education and development

June 20, 2003

I’m a little torn about living in Chattanooga. On the one hand, we grew up around here and know where most everything is. We put up with little things like Riverbend and the constant road construction, that would normally kill the town for us. There is a lot going on, with the new riverfront development, but is it really for the good of the community?

The school system here, and Tennessee in general, isn’t too hot. Money keeps getting pumped into a failing system, when smaller rural systems have higher scores….all while we keep getting new schools and new pieces of development, but we can’t get enough teachers. Our Mayor, who is a developer at heart, hasn’t done anything about this school problem. Instead, we’re stuck with bad test scores and a school superintendent who has done nothing except make more “Magnet schools”.

The new development and the educational problems should go and in hand. Hi-tech companies are unlikely to move to where the schools are so horrible. But instead, the jobs coming into town are manufacturing, instead of the jobs that really build a city. Chattanooga is a great place, beautiful, nice people, but it’s like a beauty queen with false teeth. You can clean up the parks and make the town beautiful, but there are problems with the roots of the city. The real “teeth” in this, is the fact that without a decent educational system, we’re not going to have a real bright future.