Sunday, July 23, 2017

CHATT TOWN, BIG EASY TRIPS AND WHAT’S THAT STAND FOR? « Dad Gone Wild

CHATT TOWN, BIG EASY TRIPS AND WHAT’S THAT STAND FOR? « Dad Gone Wild:

CHATT TOWN, BIG EASY TRIPS AND WHAT’S THAT STAND FOR?


I must apologize for this this installment being late. Dad had to take a catering gig yesterday that translated to a 5:30 AM to 2pm work day and a new appreciation for people who work in the service industry on a regular basis. Y’all work hard. As always, we have a lot of ground to cover. So lets get after it.
FUN TIMES IN RIVER CITY
Bruised by years of doing battle with Memphis and Nashville, the Tennessee Department of Education is now turning it’s attention to Chattanooga to try and implement some of it’s not so cutting edge plans. At the forefront of this focus is the creation of a “partnership zone” made up of 5 chronically under-performing schools. As part of the “partnership zone” these schools would be governed by their own school board and receive additional resources. This wouldn’t be a state takeover as Chattanooga and the state would work as partners.
Of course the state has an interesting definition of partner. They have given Chattanooga till the end of August to decide if they want to be partners or else they’ll give one or more of the schools to the state Achievement School District. They’ve also failed to share a proposed budget or test scores for the schools from this past year. It’s also worth noting that all of these schools suffer from high poverty levels and this past year the state changed its method of counting Title 1 qualification to including only those children who receive direct services. That means a drop in the official poverty numbers, though not real poverty numbers,  and therefore less Title 1 funding for schools with high concentrations of poverty.  Somewhere Don Corleone is smiling.
Chattanooga has a brand spanking new Superintendent and it appears that he is not in a hurry to join this budding partnership. Not surprisingly he’d like an opportunity to develop his own strategy.
The “Partnership zone” is not the only potentially new district coming to Chattanooga. Signal Mountain is looking to exit Hamilton County School District and form their own school district. Signal Mountain is home to 3 of the districts highest performing schools and their exit would have a profound effect on HCSD. Last month town leaders visited Shelby County Schools to get some insight on how the exit could be executed. 
Watching these developments in Chattanooga is important because I think you’ll see emulation in the rest of the state. Remember in order to do the “Partnership District” legislation permitting schools to be overseen by an appointed board would have to be passed. That legislation alone could have dire consequence for schools across the state. Always be wary of laws that are puportedly designed to help someone because seldom are the unexpected consequences considered. Just look at the ASD. That was never meant to be a charter school zone.
Speaking of our friends over at the Tennessee ASD, they’ve got a new leadership team heading into a new school year. Well kinda. Malika Anderson will remain in charge and two of those promoted have been a part of the work since 2011, but there are 2 new lieutenants who are completely new to the district. The leadership change is a shift away from outside education “reformers” and towards people more entrenched in the Tennessee education community. Schools also now won’t suffer the abrupt takeover actions that were the previous hallmark of the ASD. Going forward struggling schools will have three years to apply their own turn CHATT TOWN, BIG EASY TRIPS AND WHAT’S THAT STAND FOR? « Dad Gone Wild

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