BOE Midmonth Meeting: Survey Times Two

By Sally Absher The Knox County Board of Education met for their mid-month meeting on Monday, May 18. The topics on the agenda included a discussion of the recent Teacher Survey and the Balanced Calendar Survey. As controversial as these topics could have been, at the end of the meeting, Chairman McMillan commended the board […]

Knoxville Focus for May 26, 2015

Robust Discussion at Joint Commission/School Board Meeting By Sally Absher The annual joint meeting between the Knox County Commission and the Knox County Board of Education took place last Thursday at the East Tennessee History Center. The topic was Mayor Burchett’s recommended $435M funding for the schools, about $6.5M less than the BOE-approved budget […]

CTV offering Summer Camps

By Mike Steely The Community Television Board of Knoxville met Tuesday for its quarterly session and heard Ron Mills, with the City Law Office, inform them of the Open Meeting law. Members of the Law Office have been attending various city meetings to remind them that all meetings are, or should be, open to […]

Congressman Wirt Courtney

By Ray Hill William Wirt Courtney is barely remembered today and is likely an unfamiliar name to many residents of Tennessee, but for a decade, Courtney served in Congress, serving parts of Middle Tennessee. The future congressman was named for his father, who was in turn named for the famous lawyer, William Wirt, who was […]

Webb wins second state title

  By Alex Norman Well, it wasn’t easy. But the ending more than made up for the tension. On Thursday, May 21st, the Webb School Spartans withstood a furious second half rally from defending state champion Battle Ground Academy, on their way to a 2-1 victory in the Division II-Class A championship game. It is […]

Whew! Grace Christian holds on for first state crown

By Steve Williams There were some anxious moments as Grace Christian Academy’s baseball team closed in on the school’s first-ever state team championship. Coach Mitch Turner was admittedly pacing in the dugout. After two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Summertown managed to load the bases and suddenly was a base hit […]

Efforts to save the Howard House continue

By Mike Steely They were there from Old North Knoxville, 4th and Gill, Oakwood-Lincoln Park, Edgewood, Fountain City, Park Ridge, Belle Morris, Whittle Springs and the Alice Bell neighborhood. Other residents attended as well, from the neighborhoods like South Knoxville and Chilhowee Hills. All of them, some 30 or so people, were at the […]

The Dumbing Down of America – Lessons from California

By Sally Absher Even the Tennessee Department of Education is acknowledging that we are dumbing students down. They won’t say that outright. But when the Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen visited Knoxville in March, and included the above slide in her presentation, it raised eyebrows among those who have been following the Common Core […]

The Chalk Board: May 18, 2015

By Sally Absher Knox County Schools Teacher Survey Results. In a press release dated May 14, KCS crows about the results of this year’s “pencil and paper” teacher survey, with the headline, “Teacher Survey shows significant improvement.” You can access the survey, and comments at It also shows that 324 fewer teachers took the […]

The Monkey Has Spoken

By Sally Absher Finally, after weeks of anticipation, the Survey Monkey results on balanced calendar were released. The PR folks at KCS have learned the trick of answering objections in advance.  In a May 11 Knoxville News Sentinel story, Dr. McIntyre told reporter Lydia McCoy that about 200 of the responses (were) taken multiple times […]