Union County leaders unaware of TNVA contract until after deal is made

Feb 21, 2013 Full story: WATE-TV Knoxville 6

Union County Mayor Mike Williams told 6 News the county commission knew nothing about the deal between the county and Tennessee Virtual Academy until after the three-year contract was already signed.

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Interested

Knoxville, TN

#1 Feb 22, 2013
Does anyone know anything about the Virtual Academy.
Rep

Knoxville, TN

#2 Feb 23, 2013
TNVA is a virtual school owned by K12, Iím sure you have heard of them.

The state passed a law for a virtual school to be created in the state of Tennessee. Some of the thought behind the law and expressed on the house floor was as follows. Eventually more children will attend school online than in brick and mortar schools. All forty-nine other states are exploring options like this. A virtual school will provide a place for kids to attend school who donít function well in brick and mortar schools. Due to the decline in the Tennessee school system more and more kids were being pulled out to be home-schooled. Unfortunately many of the parents pulling the kids out were not qualified to teach their children. The state hopes a Virtual School for free can provide help for them.

Now when it started other counties screamed K12 were sucking money from them. The kids who came to TNVA were already under-performing where they were. This could be due to bullying etc we donít know.

So these counties tried to get the State to change things back the way they were. Seems to me they were more concerned for their money than what was best for their kids. But they should answer for that in their respective counties.

The state partnered with K12 to provide TNVA. They were required to partner with an existing school system in the state. Union County threw their name in the ring and was chosen due to the technology they had in place and it was near Virginia where the office was.

In consideration K12 provides $500,000 a year to the local school system. Unfortunately some misunderstood this and when the 12 million dollar check came in they thought it was all ours. Some in the local government started to make plans with this 12 million. But the state had earmarked 11.5 million for k12 and $500,000 for Union County Schools. So almost instantly the 11.5 million when right back out to k12. But Union County got $500,000 for doing nothing really.

Now, other counties wanted the $500,000 and didnít get it. So they started encouraging their discipline problem children to join the TNVA. They would tell parents, your child is constantly in trouble. They can be kicked out or join the TNVA and not be kicked out!

The TNVA is not perfect. But they are trying. They are accepting these kids and trying to help. Fortunately, the governor saw what counties were doing and is moving to place a cap on the numbers.

Test scores seem to be low. But when you go back and look at these kidís test scores two years before they cam to TNVA they were actually worse.

Salaries and expenses are paid by k12 not Union County.
Relieved

Knoxville, TN

#3 Feb 24, 2013
Now if our children don't score better in every way with this new way of schooling, then it's definitely time to take a good, hard, long look at our teachers..I've noticed that the people who post comments on this web page are near illeriate..knowledge of spelling and puncuation has apparently become a thing of the past..Makes me wonder if spelling and english are included in the subjects being taught today..if by chance they are teachers are certainly not grading or making the children correct their mistakes..get back to the basics..it's embarrassing to read these ignorant post and admit these people live in Union County. Not intended to hurt anyone's feelings or cause a disturbance, only pointing out a reality that needs to be looked into, beginning with our spelling and english teachers.
Rep

Knoxville, TN

#4 Feb 24, 2013
You are actually correct it isn't being taught. But don't blame the teachers. Each year every teacher is handed a book on what to teach, how to teach it and even the day to teach it. This is called a pacing guide. They are evaluated based on how close they are to that guide. Spelling, writing and the such are not important just passing standardized tests. Our schools are testing low? It is because we have good teachers. We have teachers that still teach and to some extent ignore the state and federal pacing guides. As a result the kids know about dinosaurs but not everything on the test. There is no mention of dinosaurs on any standardized test.

Beware the schools showing huge gains based on these tests. Those schools are teaching the test not the real world.

I am from Union County but now live in Nashville. You are far from the worst school district. In fact you are often cited as a good example of making do with little local monetary support. Until you as parents stand up and demand that testing every third day stop and teachers be allowed to teach it will not change. The kids passing these tests are likely less prepared than those failing it, if they fail because the teacher taught outside the test.
madison county

Jackson, TN

#5 Jan 31, 2014
Our child attends TNVA and its great. Their new standards make it like a virtual classroom. In lieu of attending the crappy schools here locally my child gets up and attends class from the comforts of home. There is no waiting for the slowest child to catch up, no bulllying, no day to day BS, and no more calls from the school that my child appears bored.
TNVA is a great alternative to brick and mortar. There are other choices for home school, but they force faith down the childs throat which we dont feel is right.
Hello

Maynardville, TN

#6 Feb 1, 2014
Relieved wrote:
Now if our children don't score better in every way with this new way of schooling, then it's definitely time to take a good, hard, long look at our teachers..I've noticed that the people who post comments on this web page are near illeriate..knowledge of spelling and puncuation has apparently become a thing of the past..Makes me wonder if spelling and english are included in the subjects being taught today..if by chance they are teachers are certainly not grading or making the children correct their mistakes..get back to the basics..it's embarrassing to read these ignorant post and admit these people live in Union County. Not intended to hurt anyone's feelings or cause a disturbance, only pointing out a reality that needs to be looked into, beginning with our spelling and english teachers.
Pot meet Kettle------Did you happen to proof or use spell check before throwing your stones?

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