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


Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

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

County General Sessions Judge Gary W. Starnes Elected President Of Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference

Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Gary W. Starnes has been elected president of the Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference (TGSJC) for 2018-2019.   The TGSJC is a statewide organization consisting of 185 general sessions court judges from across the State of Tennessee. Judge Starnes previously served four years on the TGSJC Executive Committee Board and ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (2)

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: Who Is This ‘New Voice’?

It’s easy for me to say that I either know, or know about, almost every person running in November for the state legislature. Yet when I describe Lemon Williams as the most exciting of the bunch, that’s because he's the only guy I had never heard of when he picked up his qualifying papers. He just turned out the best political aspirant I have had a conversation with in the last ... (click for more)

Baylor Volleyball Pounds GPS, 3-0

It was just 20 days ago on August 29 when Baylor and GPS faced each other for the first time this season in volleyball.   The match was played at GPS.   The Bruisers lost that day, but they left feeling pretty good after winning a set and giving the defending state champs all they wanted at times. The second match between these two storied rivals at Baylor wasn’t ... (click for more)

Lady Mustangs Corral Lady Owls, 3-1, To Keep Share Of 5-3A Volleyball Lead

After dropping the first two sets, Ooltewah gained momentum by staving off defeat and was playing visiting Walker Valley on almost even terms before the Lady Mustangs did what the Lady Owls could only talk about. Walker Valley finished off a 3-1 volleyball victory Tuesday night and stayed tied with Cleveland atop the District 5-3A standings. The Lady Mustangs (16-10 overall) ... (click for more)