Linda Holtzclaw was the last public forum speaker at the November school board meeting. When she stepped up to the podium, it was clear that she meant business:
“I come to you today as a classroom teacher with 32 years of experience teaching in Knox County Schools,” she said, explaining that South-Doyle Middle School, where she has taught for the past 20 years, has lost 60 teachers in the past two years, and that student behavior has become increasingly problematic.
While local leaders undoubtedly benefited from a tour of South-Doyle Middle School, where computers are integrated into every classroom, the most compelling argument for putting computers into the hands of all Knox County students came from Vine Middle Magnet School principal Cindy White.
On Sunday afternoons, students line up along the outside wall of the school to take advantage of the school’s Wi-Fi Internet access because they don’t have access at home, she says. Students are hungry for technology, and her students value their computers so much that the school has the lowest repair rate in the county.