Thursday, April 17, 2014

BOE candidate responds to editorial

Tamara Shepherd
The Paywall Paper, which is always predictable in its election endorsements, endorsed Terry Hill for the Dist. 6 Board of Education seat.

Hill by the way apparently supports creationism being taught in high school. Good, Lord. Heh. But I digress.

Anyhoo, last week one of her opponents, Tamara Shepherd sent the media and some other folks her thoughts on the endorsement. I meant to post this awhile ago, but like other things, I was working on some scoops. Heh. (I should mention that the other two candidates in this race are Bradley Buchanan and Sandra Row-Your-Boat-Cliff.)

Here's what Tamara had to say:

This morning’s endorsement by the Knoxville News-Sentinel of my opponent Terry Hill was not unexpected and that they offered the comments they did on my own candidacy is fine with me, too.  Really, I appreciate the contrast they drew between Ms. Hill’s candidacy and my own.

I think that this level of discontent among teachers, parents, and students calls for solutions and I'm pleased to tell you that I've spoken with several prospective constituents who've told me--as recently as at the Concerned Citizens forum last Thursday night--that I am the *only* candidate in this race they've heard actually suggest any.

Yes, my position that it is now necessary to sue the State Board of Education over a faulty teacher evaluation model is "extreme." However, given that this law may be changed by only the legislature or the courts AND given that we have waited over three years to see it changed by the legislature, it is not unreasonable to now turn to the only other remedy available to address the problem. In fact, teachers have now beaten the BOE to the draw and begun filing their own lawsuits, which TEA assures they will continue to do.

I therefore continue to challenge my opponents to tell me how they will address the problem--and they'd better not answer "with a Teacher Work Group," because that's a fantasy. A Teacher Work Group is unable to change a state law, period.

And yes, I have called for Dr. McIntyre's dismissal (and I did so again in this morning's Inside Tennessee segment, if you watched). What I said in my response to the Metro Pulse questionnaire is this:
“He has used Knox County Schools as a conduit for the experimentation and profit of others whose interests are not the school system's students and teachers. He has farmed out the district's strategic plan to the Chamber of Commerce, its employee compensation plan to Battelle for Kids, and its resource allocation plan to The Parthenon Group. It is not clear why these plans were not produced internally by system staff and it is doubtful that the system can afford to repeatedly pay such costs going forward.”
You will note that at least two of these actions--to have delegated the KCS strategic plan and to have delegated the KCS "resource allocation" plan--were not the result of any state or federal mandate to do so, but were the result of Dr. McIntyre's independent decision to do so. Really, he was likely able to have deviated as well from Tennessee's promise in our RttT grant app to use an entity like Battelle for Kids, had he chosen to do so.

I therefore continue to press that these and other of Dr. McIntyre's policy and procedure decisions (like excessive testing, too) are NOT rooted in state or federal mandates but are instead rooted in his own vision for "corporate reform" locally, contrary to the vision it appears teachers and parents embrace.

So again, I appreciate this opportunity afforded me by the KNS to distinguish my candidacy from that of Ms. Hill’s, I do not shrink from my assertion that it's time for someone to offer viable solutions, and I'll be asking voters to discern who it is that's offering them.


Amy Broyles said...

"Complaining about a problem without offering a solution is called whining." Theodore Roosevelt

Whatever you may think of Tamara's solutions, at least she's offering some. (Full disclosure - although I can't vote for Tamara, I'm supporting her with my limited time and resources.)

Amy Broyles said...

And by the way, "creationism" or "intelligent design" are not solutions.