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

Roadside Motels Had Their Heyday Until The Freeway Ruined Things; They Are Featured In Chattanooga In Old Photos

City Council Approves $750,000 For Baby University

City Council Asks Scope Be Narrowed On Study Of Fairness Of Stormwater Fee Formula; Ball Fields Being Approved; Grinding Contracting Saving Money


Roadside motels run by Mom and Pop had their heyday in the early days of motor travel up until the 1950s and 1960s. Then the freeways came along and suddenly their traffic was virtually gone. ... (click for more)

The City Council voted Tuesday to approve $750,000 for the expanded Baby University for a year of operations. The program, started by the Berke administration, provides intensive case management, ... (click for more)

City Council members have asked that the scope be narrowed on a study of the fairness of the current procedure for charging the stormwater fee. Justin Holland, public works administrator, ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Roadside Motels Had Their Heyday Until The Freeway Ruined Things; They Are Featured In Chattanooga In Old Photos

Roadside motels run by Mom and Pop had their heyday in the early days of motor travel up until the 1950s and 1960s. Then the freeways came along and suddenly their traffic was virtually gone. A long list of the roadside motels that once thrived in and around Chattanooga are featured in the new book Chattanooga in Old Photos, sponsored by Chattanoogan.com. Some of those pictured ... (click for more)

City Council Approves $750,000 For Baby University

The City Council voted Tuesday to approve $750,000 for the expanded Baby University for a year of operations. The program, started by the Berke administration, provides intensive case management, mentoring, and support to expectant mothers and families. Services are free and voluntary. Officials of Signal Center, who operate the program, said those who have benefited from ... (click for more)

Opinion

Thanks To First Volunteer Bank

Thank you to the Highway 58 branch of First Volunteer Bank. On behalf of the Ernie Pyle Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, I would like to express our appreciation to the manager and staff of the HIghway 58 Branch of First Volunteer Bank for putting on a Veterans Day lunch in the lobby of your bank on Friday, Nov. 9. It was a cold and rainy day and Army, Marines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Easy Eddie’ & Butch

Not an hour’s drive from where I now sit is one of the best restaurants in all of Tennessee. Its been some years since I last ate supper at High Point, a legendary mansion restored to elegance by the current owners but, back in the ‘60s, I got a wide-eyed teenager’s peek at the place one Sunday afternoon. What’s this? 14-inch walls filled with sand to stop a G-man’s bullet? Escape ... (click for more)

Sports

Randy Smith: Playing With Passion

The Tennessee Volunteers second SEC win of the season was also their second win of the year against a top-25 team. Tennessee played well from start to finish in beating 12th ranked Kentucky 24-7 on Saturday and they played even better than when they upset Auburn several weeks before. How did the Vols do it you ask? They played with passion; something that's been missing in Knoxville ... (click for more)

Lee Women Set To Host NCAA National Tournament Games

After upsetting undefeated and No. 2 West Florida in a thrilling 1-0 overtime win in the second round the Lee women's soccer team has earned the right to host the 2018 NCAA Women's Soccer Third and Quarterfinal rounds at the Lee Soccer Field on Friday and Sunday. The Lady Flames will draw a familiar foe in conference rival Mississippi College on Friday at 7 p.m. in the South ... (click for more)