We Are At An Education Crossroads

Monday, June 24, 2019

Providing education to all children regardless of their race, their religion, their financial status, or their place of residence helps to make this the great country in which we live. From my own personal experience as a product of a public education here in Chattanooga, I know it can give children from families like mine an opportunity to be the first generation to complete high school  and college and beyond. All children deserve this opportunity, and I believe the children of our community deserve our commitment to making the opportunity the best one we can give them. And, not surprisingly, doing what is best for the children benefits everyone, as the quality of our local public education directly affects the sustained growth and prosperity of our regional and local communities.

Over the last two years. Superintendent Bryan Johnson has listened carefully to many different groups, including the business community, and tried to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our public schools. Last month, he put forward a budget that will make a number of significant and immediate impacts, including raising teachers’ salaries, providing middle school students with access to laptops, and adding art teachers, special education teachers, and literacy coaches. In addition, and critically. Dr. Johnson’s budget will help our students make a successful transition from high school to “post-secondary education” where they can earn a degree or a credential that will allow them to build a career in a field available in our community.

Within the next five years, more than 80 percent of the jobs in Hamilton County that pay a living wage will require a college degree or credential. In other words, four out of every five desirable jobs in our community will require a significant amount of education after high school.

Dr. Johnson’s budget will help meet this growing need. Specifically, the proposed budget expands career academies—“future ready institutes”—^that are already helping students across the county develop critical skills and knowledge in a profession where Chattanooga has good paying jobs. His budget increases the number of AP and college-level courses available to all students. These rigorous courses prepare students for the academic demands of college. And the budget dramatically increases college and career advising for all high school students. 

Additional advisors will help guide students to post-secondary institutions—be it four-year or two-year colleges, apprenticeships, or certification programs—^that align with their skills and talents. Taken together, these investments can transform the lives of thousands of children and meet the needs of our businesses. 

I believe that Hamilton County is at a crossroads. In the next few weeks we have the opportunity to improve our community by taking steps to equip all of our children (and children of future generations) to enjoy productive and satisfying lives. To do this, we must step forward and support our public schools. 

Roger W. Dickson


Collaborative Conferencing

McClendon Is Bad For Teachers

Roy Exum: Use 'Tags' At Erlanger


Seemingly every year we have to revisit the issue of collaborative conferencing for stakeholders and policymakers. The initial training in the principles and techniques of interest-based collaborative ... (click for more)

The teacher raise proposal was simple, 2.5 percent from the county, 2.5 percent from the state. After his massive tax hike was turned down, Superintendent Johnson dropped the county match in ... (click for more)

When I was a senior in high school, the Vietnam catastrophe held the guys who were in my class spellbound. Back then, and has since been proven again and again, the conflict was a terrible error ... (click for more)


Opinion

Collaborative Conferencing

Seemingly every year we have to revisit the issue of collaborative conferencing for stakeholders and policymakers. The initial training in the principles and techniques of interest-based collaborative problem-solving for use in collaborative conferencing pursuant to this part was initially to be developed by the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents in conjunction with ... (click for more)

McClendon Is Bad For Teachers

The teacher raise proposal was simple, 2.5 percent from the county, 2.5 percent from the state. After his massive tax hike was turned down, Superintendent Johnson dropped the county match in favor of more support staff. Fine; that's his prerogative, and a 5 percent raise on top of step raises is unheard of in the private sector anyway. Tucker McClendon has now proposed misappropriating ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Volkswagen Chattanooga Announces New Members For Leadership Team

A new CEO for Volkswagen Chattanooga was announced on Thursday. Frank Fischer introduced Tom du Plessis to all Chattanooga employees at a team meeting. Also introduced was Burkhard Ulrich, successor to Nicole Koesling, as incoming senior vice president of human resources for the factory. Former Chattanooga finance manager Brent Hinson returns from Volkswagen of America’s headquarters ... (click for more)

Latest County School Budget Cuts Most Student Fees, Adds Literacy Aides; Across-The-Board Increase Stays At 2.5%

County School officials on Thursday presented a revised budget that eliminates most school fees and adds 10 literacy aides. The employee pay increase remains at 2.5 percent - short of the five percent that was included in the initial budget requiring a 34-cent property tax increase. That tax rise was rejected 5--4 by the County Commission. Board member Tucker Pennington put ... (click for more)

Sports

CFC's Season Ends With 2-0 Loss To Miami; However Founder's Cup Starts In August

The Chattanooga Football Club’s rose-colored season was ended Tuesday night in the oppressive Florida heat against Miami FC, with their championship aspirations wilted by the end of the 2-0 shutout. While Miami dominated possession in the first half, Chattanooga briefly took the lead in the 40th minute. After Caleb Cole regained possession, the talented midfielder made a quick ... (click for more)

Red Wolves' Amponsah Named To USL One Team Of The Week

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC defender Nicholas Amponsah has been named to the USL League One Team of the Week for Week 16 of the league’s inaugural 2019 season. Amponsah scored the game-tying goal for the Red Wolves against Madison in addition to completing 45 of 54 passes, recording five tackles and winning 10 of 13 duels Saturday night. Amponsah leveled the match in the ... (click for more)