The December 17th school board meeting began with a work session focused on the new Chattanooga 2.0 initiative. During the regularly scheduled session, board members voted to approve all agenda items. In addition, there were two presentations recognizing Loftis Middle School Beta Club and the STARS program.
Heather DeGaetano, a Normal Park parent, addressed the school board to discuss scaling back standardized testing. The parent opt-out movement is growing in Hamilton County. Parents involved are not against standardized testing as a whole, but they do believe the new testing standards are inappropriate for grade school children. Their platform has three main components: 1) the testing is developmentally inappropriate, 2) the tests take away too much instructional time, and 3) the time needed to meet testing requirements is too long for grade school children.
Donna Horn pulled the agenda item accepting donation requests from county commission to be discussed further among board members. Chairman Welch made a motion for future requests to be sent to the superintendent with monthly updates. Steve Highlander made a motion to table the change until further discussion could be had. The motion failed and the board members voted to approve the motion to let the superintendent decide on future requests.
The meeting concluded with a discussion about the Coalition of Large Area School Systems (CLASS). Rhonda Thurman and Greg Martin both questioned the accomplishments of CLASS over the past year, but the board ultimately decided to approve the payment of membership dues needed to continue the partnership.