 percent)
SCOPE delegates elected 2015 SCOPE officers from those underclassmen that took part in the debates. The 2015 SCOPE officers are:
President: Garrow Miles, Union City High School, Union City Schools
1st Vice President: Chase Cumberlich, Ooltewah High School, Hamilton County Schools
2nd Vice President: Luke Potter, Dickson County High School, Dickson County Schools
The Tennessee School Boards Association was organized in 1939 to provide a united voice in education for local public school boards. In 1953, the State Legislature officially recognized TSBA as the “organization and representative agency of the members of school boards in Tennessee.”
The Tennessee School Boards Association is a service organization to all the state’s school boards. It serves as an advocate for the interests of Tennessee’s public school students and school districts and provides in-service training and assistance for the state’s 945 board of education members.