Words Have Meaning - And Response (2)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Much has been said regarding UnifiEd and APEX . Words mean a lot in an information- and data -driven society. Let’s be sure we understand what is meant before putting it into print, especially with so much at stake.

Jamie Petty in a post on May 13 supplied a link: www.ApexProjectReport.com
 

. Buried deep in the rhetoric it states a survey was conducted of over 2,500 people in Hamilton County yielding results used in formulating UnifiEd’s attempt to set school policy in regard to their APEX Project.

Wednesday, Steve Slater, who says he served on the APEX Steering Committee, stated the survey gathered information from approximately 4,000 people. Obviously a larger number than the one in the official link. I’m not sure which number is accurate or if the number is growing since I recently raised the concern that a sampling as small as a couple of thousand would not yield valid results in a county of 350,000 people.

And yes, Mr Slater as you said, change will come. I have in my career in education dealt with change agents whose sole purpose was change for change’s sake although they would never admit it. From the 1980’s on the Consultant Industry has churned out agents of change in the field of public education whether needed or not. And foundations have seemingly had unlimited resources to fund those changes.

But in a June 1, 2016 piece in the LA Times by the editorial board, the point was raised for consideration about the Gates’ Foundation attempts to radically change schools. It was the conclusion of the editorial board, not one person’s opinion, that philanthropists shouldn’t be setting America’s public school agenda. In fact that’s the elected school board’s responsibility. Hence the PAC support of board candidates here as Ken Myer addresses.

So in contemplating a “knocking the walls down” approach to local public schools, let’s look carefully at what Unifi-Ed is saying as well as their motives. If Unifi-ed really wants to know the community’s  thinking, why was there no county wide mail-out since it’s implementation will affect everyone in the county? Instead small groups, which often have an agenda, was chosen as the form of sampling “public opinion.”

Now in an election flyer, according to Charlie Hunt’s post,  School Board members Rhonda Thurman and Joe Smith were described to potential voters as “unacceptable, dangerous and hateful.” These are not words to be taken lightly. Words like this seem inconsistent with a group who claims they want students to learn, grow and prosper in a good school.

Regardless of liberal or conservative, out of concern for who is trying to control the schools in Hamilton County, people should speak up.  Every parent and community member should ask your elected officials running for office if they can explain the APEX Project and then state if they support it.

Ralph Miller 

* * * 

Mr. Miller,  I feel a reply is needed to try to set the record straight.  First and foremost, I never said change is coming.  I only recommend some conversations. Secondly, on page 51 you will see that over 4,000 people had input to the questionnaires.  I agree that number should be more, but when I tried to have folks fill out the survey, I was met quite often with apathy (which is sad). Thirdly, if you read my letter and not skimmed over it, you would have read I am very conservative.  You and I probably have a lot more in common than you think.  Fourthly, my last paragraph states how much I appreciate the current board for their hard work and service, and that includes Joe and Rhonda. They may be the two hardest workers.

Again, let me state what our job was:  gather as much information as possible, publish the results.  Please read what I personally believe in that letter and tell me where I am totally off base. 

Honestly, I appreciate your concern for the schools and as I said before, we probably agree more with each other than you think.

Steve Slater

* * * 

Mr. Miller, 

Thank you for your frank and thoughtful opinions on the different issues that affect us all.   

I know Steve Slater, and know him well, he’s my neighbor and consider him a close friend, he’s very conservative, and definitely not a liberal.  In his letter he does not advocate change, his committee was just reporting the facts they had gathered. 

We have had several discussions about this ongoing matter along with school board problems and other issues.   He has recently retired from the insurance industry and was my personal agent.  I have set in his office over the years and have had several discussions about the educational systems problems.

I think Mr. Slater and the other committee members have been hoodwinked by a PAC that their ultimate goal is different than their mission statement, and the board members not only owe Rhonda Thurman and Joe Smith an apology, but also the residents and leaders of Hamilton County. 

Charlie Hunt



Remembering Veterans Everyday

The United States Army was established June 14, 1775. Former Senator Max Cleland was born Aug. 24, 1942 and he served in The United States Army from 1965-1968.  Serving in Vietnam he earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star/V device (Valor) and a Purple Heart (loosing limbs). The United States Navy was established Oct. 13, 1775. Senator John Mccain was born Aug. 29, 1936. He ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Don’t Invent, Discover!’

When Randy Boyd stood in front of more than 75 black ministers in Memphis on Tuesday, the ever-dynamic “doer of deeds” told the pastors an exciting story. He talked about “First Things First” of Chattanooga because the Tennessee gubernatorial candidate is totally sold on what Julie Baumgardner and her team have proven keeps families together. Boyd then met with some representatives ... (click for more)

Donaldson Tells Jury He Shot Son-In-Law After Knife Was Pulled On Him; Medical Examiner Says Fatal Shot Was From 3 Inches Away

Glen Donaldson took the witness stand Thursday in the attempt to explain how two good friends ended up with one dead and the other facing a first-degree murder charge.   On the night of Dec. 29, 2016, he texted his son-in-law, Adam Levi, and arranged to pick up bed rails for his daughter, who had left items when she moved out of their house. After loading the rails, ... (click for more)

Motorcyclist Killed After Colliding With Car On Highway 60

A motorcyclist was killed on Highway 60 on Thursday afternoon after colliding with a car.   At approximately  4:30 p.m. , Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the 5100 block of Highway 60 for the report of a  motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle vs. car.  According to preliminary reports, the motorcycle ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins D-II State Baseball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Baylor School baseball team has been on a tear these past couple of weeks as they’ve been averaging double figures in runs scored and base hits. It's become quite a winning combination. That trend continued here at MTSU’s Reese Smith Jr. Field on Thursday afternoon in Baylor’s biggest and most important game of the season. Facing the Memphis University ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins Fourth Straight State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Baylor Lady Red Raiders and the GPS Bruisers have had some classic battles on the softball field in recent years, many times in the championship game of the Division II-Class AA portion of the state tournament. They met again on Thursday night on Starplex Field No. 3. Baylor won for the third time this year, but there’s really no way to adequately ... (click for more)