Rep. JoAnne Favors hosts forum about priority schools

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Community members continue to show concern about the five under performing schools in Hamilton County.

On Thursday, people packed in to the Dalewood Middle School auditorium for State Representative JoAnne Favor’s forum about the five under performing schools in Hamilton County.

Retired teacher, Jennifer Woods, explained what a priority school is. She says the way the state evaluates schools is flawed.

“Every time a large percentage of schools show growth at the level four or above the state department of education changes the testing measurement. This causes the system scores to ebb and flow like a river,” Woods said.

She says the system ends up hurting the students.

“It is time that we begin to put pressure on the state legislators to find a new way to evaluate our children. Calling schools failures to give kids the impression that they are failures,” Woods said.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly says Woodmore Elementary, one of the priority schools, was able to bounce back after tragedy.

“Remember back to November 21st, Woodmore accident. That could have devastated Woodmore and we would not even have a school. Those students came back to Woodmore and Woodmore’s attendance is up higher than the previous year,” Dr. Kelly said.

He says one of the reasons is because students were familiar with the staff.

“Now if you had brought in a charter that had only been in there since August, they would not have known those students,” Dr. Kelly said.

In July, the school board will submit a letter of intent to the Tennessee Education Commissioner. It will them be determined if the state will take over the priority schools.


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