Friday, February 14, 2014

Brown, Norman meet, talk schools

Brown, left, and Norman met this morning
Knox County commissioners Mike Brown and Tony Norman met this morning to talk about last weekend’s commish-school board retreat. (Brown, who had surgery a few days before missed much of the get-together.)

I’d like to tell ya that a whole lot got accomplished but it was mostly a complaint-fest. (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but there really wasn’t anything new.)

The two talked for roughly 30 minutes about school issues. Brown reiterated that he more than likely won’t support the school system’s budget for the upcoming year and expressed his dismay about Superintendent Jim McIntyre and the Board of Education, suggestion that they really don't care about teacher complaints.

Norman, who also is not a big fan of McIntyre or the BOE, agreed.

Here’s a snippet:

Brown: “I’m not impressed with the instructional coaches.” (He then suggested that they mostly just hang out and use the teachers’ computers to surf the Internet.)

Norman: “There are a lot of questions about instructional coaches . . . and a lot of questions about the use of them . . . and I’m sure there are some that have been beneficial and I’m sure there are some that are helpful.”

However, Norman, a retired long-time teacher, added: “But from my experience it’s an enormous waste of resources.”

Brown: “It sounds like they’re dumbing down teachers.”

Norman: “In a lot of ways, that’s true. You get a third-year teacher evaluating a 20-year teacher . . . or someone evaluating someone outside their discipline.”

Brown: “Why can’t we let the teachers just teach.”

Norman: “Heh. Heh. Heh.” (Evil-like laugh.)

Brown also said he’s “on a campaign right now to get the public’s eyes open to see what’s going on.”

In addition to them, commissioners Amy Broyles and Jeff Ownby also were at the meeting, as was school board member Karen Carson. (Carson and Ownby didn’t say much. Broyles chimed in a few times to talk about what happened at the retreat.)

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