published Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Bradley County school board members excluded from Haslam education meeting

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The secrecy surrounding a private meeting involving Gov. Bill Haslam, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and educators from five area school systems has come under scrutiny by members of the Bradley County Board of Education.

On Monday evening, Bradley County school board members were informed by email that the school administration office had hosted the meeting at Haslam's request. The email said the governor required that board members and media not be advised of the event.

That's not sitting well with some board members.

“It’s unfortunate that the governor’s office chose not to include the people elected by the citizens of Bradley County to represent them regarding our education system,” said Vicky Beaty, chairwoman of the county school board.

Johnny McDaniel, director of Bradley County Schools, said the discussion involved the experiences of teachers and administrators with the implementation of Common Core standards.

“There was no present agenda,” said McDaniel, describing the event as an open dialogue with representatives from Bradley, Cleveland, Hamilton, Meigs and Rhea school systems.

Haslam’s office has not confirmed what was discussed at the meeting and only stated that he is meeting with teachers and principals across the state as a continuation of discussions held last year with school superintendents.

According to an email from the Bradley County school system, the meeting was one of 12 the governor will hold across the state.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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