How Much is Too Much Testing?

By Sally Absher Seems everyone is jumping on the “there is too much testing in public schools” bandwagon these days, from President Obama to his (soon to be former) Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Chairman of the Senate Education Committee Lamar Alexander. The Obama administration recently released a “Testing Action Plan” that recommends in […]

The Chalk Board: November 2, 2015

By Sally Absher   Teacher’s Facebook Comment Pays off for Knoxville Students Last Monday, a West Hills Elementary School fourth grade class was presented with five tablets and 24-hour access to a game-based, online math program – all because of a comment their teacher posted on Facebook. Matific is a New York-based producer of interactive […]

It’s Time to Admit TVAAS is Broken

By Sally Absher sallyabsher@knoxfocus.com Kudos to the Knox County Schools Board of Education, for accepting a waiver from the state to not include the TNReady Quick Scores in student grades this year. Unfortunately, there is no waiver from including the test scores, as part of Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS), in teacher evaluations and […]

Good Teachers Continue to Leave Knox County Schools

By Sally Absher Valerie Strauss’ Washington Post column, “The good teachers are starting to leave” (February 27, 2015) started circulating around local social media again last week. Between the end of September and mid-October, at least three veteran teachers resigned from Knox County Schools. You read that correctly – resigned in the middle of the […]

The Chalk Board, Oct. 26, 2015

By Sally Absher Northwest Middle Community School Celebrates Red Ribbon Week Northwest Middle is one of KCS’s newest Community Schools. And they are starting the year off with a bang! Liz Thacker, Site Resource Coordinator for Northwest Middle Community School is excited to announce Red Ribbon Week, October 26 – 30. Red Ribbon Week is […]

The Knoxville Focus for Monday, October 26, 2015

Tony Norman Kicks Off School Board Campaign By Sally Absher sallyabsher@knoxfocus.com Tony Norman kicked off his campaign for the Third District seat on the Knox County Board of Education last week, with a reception Thursday evening at the Cedar Bluff Holiday Inn. In announcing his candidacy, Norman said, “As you know, the past few years […]

The Chalk Board: October 19, 2015

By Sally Absher FREE “Magic of Chemistry Show” Tuesday October 20 Calling all STEM students! Members of the American Chemical Society (ACS) nationwide will be celebrating National Chemistry Week October 19-24. During this week, ACS members will have the opportunity to present the positive aspects of chemistry, promote science education, and to heighten the public […]

Knoxville celebrates World Dyslexia Day

By Sally Absher Thanks to Julya Johnson of Decoding Dyslexia –TN and Knox County Commissioner Jeff Ownby, Knoxville was REDEEMING RED again this year! Last Thursday was World Dyslexia Day with a celebration at Volunteer Landing to celebrate the 1 in 5 children who have dyslexia. For the second year in a row, the Henley […]

October Board of Education Meetings

By Sally Absher The Board of Education sped through their regular meeting agenda in under an hour last week, thanks in part to deferring two Board Policies and tabling a controversial document defining communication and information requests for the Board. At Monday’s work session, Karen Carson asked for personal privilege to defer the approval of […]

The Chalk Board: October 12, 2015

By Sally Absher Second Annual Redeeming Red for Dyslexia Day This Thursday, Oct. 15, is World Dyslexia Day. Decoding Dyslexia-TN’s Julya Johnson and County Commissioner Jeff Ownby are celebrating Knoxville’s 1 in 5! Come join in the celebration – meet near Calhoun’s at Volunteer Landing in Knoxville at 7:15 pm. The Henley Street Bridge will […]