All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

Friday, June 22, 2018
Dr. Bryan Johnson
Dr. Bryan Johnson

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson.

Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" and enough money "to solve this in the morning." She added, "But what they want is control."

Karitsa Mosley Jones said she could "lead a tour over the county to show you inequity." She said, "It's all about doing what's right for kids."

Another board member, Tiffanie Robinson, said she was "sick of talking about UnifiEd and 2.0." She said, "We are allowing that to be a distraction to what we were elected to do." She said she "100 percent supports" the equity move, noting that her district has many impoverished areas. 

Dr. Johnson said the move is not just for minority children, but to help "every student" reach their potential. He listed several areas where the schools are low, including sending students on to higher education, and said those need to have marked improvements.

He said at the July meeting the board will be asked to approve outside facilitators to help with "closing the opportunity gap." He said the price tag would be much less than the $290,000 previously mentioned, and he said it would be funded by private sources.

Dr. Johnson said meetings of an Equity Task Force will continue and future sessions will be open to all. The first three meetings were closed. He said some members had requested they be private at a time when they were weighing ideas, and had always intended to have them open as the group neared the time for making recommendations to the board.

Joe Galloway and David Testerman said they support the vision of Dr. Johnson and will back whatever he seeks to do to boost student performance and outcomes. Mr. Testerman said, "We have not been giving them everything they need to succeed." 

Board member Joe Smith said, "I want what's best for every kid." Mr. Smith, who has with his wife fostered multiple children, said each individual "can find someone to love on." He questioned "how man of the 132 signers of the letter have someone in their life."

Kathy Lennon and Joe Wingate also lended their support. Ms. Lennon said, "We need to bring the same opportunities to all students."

Ms. Thurman questioned the efficiency of the central office, saying she had been "getting multiple calls about how they have messed up peoples' retirements." 

She said getting 132 names on the letter was not impressive, saying she got over 14,000 to force a referendum on a wheel tax.

 

Rhonda Thurman
Rhonda Thurman


Woman Injured In House Fire In Birchwood On Monday

A woman was injured Monday morning in a house fire in the Birchwood area. The homeowner called 911 at 9:33 a.m. reporting a fire at her residence. The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded to 5826 Grasshopper Road and reported a mobile home with light smoke coming from the eaves. Once firefighters confirmed all residents were out of the house, they entered the ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s So Sad For Me

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been as saddened by such a travesty that has now erupted in the confirmation process that would place Brett Kavanaugh on our Supreme Court. I am sad for every single person who has been touched by this catastrophe, from 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein to Brett’s wife and two young daughters, ages 13 and 10. Not a person, in any way involved, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Holds On To Beat Samford, 27-20

The Samford Bulldogs may have won the battle, but the Chattanooga Mocs won the war. Facing each other in a key Southern Conference football battle at Finley Stadium Saturday night, the Mocs had their hands full, but were able to pull out an important victory by a final score of 27-20 before 10,469 fans. The Bulldogs entered the game on a two-game losing streak, but were leading ... (click for more)

No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs Battles Missouri For A Tough 43-29 Victory Saturday

COLUMBIA, Mo. —   There's more than one way to win a game, more than one way to score, more than one way to, in Georgia football coach  Kirby Smart 's oft-repeated words, attack the day. The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs got out of Columbia, Mo., with a win Saturday  before 58,284 at Faurot Field  in large part because of how they attacked the ball. ... (click for more)