Tag Archives: Amber Rountree

‘Challenge what we know is wrong’

Sandra Clark
Editor

Elections matter. And I’m not talking about the one that (hopefully) ended yesterday.

The Knox County Board of Education was fundamentally altered by the results of the last two election cycles, starting when Amber Rountree beat Pam Trainor in South Knoxville, Terry Hill survived a 4-way race in Hardin Valley and Patti Bounds won unopposed in North Knox County.

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Amber Rountree’s big October

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

South Knox’s Amber Rountree has every reason to “call in tired” for the Nov. 2 school board meeting, but here’s betting she will find a way to attend. The board will vote on her resolution to exempt Knox County from using standardized tests in students’ grades and for teacher evaluations.

The tests are not yet aligned with the curriculum, she says. A similar resolution passed the board last year, but this one has drawn fire from interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas and even Gov. Bill Haslam.

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Debate Monday, Wednesday on Rountree resolution

Below is correspondence from interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas which includes an email from board member Amber Rountree.

——– Original message ——–
From: Buzz Thomas <buzz.thomas@knoxschools.org>
Date: 9/23/16 2:08 PM (GMT-05:00)

Subject: RE: Resolution Supporting Documentation

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Rountree calls state funding formula ‘broken’

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Two weeks ago, Amber Rountree, who served on a task force that studied disparities in academic performances among Knox County students, told her school board colleagues there’s something badly wrong with the state’s funding formula for education.

“You need to be talking to your state legislators about the fact that the BEP (Basic Education Plan) is broken, and our kids are not getting what they need,” said Rountree, who said that working on the task force taught her that most student disparities are caused by poverty, regardless of ethnicity or disability.

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South schools: Turmoil spreads as Rountree seeks answers

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

With major problems at three South Knoxville schools, board member Amber Rountree wants answers. She also wants equity.

Rountree has asked Superintendent James McIntyre for a side-by-side comparison of class offerings at South Doyle Middle School and Bearden Middle School.

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Lunching in the sunshine

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

News gets hard to come by during the holidays, which made this announcement from Knox County Schools’ prolific public information office enticing:

“PUBLIC NOTICE: (14-173) Please note that two or more Board of Education members may meet on Monday, Dec. 15, at 11:30 a.m. at Panera Bread, 2000 Cumberland Avenue. Education issues will be discussed and minutes will be taken. All board members are welcome to attend and will pay for their own meals.”

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Change is hard

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

In the recent past, when teachers or parents asked for relief from Knox County Schools’ test-happy corporate reform regime, Superintendent James McIntyre and the 8-to-1 school board majority that had his back would tell them to suck it up and get with the program.

“Change is hard,” they’d say to tearful mothers telling of their children’s mounting test anxiety.

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