Friday, June 24, 2005

East TN Teacher does a lot of talking.

Duran Williams, principal of Cosby High and a member of the Tennessee Education Association board did a lot of talking to the Greene County Democratic Party the other night. All this is snipped from Greene County Online.

Speaking to members of the Greene County Democratic Party, Williams said the federal government provides only about 9 percent of the funding for his school system, but federal rules drive state-mandated tests and many other requirements. As a result, students are over-tested, he said.

And so why don't we consider doing what Utah has done and reject the money? Or is that last struggle with states' rights still a sore spot?

In the future, he predicted more emphasis will be placed on physical education in Tennessee schools, and also on better nutrition.


American children are usually compared to those of countries where only children capable of high levels of academic achievement are educated.

“It’s the top 30 percent of Japanese students” who are compared to all U.S. students, he said.

This made me laugh, maybe I shouldln't have but I couldn't believe he didn't see the obvious:

Charter schools “have a documented record of failure” in many places, Williams said, though he acknowledged that some charter schools also have done very well.

The same can be said of public schools.

And finally this on tenure and the state legislature:

“Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t get rid of a bad teacher” who has tenure, Williams said.

He said this can be done if a strong case is documented, over a period of time. Later, however, he said it has been 10 years since a tenured teacher was removed in Cocke County.

The tenure issue will continue to be debated, he said, and there is a bill before the legislature that would allow teachers to “sell their tenure for cash,” in effect a cash payment for teachers who would relinquish the protection.
I couldn't find such a bill filed during this 104th General Assembly. Maybe somene's still working on this? And who would sell their tenure? What's the upside to doing that?

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