State of the Schools Address

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Updated: 10/02/2013 6:28 pm
Rick Smith gave his "State of the Schools" address at the Hamilton County Council of PTAs today.
Right off the bat, he spoke about the accomplishments of some of the schools in the district.
"I was very proud, and I will again list these schools. We had 14 schools in Hamilton County Schools that achieved that top 5 percent Status. Not that I'm very competitive, but Hamilton County is Hamilton County"
But the Superintendent also says there's more work that needs to be done, especially when it comes to the basics.
"The committee came back and said literacy has got to be our focus. And doesn't that make sense? If you can't read, you can't comprehend."
The county's top educator also spoke of some needed advances in technology.
He says all schools in the Hamilton County School system would have broad-band access by 2014.
Smith knows that some schools have already gone high tech, with iPads and other learning devices.
But he wants to bring all 3,000 of the district's teachers up to speed first.
"We're not going to dump 42,000 devices in the school system. That's not very thoughtful. Doesn't really matter if you got the device if the teacher's don't know what to do with it, right?"
Even though the technology should be in place at the schools, the Superintendent realizes that some families will need help obtaining internet access at home.
He's calling on private businesses and internet providers to help level the playing field for some of the neediest in the school system.
"The magic to this whole idea of technology is a 24/7 experience.We have to understand in this community. It's almost, I think it's almost an obligation to
all of our kids to make sure they all have that connectivity. So we're working to that end."

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