Join the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Tuesday, October 18, for a discussion about how to ensure our students get the best teachers and how we can keep the best teachers here. 

Educational leaders throughout the community will be on-hand to share their experiences working with the Hamilton County Schools and give their expert opinions on this pressing issue.

Presented by the Times Free Press in partnership with the American Society of News Editors, Study Hall: A Conversation on Teacher Prep and Quality is part of its Tennessee Tough Issues forums, which are designed to help citizens better understand complex education issues their communities face.
Couldn't make it to the panel? 

WUTC will air the entire discussion
Thursday, October 20 at 8 p.m.

Visit for more information.

Join the conversation online!

Get Familiar with the Problem

Gerber: Separating fact from fiction critical for students, teachers

Tennessee puts pressure on school districts to improve teaching
If school leaders fail to address problems in Hamilton County's teaching ranks in coming months, the state may step in to help them do it.

Chattanooga 2.0 has goal to make city the smartest in the South
A group of business and nonprofit leaders, educators and other members of the community are working to double the number of residents with a post-secondary education within the next decade. That goal -- along with 10 strategies for reaching it -- is outlined in a plan released by Chattanooga 2.0 that starts at birth, carries through k-12 and leads to job. 

State education chief: Leaders must work urgently to improve county's worst schools
Tennessee's Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told Hamilton County School leaders they need to work urgently to address the district's lowest performing schools. 

Nearly a third of Hamilton County teachers rank among state's least effective
Nearly 30 percent of Hamilton County teachers are considered least effective by state measures, which is nearly three times the state average. Read about how many of these teachers are in the district's predominantly poor and minority classrooms, and the impact a highly effective teacher has on students' academic achievement. 

Engaging students: District leaders provide vision for schools
Leaders of Hamilton County Schools provide vision for the future of the district, citing student engagement as a key focus. 

Low-ranking UTC education program may be at restart point as state officials try to better prepare teachers
UTC's School of Education provides the bulk of 300 or so teachers hired by the Hamilton County Department of Education annually, and has done a poor job of preparing student teachers to succeed in the classroom, research shows. Hamilton County Schools has also not done a satisfactory job of supporting new teachers or working with UTC to align its curriculum and training with the district's needs. With new leadership in place at both UTC's School of Education and at the school district, many believe the way the organizations train and support teachers could be at a restart point. 

Report: Progress at a standstill in Hamilton County's low-performing schools; leadership to blame
The Tennessee Department of Education sends a report to Hamilton County Schools stating the district is not making progress turning around the district's lowest performing schools. The report says the district's priority schools have more least-effective teachers than similar schools in other parts of the state, and notes the high rate of teacher turnover in many of these schools. 

As Chattanooga grows, businesses struggle to find qualified local applicants
Chattanooga 2.0 releases a report showing how a majority of Hamilton County public school graduates are not prepared to earn any additional degrees or certifications past high school, and are not qualified to hold a majority of the livable-wage jobs arriving in the county. 

Presented by:

Our Expert Panelists

Zac Brown
Assistant Superintendent for School Operations
Hamilton County Department of Education

Sylvia Flowers 
Executive Director, Educator Talent  
Tennessee Department of Education 

 Brandon Hubbard-Heitz 
11th Grade English Teacher 
The Howard School 

 Edna Varner 
Senior Adviser, Leading & Learning 
Public Education Foundation / Project Inspire 

Additional Contributors 

Jonas Barriere  
Executive Director  

Jared Bigham  
Chattanooga 2.0. 

Dan Challener  
Public Education Foundation 

Heather DeGaetano 

Michelle Dunn 
Director of Educator Empowerment  

Steve Highlander  
Hamilton County Board of Education 

Dan Liner
Hamilton County Education Association

Renee Murley  
Director, School of Education 
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 

Lesley Scearce 
President & CEO  
United Way of Greater of Chattanooga 

David Steele 
 Vice President, Policy & Education  
Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
Share by: