UnfiEd – The Trojan Horse

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

We all know the story of the Trojan Horse when it was presented as a gift of appeasement by the Greek Army to honor the Goddess Athena at the gates of Troy after 10 years of battle. The Greek army sailed away and the large wooden horse was wheeled through the gates of Troy and an elite team of Greek soldiers emerged and seized the city. 

We all learned this story in school as a lesson to be aware of gifts from newfound friends.  

It is time to beware in Hamilton County elections this year. There is a Trojan horse. It is called UnifiEd. 

After three decades of battling against education accountability reforms focused on outputs rather than inputs, the established resistance forces of the more liberal persuasion and others, defeated at every level locally seemed also to have retreated and thrown in the towel.  It now appears they were building a Trojan horse. 

Not too many years ago they retrenched and regrouped.  A lofty new organization popped up on the local scene with a supposed focus on improving education in Hamilton County.  Sounds laudable. A 501c3 was formed. “Grassroots” organizing began. Community meetings were held. Fundraising took place and dollars began to roll in from a variety of donors from across the political spectrum. The mantra and mission was to take control of the school board and reshape education for the benefit of children, to break down the barriers of status quo. Overthrow the establishment school board, right?  

A lot of Republicans jumped on that bandwagon, thinking yeah we must make major changes to the school board in order to get things done correctly, right?  And this is surely a bipartisan effort for the benefit of Hamilton County, right? It is all about the children, right? 

Well, I’m not so sure. 

Recently, UnifiEd released a report on its APEX project. Over the past 30 years I have read countless similar reports from all over the country. I encourage everyone to download and read it for themselves. Like so many other reports there is not one reference to actually improving education or holding teachers and schools accountable for educational success. There is a lot of talk about social engineering and creating social equity, but not one word about improved outcomes in education. Not one word. 

This year, it appears that UnifiEd quietly created a Political Action Committee. Rather than raising resources to support public education as they were supposedly created to do and outlined in the APEX report, they began pouring money and other resources into political races and not just at the school board level. UnifiEd effectively defeated County Commissioner Beck and also put thousands of dollars as well as human capital behind an opponent to County Commissioner Tim Boyd, an outspoken and effective critic of UnifiEd. And those are just two examples.  They also recently attacked two current and effective school board members in a political piece.

UnifiEd is nothing more than a very left leaning political organization, masquerading as a non profit education support institution, run by political operatives and community organizers who are holdovers from the Obama administration. They are intent on putting weak candidates into positions of public trust to turn on the spigots of public funding and raising taxes in the name of social equity. But not one word about actually improving education results. Not one word. 

So, UnifiEd is in my opinion nothing more than the proverbial political Trojan Horse. 

Ken Meyer
Chattanooga




Change Is Not A 4-Letter Word

Change is in the air, first with our season preparing to turn to fall, but hopefully and even more importantly, the structure of our city council. This year, we the voters have an opportunity to change the structure of who sits on our city council. This is one of the most critical election years that l can remember and it is so important that we as citizens work to facilitate change ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 90% Can’t Do Math

Friday’s newspaper headline blared, “Hamilton County Schools see dramatic growth in student performance” and that, my friend, is “fake news” at its finest. A better try might be, “90 Percent of Kids In Chattanooga Can’t Do Math.” Let’s face it: We know that a full 70 percent of 43,000 students in our public school system are not on track, this based on state test scores, and -- ... (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. McElrath was a former Hamilton County corrections officer from 1996-1999. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Host Baylor 3-0 In Invitational Soccer Tournament

The Baylor girls soccer team won three games this past weekend in their own invitational tournament.   On Friday, Baylor beat Independence 2-0 in a game that was suspended due to lightning at the half.   Allya Cooper scored off an assist from Ara Rhodes and Mya McGee scored off an assist from Cambell Green.   Peyton Randolph earned the shutout ... (click for more)

Mocs Soccer Blanks Georgia Southern 3-0 Sunday Afternoon On The Road

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga earned a 3-0 shutout at Georgia Southern on a hot and humid  Sunday  afternoon. The Mocs start the season at 2-0 for the first time since 2009 and the Eagles are 0-2 in the opening weekend.   “Great performance on the road,” Chattanooga head coach Gavin McKinney said. “Georgia Southern is a tough opponent and we had ... (click for more)