UnifiEd Releases School Board Candidate Survey

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

With just over one week to go before election day, UnifiEd - described as "a community-led movement of parents, teachers, and citizens who want every student in Hamilton County to have the chance to attend great public schools" – has released initial results from its first-ever school board candidate survey.

Following the announcements of the settlement of the lawsuit between the Hamilton County Department of Education and the city of Chattanooga and the planned expansion of VW, UnifiEd surveyed candidates on four questions:

 - How do you believe that new funds -- from VW tax payments and the city settlement -- should be used to improve student performance in our public schools?

 - Why do you believe that these investments will improve student performance -- in other words, what evidence or data or research supports your proposed investment and what outcomes are you trying to achieve?

 - Would you support public reporting on how the funds are spent?  We know that the funds will be part of the annual budget, but would you support a separate reporting on these funds so it was clear to the public what the school system was doing with new revenue?

 - Would you also support public reporting on the outcomes -- in other words, how the use of funds did or did not achieve what you hoped?

 Of 18 candidates running active campaigns for school board, 12 responded to the UnifiEd survey, including incumbent School Board member Dr.

Greg Martin.  Six candidates failed to respond, including School Board members Joe Galloway and David Testerman.

“In reaching out to voters and during the debates that we sponsored with community partners, two things were clear.  Voters want the school board to focus on improving student performance and opportunities for our young people and they want transparency and accountability from the school system,” said Elizabeth Crews, executive director of UnifiEd.  “The good news is that the school system is going to get new resources – from the city and as a result of VW expansion.  But voters are looking to school board members to make sure that these new funds are used wisely and not wasted.”

UnifiEd will release the results of the survey responses today through Thursday, both to the press and to the public on the www.unifi-ed.org website.  Today, UnifiEd is releasing responses from candidates in Districts 5 and 9. In addition, UnifiEd will make more than 5,000 calls to registered voters over the next week to encourage early voting and voting during the Aug. 7 election.

 The following candidates responded to the UnifiEd survey:

·         Dr. Greg Martin (District 3)

·         Jim Watson (District 3)

·         Richard Bennett (District 5)

·         Karitsa Mosley (District 5)

·          Yashika Ward (District 5)

·         Oscar Brock (District 6)

·         Ballard Scearce (District 6)

·         Samevelyn Rock (District 8)

·         Steve Highlander (District 9)

·         Larry Lewis (District 9)

·         Dean Moorhouse (District 9)

·         Tim White (District 9)

The following candidates have not responded to the UnifiEd survey:

·         Patrick D. Hampton (District 5)

·         Jackie Anderson-Thomas (District 5)

·         Samuel Blakemore (District 5)

·         Joe Galloway (District 6)

·         David Testerman (District 8)

·         Karen Farrow (District 9)

 (Candidates in bold are incumbent members of the School Board)

Officials said, "UnifiEd is led by a bi-partisan Board of Directors that include community, business and civic leaders – including former teachers and public school parents – from across Hamilton County. UnifiEd is a nonprofit organization and does not endorse or support any candidate running for office."

Click here to read the candidates' answers.

Woodman Of The World Present Flag At Bachman Academy

Students and staff at Bachman Academy begin each morning with a few solemn moments around the flagpole, saluting the American Flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  To help the school continue this tradition, representatives from the Woodman of the World Cleveland Chapter 16 visited Bachman Academy with the gift of an American flag. When asked about the significance ... (click for more)

Covenant College Plans Homecoming For Oct. 9-10

Covenant College will host Homecoming Oct. 9-10.   This year, Homecoming will include a Highland 5K Fun Run, alumni art show, faculty lecture series, Taste of Chattanooga - food trucks, Fireside Chat with President Halvorson, soccer games and fireworks, a faculty and alumni social and the new Arts Facility open house.  There will be reunion gatherings ... (click for more)

County Taking First Step Toward Replacing County Jail Downtown With Workhouse Addition At Silverdale

County officials are taking the first step toward replacing the long-criticized county jail downtown with an addition at the workhouse at Silverdale. The County Commission is set to approve next Wednesday a $150,000 contract for the PFM government financial consulting firm to begin working out the details. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he believes the move will save the ... (click for more)

Birchwood Residents Organize To Try To Keep Old School

Birchwood residents have organized to try to keep the old Birchwood School that serves as a community center. Jason Wright, who said he is an alumnus of the school and recently moved his family back home, said the community is concerned over the possibility of the county tearing the school down. He said he was advised that the boiler in the old school has stopped working and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Palmer, You’re Toast

America is absolutely furious! By 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon there were 36,000 people who had petitioned the White House to extradite Walter Palmer, who is today the most despised man in all of North America. On the Yelp.com website, that promotes his dentistry business in Eden Prairie, Minn, over 6,000 had posted violent, vulgar and vicious notes and, for the record, 60 of them ... (click for more)