Dec 2 2013
07:45 pm

I was heartened by conversation among board members in tonight's school board work session.

Dr. McIntyre opened, but because I tuned in about three minutes late I missed the first of four actions he said he would be taking in response to the recent Teacher Revolt.

I did understand him to say that:

2) KCS will not hold teachers' Conference of Concern letters in their personnel files (although counsel confirmed for Mike McMillan that if anyone making a Freedom of Information request relating to a teacher's personnel file should specify that s/he would like to see any C of C letters removed from the file, too, such a request would have to be honored).

3) KCS administration will work to clarify how it is teachers' Professional Learning Community time (collaborative planning time) is to be utilized.

4) KCS will soon conduct an anonymous and paper-based survey of teachers.

(If anyone possibly caught the first of McIntyre's planned actions, please share.)

Also, in establishing their Legislative Priorities for the coming year, the board has chosen to re-word the item relating to teacher evaluation. The restatement will express support for meaningful teacher evaluation, but it will strike the existing reference to support for the TEAM (APEX) model. The restatement will also convey the board's position that teacher evaluation methodology should be teacher-driven and should not be within the purview of the state legislature.

Finally, the board is collaborating on a resolution to be delivered to the legislature to urge, if I understood correctly, legislators' assistance in ensuring that the mechanics of TVAAS be made understandable to teachers.

Some conversation ensued concerning the potential for employing a different model for measuring student growth if Sanders/TVAAS cannot honor the resolution's request, given that TVAAS is proprietary property. It was not clear to me if that "threat" was included in the text of the draft resolution, though?

One important point I did not hear either McIntyre or the board address tonight, however, relates to the continuing "patent stupidity" of linking the career futures of "test-less" teachers to the TVAAS scores of other teachers' students.

(And again, if someone caught such a mention, please correct me.)

Nevertheless, tonight's work session was a good start on improved communications between the board and teachers as relates to the latter's evaluations.

Indya and Karen appeared especially pro-active.

GSD's picture

Call me jaded...

...or even cynical, but McIntyre is ALWAYS quick with words, spin, and empty gestures.

Talk minus Action = ZERO.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Given that the impetus for those Conference of Concern letters is an unintelligible TVAAS formula illogically applied to the majority of teachers lacking standardized tests among the students they actually teach themselves, I would have been happier if McIntyre and the board had simply suspended the letters until such time as the legislature and/or state board correct their error.

In order to get that done, I expect that our local board will need to start collaborating with school boards statewide to organize pushback (of the sort that letter from superintendents statewide attempted).

I mean only to suggest with this blog that it's heartening to see the pushback begin, not that teachers and school boards have yet raised their combined voices to a crescendo.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


And as for Dr. McIntyre himself, I think that if the only reason he failed to sign onto that letter from superintendents statewide was that he objected to the letter's tone (but not to its content), he should have promptly penned his own letter and shared it with the public.

Since he didn't, I think the public should continue pressing him to state his position on the issues it addressed.

Let me be clear that I agree with you: The problem isn't where those Conference of Concern letters being issued are filed, it's that the letters are being issued at all.

Sigh's picture

So McIntyre and the BOE are

So McIntyre and the BOE are finally, after 5 years and he's collected a cool million and a quarter of Knox County's treasure, realizing that teachers are not Human Capital, to be spent like money or moved on a board like pawns, but rather teachers ought to be viewed as human collaborators? Thanks, but I think there have to better candidates out there.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Here is a description of the lawsuit the Florida Education Association has filed (with the assistance of NEA), which Min tells us is comparable in form to the action planned by TEA.


The lawsuit maintains that evaluating teachers on the test scores of students they don’t teach or from subjects they don’t teach violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

This particular story ran in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, not in any Florida newspaper, and offers that in Georgia 70% of teachers teach in non-tested subject areas or grade levels.

It's really, really hard to imagine that this issue is not one likely to be litigated nationwide, particularly as the practice begins to cause thousands of teachers nationally to be capriciously terminated.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


And within that AJC article about the Florida lawsuit, do note this mention in its text:

Among the Florida teachers suing is first-grade teacher Kim Cook, her school’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. The lawsuit alleges that Cook was labeled “unsatisfactory” because of the performance of fourth and fifth graders in a different school.

"Data-driven," indeed!

(Recall that we have, right here in Knox County, some intermediate schools separated from their primary school counterparts, as do other school systems statewide. Also recall that even now many school systems statewide have not yet adopted the SAT-10 assessment for grades K-2. This exact same lunacy as took place in Florida continues to play out to the detriment of Tennessee's primary school teachers.)

Observer's picture


It was a stalling tactic. Nothing more. Just an extended listening tour.

Where was a "no retaliation" pledge for teachers that have spoken up?

Where was a pledge to stop the excessive testing of elementary students above and beyond state and federal standards?

Was there a pledge to stop the micro-management of the classroom by the intrusive team coaches that disrupt the classroom?

It was fluff. This is the worst School Board in the history of this county. It is a disgrace.

Cece's picture

'Where was a "no retaliation"

'Where was a "no retaliation" pledge for teachers that have spoken up?'

Great point.

Teachers who have stood up have been threatened and intimidated. With the current review process any teacher can be fired. Why doesn't Tanya Coats, president of the KCEA, defend the teachers instead of defending McIntyre? McIntyre hasn't acted on anything. KCEA, who do you represent?

Sigh's picture

She's clearly got her eye

She's clearly got her eye either on a spot in McIntyre's "Leadership" reeducation camp or some other spot in administration.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Do you mean that *I* have my eye on such a spot, Sigh?

Not at all.

I said that this is a first step, and it is.

I reported that the board has withdrawn support for the TEAM/APEX model from its list of legislative priorities and that they are now drafting a resolution to urge greater transparency in the TVAAS methodology being employed in the model. Those are good things.

I also offered that I think the Conference of Concern letters need to be stopped altogether until a better model is adopted, irrespective of where McIntyre intends to file the letters already generated. That would be a better thing, still.

And if you don't know by now how strongly I oppose this test-and-punish reform effort in its entirety...well, I just can't find too many more hours per day to blog.

Again, I think these are good first steps on the board's part and I look forward to their building more collaborative pushback by enjoining other school boards and other teacher groups across the state.

I sincerely hope to hear that same encouragement spoken by the teachers to attend tomorrow night's regular (voting) school board meeting.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Oh, apologies. I re-read that and it appears that you think Tanya has her eye on such a spot?

Well, I tend to disagree and I think she's wise to encourage the board's every attempt to be more assertive.

If we should later get the impression that the board doesn't intend to do any more than this, why she (and we) should start pushing harder again.

But for now, I'm content to watch for a month and see what this board may now be willing to assert.

Sigh's picture

No problem

I support your candidacy eagerly. But I've seen KCEA presidents who really wanted to represent teachers and others who wanted to climb the management ladder.

And while I'm encouraged that the Board is finally listening, I'm not overly impressed by Carson or Kincannon wanting to suddenly "listen" to teachers. I'd rather hear them apologize to teachers for having ignored them for the last several years.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I think the board needs to apologize to teachers, too. After all, it was Indya who told me nearly two years ago that they have this opp every year in April to switch to another evaluation model, but they made no effort to do it.

I have observed some pushback from Indya and Karen both, though, WRT Parthenon's suggestions to date. That much is heartening.

I just think that whether or not this upcoming school board election should produce a five-member board majority intent on removing McIntyre, the ultimate task is to unite a majority of school boards, teachers, and superintendents statewide to level some thunderous objections to Haslam and Huffman (and Obama and Duncan, really).

That being the task, we shouldn't neglect to seize the best opportunity to collaborate that's come along yet?

Sigh's picture


You're damning it with faint praise, given that it's the first opportunity to collaborate in I don't know how long, maybe ever.

I agree that we need to unite to roll back Duncan's incredible attempt to destroy public education. What has to happen to change the evaluation model?

I've never heard anyone on our BOE defend teachers in the face of the assault on the teaching profession that's occurred under Haslam's reign. Teachers fought decades to get tenure and collective bargaining rights, and it was gone in a flash.

I can't forgive Kincannon for signing off on giving McIntard a past performance evaluation that gave him no areas in which he needed to improve.

Pam Strickland's picture

Calling McIntyre McIntard

Calling McIntyre McIntard does nothing for your credibility. If you want to be taken seriously, then speak seriously. I can't endorse you if you speak like a middle schooler, especially when you do so whole hiding behind a screen name.

Sigh's picture

Misspelled McIntarred. Please

Misspelled McIntarred. Please to forgive, Dr. Scribbler.

AnonymousOne's picture

Coming from someone who

Coming from someone who referred to the county mayor as "Timmy," you have little credibilty. In that sense, you should be in good company being associated with KNS.

Pam Strickland's picture

At least Timmy is his name,

At least Timmy is his name, and not a bastardization of a name. Sinking to such lowly name twisting as was used here is middle school. If the poster doesn't want to be taken seriously, then fine, they can continue to write in such a manner.

Sigh's picture

McInterred fits better,

McInterred fits better, anyway.

If only I could aspire to such lofty heights as your writing that graces the birdcage lining.

If Mac had been in a classroom for any real length of time, he would have heard (or read on the bathroom walls) every permutation of his last name already.

Pam Strickland's picture

So what's your name, anyway?

So what's your name, anyway?

Sigh's picture

It's not germane. Or

It's not germane. Or Jermaine, though he was one of my favorite Jacksons.

jcgrim's picture

Not so fast. Don't Forget Mc's grant with strings

I hate to be cynical but if you are familiar with the Gates Foundation Grant and Knox Co matching funds that McIntyre actively sought out, I don't see this 'appeasement' as addressing the significant failures in McIntyre's overall management model. The devil is always in the details.


Does anyone think the board plans to return the $1.2 million dollars to Gates and recover $950,000 from Parthenon & $250,000 from ERS? Mc's plan is to spend this obscene amount of money to 'assure resources stay aligned with the strategy."
He's throwing the hoi polloi some cake so they'll go away and be quiet.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


No, I still don't see much hope for McIntyre's conversion, either. His suggestion that he could just file those Conference of Concern letters elsewhere kinda tells the story.

What I'm wondering today is whether there's hope for the board's conversion, that they might finally be ready to reach out to other school boards, other superintendents, and their own and other systems' teachers.

I agree that McIntyre himself is a lost cause and I'm anxious to read board members' next evaluation of his performance.

jcgrim's picture

Climbing the edu-corporate ladder pays well

How to get stinking rich in the education industry:A 10-step plan. Does anything look and sound familiar in step 8?

Step #8: Pretend to study the data from the district. Visit some schools to seem legitimate. Then, convince the elected school board and superintendent to do any or all of the following (it really doesn't matter to you what they do, of course, because you still get paid regardless):

Fire teachers.
Hire unqualified temporary teachers that cost less and don't stay around long enough to get pricey retirement benefits.
Tell teachers they can earn bonuses and/or merit pay for reaching impossible goals.
Spend more money on testing students (but call them "benchmark assessments" to compile even more data, which Gullible Billionaires love).
Suggest they give biased surveys to teachers, parents, & students to convince them that you know what you are doing (these surveys are a great way to gather even more data. In fact, some Gullible Billionaires will often pay 100% for the surveys in addition to the grant!)
Squeeze even more students into classrooms to save their school district money (but don't ever mention how much they are wasting on outside consultants like yourself!)
Close neighborhood schools and give them to charter school investors.

Average Guy's picture

That's a great link!

That's a great link!

jcgrim's picture

TN parents are resisting corporate edu-reform

The parents in this group are from areas all across the state. I think some of the same people are responsible for this excellent 'Remove Kevin Huffman' pge, as well:


KCTeacher's picture

WBIR does not support teachers

Word going around WBIR is that the entire newsroom is upset and morale is down after the station’s general manager Jeff Lee spiked an investigative story into superintendent Jim McIntyre’s background and his lack of classroom experience

Eleanor Beck and Mike Donila had met with a bunch of teachers and talked to them about McIntyre’s limited experience and how it played a role in their relationship with him. The story was not going to be pretty but McIntyre talked Jeff Lee into not running it after McIntyre learned that it compared his experience to the superintendent’s across the state and that he came up at the very bottom.

This is just one more example of the local media bowing to the superintendent. Teachers who were interviewed are also upset because they rarely have a chance to have their story told in the media. The Knoxville News Sentinel certainly won’t do it. The Sentinel is a major supporter of the superintendent and also does whatever he says. Remember the tax increase that was supposed to be so great for us?
Why is the local media afraid of McIntyre and why won’t it ask tough questions. Or, if it does, why won’t those at the top allow the reporters to do their jobs. Look at all the glowing pieces that get reported about McIntyre. It looks like no one in the media cares about the teachers. People should start writing in and telling them that we’re tired of this and that if they continue to censure the news then we will continue to censure their product.

Jeff Lee email is and His phonenumber is 637-1010

Cece's picture

it's true

A teacher friend got an apology by email this afternoon from a person at WBIR saying the story would not air. No reason why was given. This teacher had been interviewed more than once for the story. I hope people show up Wednesday to demand an explanation from Dr. McIntyre. What was so bad he had to stop the story?

GSD's picture

Same here...

I am also a teacher who was interviewed. I spoke candidly and honestly, even though I knew it may not be in the best interest of my continued employment with KCS under the McIntyre regime. I will speak candidly and honestly before the School Board tomorrow night. McIntyre is a coward.

lonnie's picture

I look forward to hearing

I look forward to hearing your comments tomorrow night. I hope you will address the WBIR interview and make people aware that the intimidation is coming from the top and I don't mean just the superintendent. Powerful people are trying to crush the discontent with every trick they can muster.There is a lot at stake and our local and state media are businesses that are not acting responsibly in reporting the issues. It appears the only way to get honest coverage of what is happening is media reports outside of Tennessee. The Taylor machine is at work in Tennessee and we need a lot of Mr. Smith's to come to the rescue. There needs to be a popular revolt to save public education in our state.

Min's picture

I wish I could be at the meeting.

Alas, I am stuck in Memphis for the next two days.

AnotherTeacher's picture

Bullies like McIntyre and Lee

I too have now heard through the grapevine about how our superintendent and the general manager of WBIR Jeff Lee have killed our voices.

Straight From the Heart my ass

The previous teacher had the wrong contact information.

Jeff Lee's email is and you can also reach the entire company to let it be known at

Now is NOT the time to be silent.

Fed up with one-sided news's picture

Knox County superintendent story

I thought news was suppose to be unbiased. Apparently you didn't pay attention in journalism class, but I guess that's the teacher's fault too.

GSD's picture

Teacher's fault?

How's that?

Rachel's picture

Here's the thing: When

Here's the thing: When people move in the direction you want them to move, the smart thing to do is say "thank you, more of the same, please" (which is what Tamara did in her OP).

The dumb thing is to take the opportunity to hit them over the head.


Pam Strickland's picture

I'm extremely disappointed to

I'm extremely disappointed to hear of WBIR killing this story. It's especially odd that they would do such a thing after hiring Donila. It's a waste to have him on staff if they aren't going to let him do what they hired him to do -- real journalism.

Average Guy's picture

Were you able to verify the

Were you able to verify the story existed and was killed?

GSD's picture

Average Guy - I can verify

Average Guy - I can verify that it existed because I was (as a Knox County teacher) interviewed for it by, and spoke personally to, Mike and Eleanor.

It's also pretty clear that WBIR decided against running it - AFTER postponing it, and did so absent any "big" news stories which may have legitimately superseded relevancy or public interest in the topic.

And they dod so less than a week before McIntyre's contract is up for review / renewal / extension.

Maybe the dots connect?

Average Guy's picture

Makes one wonder,

who local educators should be turning to for real journalism.

Just keep up the good work.

Stay unified and public.

Young, Hopson, Mamabears and others are showing traditional media may be secondary in the voting public's awareness on this issue.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


And they dod so less than a week before McIntyre's contract is up for review / renewal / extension.

Yes, McIntyre's evaluation is to be discussed at the called meeting scheduled for Monday, December 9 at 5pm.

His current contract, you likely know, runs through October 1, 2016.

This is another reason I'm content to just encourage and nudge the board (but not lambast them) in the coming days: I think we'll very soon have a clearer picture of whether board members are increasingly rankled by his same behaviors that are so rankling to us.

We have just a few days to wait before we'll know with greater certainty whether a disconnect still exists between our perceptions and those of the board (and if it does exist, to what degree).

Having that definitive understanding will necessarily guide our next steps?

Sigh's picture

The fact that Edwards,

The fact that Edwards, Ingram, Haslam, and the like pressed WBIR to kill the story says they're scared. Maybe scared of the domino effect, like after McIntyre, Huffman's next? And that certainly wouldn't look good on the governor's "reform" credentials?

I certainly think that you ought not take up your pitchfork, Tamara, but it's a thrilling development that we've got them genuinely feeling threatened enough to act so desperately.

Cece's picture

"This is another reason I'm

"This is another reason I'm content to just encourage and nudge the board (but not lambast them) in the coming days: I think we'll very soon have a clearer picture of whether board members are increasingly rankled by his same behaviors that are so rankling to us."

That makes no sense at all. You're going to sit back and do nothing after what McIntyre did at WBIR?

McIntyre has one year of teaching experience from 1993. That was twenty years ago. Little wonder he doesn't have a clue what teaching is about. He covered up a major news story that would have exposed that. He has the least amount of teaching experience of all the Superintendents in Tennessee. Why should he get a contract extension? I'm calling and writing every School Board member and demanding that they vote NO to the McIntyre contract extension.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I agree with others here, Cece, in their suspicion that it wasn't McIntyre to have squelched the WBIR story, but McIntyre's supporters.

All I'm saying is that we saw some small degree of pushback on the part of board members WRT teacher evaluations Monday night.

Next Monday we'll have a chance to hear their evaluations of McIntyre.

Before we assume that board members won't be pushing back any more than we saw last Monday, let's hear what they have to say next Monday--then we can respond accordingly.

I suggest it because if they are coming around to our way of thinking, we don't want to alienate them at this important juncture.

(And if we find they aren't, my own pitchfork is propped right here at my elbow.)

frustrated parent's picture

"Next Monday we'll have a

"Next Monday we'll have a chance to hear their evaluations of McIntyre."

It is too late then. The time to contact School Board members is now. Not after this bureaucrat gets his contract extended. What good is it then?

And your argument about who made the phone call to WBIR is completely irrelevant. The point is the WBIR story was pulled to keep the people in the dark so they wouldn't contact their School Board members about the contract vote.

reform4's picture

Treat him like a UT Coach

If McIntyre was a UT coach, he would have been fired, contract or not, and replaced by now.

Sometimes you just need to 'cut bait', whatever the cost. Because it will cost us MORE in the long run.

Cece's picture

"Sometimes you just need to

"Sometimes you just need to 'cut bait', whatever the cost. Because it will cost us MORE in the long run."

You are so right. McIntyre has gotten over a million dollars from us and what have our children and teachers gotten in that same time? We need to cut our losses. This WBIR coverup is the final straw.

Rachel's picture

Here's a question, and maybe

Here's a question, and maybe food for thought: what makes y'all so sure that if McIntyre goes you'd like the new super any better?

Bbeanster's picture

Here's a question, and maybe

Here's a question, and maybe food for thought: what makes y'all so sure that if McIntyre goes you'd like the new super any better?

So you're telling them they might as well accept as fact that they're helpless?

Rachel's picture

So you're telling them they

So you're telling them they might as well accept as fact that they're helpless?

Yes, that's EXACTLY what I'm suggesting.

Come on, Bean, you know better than to put words in someone's mouth.

I'm simply suggesting that the amount of energy & focus some posters are putting on getting rid of McIntyre just might possibly, maybe, be the wrong strategy.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


If the task is to unite teachers, school boards, and superintendents across the state to push back against some of these reforms, we already know where we can find 63 Tennessee supers better able to rally Knox County, if they were inclined.

Maybe one of those is inclined to lead Knox County?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Come to think of it, there are also 80 school districts in Ohio to have now walked away from Race to the Top money due to the strings attached.

Shoot, there's a combined candidate pool of 143 pissed off superintendents in just those two states, every one of which might better rally Knox County than McIntyre has.

And they're folks who have already served as supers. McIntyre hadn't.

TNchickadee's picture

WBIR story

I was interviewed for the story. The lead reporter contacted me today shortly before airtime to let me know the story had been pulled.

AnonymousOne's picture

"especially odd that they

"especially odd that they would do such a thing after hiring Donila"

Maybe he's just window dressing, I doubt he was brought in to redirect what lavish and praising attention is given to the local, annointed powers-that-be by the local media.

Observer's picture

on the radio this morning

Lauren Hopson was interviewed on WNFZ 94.3 FM this morning and spoke out about the intimidation that is coming from the school system to teachers that speak out. She also spoke out that WBIR pulling the story has to do with the vote Monday Dec. 9th to extend Dr. McInytre's contract beyond 2016. It is bad enough that this unethical man has a contract until 2016. To extend that contract is unconscionable.

If there ever was an argument for electing the School Superintendent this is it. We have an Imperial School Board that does not represent the voters.

School Board meeting is 5:00 pm today in the Main Assembly Room. Wear Red if you want change.

Observer's picture

replay of Lauren Hopson interview

The Lauren Hopson radio interview from earlier this morning will be replayed this hour on 94.3 FM and 850 AM.

Observer's picture


Actually that radio interview is being replayed right now.

Bbeanster's picture

Timmy isn't his name, Pam.

Timmy isn't his name, Pam. You did that to ridicule and infantalize him, which is OK, if that's your intention. But you need to own it, especially if you're going to criticize others for name-gaming.

Observer's picture

next Super could be worse?

So the next Super could go way beyond state, federal, and Common Core testing for elementary children? I don't think so.

The next Super could use "letters of concern" to control and intimidate teachers? I don't think so.

The next Super could spend more money than ever before and have the ACT scores for West High go down two points. I don't think so.

The next Super could call WBIR and kill and investigative story proving he is the least qualified Super in the state in terms of teaching experience? I don't think so.

I don't think we can do worse than we have now. But I don't have cool-aid stains on my lips either.

Rachel's picture

I don't think we can do worse

I don't think we can do worse than we have now.

If my sixty some years on this earth have taught me anything, it's to never, ever, ever say it can't be worse. Because it always can. And often will.

Besides, I seem to remember hearing the same thing about Lindsey.

However, my point was really two-fold:
1) All the nasty bad-mouthing of McIntyre (and I'm not talking about criticism; I'm talking name-calling, etc.) doesn't make you a person that others want to listen to, much less follow.

2) Some of you seem to only have energy for calling for his head. Seems to me that might be other useful places in the fight for public education to put that energy.

But I don't have cool-aid stains on my lips either.

Oh, bite me. This is why I swore off talking on KV about this issue. I see I made a mistake in re-engaging. Fortunately, that's easy to fix.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


The school board regular meeting has begun and Chair Lynn Fugate has just announced that KCS will appoint teacher representatives to this working group she and McIntyre are to convene next week.

Don't like the sound of that, but we'll see...

AnonymousOne's picture

A rubber stamp for the rubber

A rubber stamp for the rubber stamp.

Do the sitting board members not realize they'll all have challengers for their next elections?

They're living in Fantasyland. It's only a matter of time.

Frank Hodges's picture

My Letter and Response from WBIR

It's obvious that WBIR does not care but we should not give up. You can email station manager Jeff Lee at and copy to

To: Lee, Jeff
Cc: WBIR-News
Subject: Please apologize to your viewers

Dear Jeff Lee:

First, I would like to know whether you have ever attended a school board meeting or even talked to a teacher about the problems they are facing in our school system. I didn't think so.

As a parent of two children and the husband of a school teacher, I am extremely disappointed in your decision to pull a story put together by your investigative team that would have delved into the background of Superintendent Dr. McIntyre.

This from what I understand would have been a story that gave a voice to those rarely heard. I could spend hours writing to you about the problems and the hurdles teachers in our community face, but I think it's quite apparent by your actions that you do not care.

Time after time you station has been nothing more than a cheerleader for Dr. McIntyre. Your station, like the rest of the local media, has failed to ask tough questions and report on tough matters that are essential to local school policy and the education of our children.

I now find myself wondering who is more of a detriment to Knox County. Is it you Jeff Lee, or is it Dr. McIntyre? At least Dr. McIntyre doesn't hide behind the "Straight From the Heart" slogan.

We know how bad he is. He has created major morale problems with teachers and students and heaved undue duress upon them. Now I think we know about your character as well.

Maybe you'll surprise us Jeff Lee and maybe you'll attend tomorrow's school board meeting. Have you ever been to a school board meeting before? I'm pretty sure you haven't. But maybe you will go to tomorrow's meeting and explain to the hundreds of teachers, students, and parents who will be there, and you can personally tell them why you have opted to be a one-sided "news" station.

We're not going away Jeff Lee. But with the lack of coverage your station provides, perhaps one day WBIR will.


Frank Hodges


Mr. Hodges,

We often work on stories that never make it to air, and we never say with certainly when or if a story will air because it all comes down to when it is ready and when it is right.

WBIR does not typically comment on stories in progress but since you inquired specifically, we will confirm we are working on a story regarding Dr. McIntyre’s relationship with teachers. The story changed Tuesday with the superintendent’s release of strategies to address some teacher concerns. The story is being refocused to reflect this new development.

As always, we appreciate you writing WBIR. Jeff


Mr. Lee:

Your lack of courage, courtesy and honesty is alarming.

You not only lied to me, but you did so IN A FORM LETTER!

I understand that stories never make it to air, but how many stories that are complete have never made it to air? The story "never changed". The only thing that changed was whether to run it, and you and your friend Dr. McIntyre decided not to run the story.

You say that there will be another story today, but we've decided that we don't want to see another watered-down WBIR "news" story.

Further, I asked you a question. How many school board meetings have you attended and how many teachers have you personally talked to? I am willing to bet that the answer to both questions is zero.


TNchickadee's picture

He sent this same response to

He sent this same response to me and all the other outraged teachers that emailed him last night. We all called BS on him. The focus of that piece had absolutely nothing to do with McIntyre's "response" which is just another stall tactic until after he gets his contract extended on Monday.

Observer's picture

what happened?

I get back home to watch the CTV recording of the School Board meeting, and nothing. Censored again. What the hell is going on? I watch School Board meetings on CTV every month, but not this one?

What else you going to censor McIntyre?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


It did air, O, on Comcast channel 10.

Teachers, two students, and two parents had the microphone from 5:00 until about 7:15 p.m. and they adjourned at maybe 7:45-ish? I had to dash off on an errand and didn't note the exact time.

BTW, I'm now wondering if my initial post on this thread was in error as to my report that Indya had introduced a resolution Monday to be sent to legislators urging that TVAAS be made more transparent.

In tonight's meeting, it sounded as if the board had simply amended their Legislative Priorities to include a withdrawal of support for the TEAM/APEX evaluation model specifically, a request for TVAAS to be made more transparent, and a request that some new evaluation model link students' growth measures more directly to the teachers who taught those students.

I sometimes have difficulty following the action from my living room, what with a constant parade of family and small furry friends in and out. Apologies for that.

(Twenty-five fine speakers again tonight. Can anyone offer a headcount as to attendees wearing red?)

Observer's picture

"It did air, O, on Comcast

"It did air, O, on Comcast channel 10."

That does nothing for me. CTV is the only way to record School Board meetings on tv when you can't get Comcast. I called them. The guy that answered said he was not allowed to talk about it and I could leave a voice message for the General Manager who was not there. Then he hung up. It's just so petty. How does this kind of blackout happen twice?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Twice, Observer?

Do you mean that last month's regular meeting was blacked out, too?

Observer's picture

"Do you mean that last

"Do you mean that last month's regular meeting was blacked out, too?"

No. The regular School Board meeting is ALWAYS on CTV. Except this one. The young man I called on the phone at CTV was really nervous when he read his prepared statement. He knew it was complete bullshit and he knew that I knew he knew it was bullshit. What a horrible job to have.

The first blackout was WBIR. Right? Yesterday?

Two TV blackouts in two days. I can't remember that. Not even Pilot Oil got this kind of treatment. This has to be bigger than Knox County.

Was McIntyre supposed to be something special someplace else later on?

cwg's picture

The meeting was streamed

The meeting was streamed online on the KCS website. The reporter next to me was watching it. And it always takes a day or so before the recorded version makes it up.

Bbeanster's picture

I was at the meeting, but I

I was at the meeting, but I left after the public forum. It aired on Channel 10, Comcast.

I'm going to be very interested to see the video - many great teacher speakers and some students, parents and a UT prof. absolutely hit it out of the park. I left before the board members commented, but judging from the response to their remarks that I've seen, the teachers weren't very encouraged.

When Lynne Fugate refused to allow the polite young man from Farragut an additional minute, you could hear audible gasps at her rudeness.

lonnie's picture

I was watching the faces of

I was watching the faces of the board members as each speaker gave their very effective personal accounts and views. A picture is worth a thousand words. The faces told the story. It has been a very sad response from the Board of Education, the Superintendent and the media.The board members appeared upset that they would have to sit there and listen to some of the people they were elected to serve. When board chair Fugate refused the requested one minute, her tone was not that of a distinguished leader trying to politely moderate a public forum. Her tone was that of an arrogant public official talking down to people she does not respect.How dare someone, especially a lowly student, challenge her authority and make her stay a few minutes later in the evening. After all, she only makes a little more than half of what the average Knox County teacher makes. Also, I think school board members get insurance and a pension for all their hard work. We need some real leaders on the school board for a change. Members that might earn a few of the $23k or so they make each year by really serving our children and community. We need some replacements immediately.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


...the teachers weren't very encouraged.

Well, I have to confess I'm less encouraged than I was 48 hours ago.

That McIntyre has offered to file Conference of Concern letters elsewhere is about what I expected on that front.

I am, however, surprised and disappointed to see Fugate suggest a committee of teachers "appointed" by KCS, no matter who should nominate its members, and I'm sorry to learn that what I'd thought was Kincannon's resolution now appears to be no more than an edit to the Legislative Priorities text appearing on the KCS website.

The cancelation of the WBIR story is of course awfully disheartening.

And AO, I hate to burst your bubble too, but the only "challenger" yet to appear in the upcoming election cycle is mine.

reform4's picture

Am I reading this wrong?

From the Election Commission web site:

District 1:
Marshall Walker, Gloria Deathridge

District 4:
Sally Absher, Laurel Alford, Lynn Fugate

District 9:
Tamara Shepherd, Pam Trainor


Sally Absher is a Tea Party member (co-chair?), opposed to Common Core.

Alford and Walker appears to have no Google footprint.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Well, I'll be. I've been clicking on "Officials & Candidates," then "Petitions & Financial Disclosures" every day since the 22nd. Could it be that candidates don't appear on that drop down menu until they appoint a treasurer?

I'd wondered where this Petition Pick-up list I'd seen in prior years was hiding...

That's Terry Hill and me in the 6th. Pam Trainor is unopposed in the 9th.

I'm wondering if Laurel Alford in the 4th might be Laurie Alford, who was formerly in the 5th and ran against Karen Carson in 2008?

Thanks for that link.

AnonymousOne's picture

"And AO, I hate to burst your

"And AO, I hate to burst your bubble too, but the only "challenger" yet to appear in the upcoming election cycle is mine. "

Point taken. But if you look at the last school board meetings, and see the outrage there and building, much like Black Wednesday, it spells "oppoertunity" to any potential candidate.

If the current BOE members don't see that, they're well as being deaf and dumb to the needs and wants of the communities they claim to represent.

AnonymousOne's picture

, it spells "oppoertunity"

, it spells "oppoertunity"

My bad. If it spells oppoertunity, maybe they shouldn't be running for school board.

Commenting before coffee, always risky.

Bbeanster's picture

My buddy Marshall!That's

My buddy Marshall!

That's Jackie Walker's big brother. he's a social worker and a coach. Good guy.



Bbeanster's picture

Has Tamara moved to S

Has Tamara moved to S Knoxville?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


No, I just have an empty apartment with a card table and an answering machine there.

(That's a joke.)

Bbeanster's picture

No, I just have an empty

No, I just have an empty apartment with a card table and an answering machine there.

(That's a joke.)

For those of you who ain't from here, T's referring to a candidate she outed several years ago for not living in the district he was seeking to represent. She birddogged that poor, hapless boob, who won the primary and was fixing to take office unopposed after the general. She checked utility records and peered in the windows of his alleged domicile and found nobody home. Then she hauled his ass to court. I don't think it took more than one court appearance for him to throw up his hands and holler uncle. He probably had nightmares about her for years and years.
Like I said, you really don't want to piss ol' Tamara off.

p.s.: As I recall, this guy was a Ragsdale candidate during a time when MR was wanting to oust the supe -- Charles Q Lindsey. I believe young Tyler Harber ran his campaign.

Bbeanster's picture

I have never seen a political

I have never seen a political issue break the way this one is. Who'd have thought Gloria Johnson and Sally Abshire (Knox County's Tea Party Republican committee woman) would be on the same side of anything?
I got into that a little bit in my column on Ethan Young (the ultra-smart Farragut kid who spoke last month):


Tamara Shepherd's picture


If Laurel Alford in the 4th is Laurie, she's a close friend or family member of Rep. Steve Hall, too.

Been with him every time I've seen her, anyway.

Cece's picture

Sally Absher had a great

Sally Absher had a great speech last night. I asked teacher friends about her later in the evening and was told she has nothing to do with the Tea Party now and hasn't for years but she started the first Tea Party rally in Knoxville years ago. To be honest, I don't care. Lynne Fugate has to go. Fugate is the swing vote to keep McIntyre. So Sally has my full support. I thought Fugate was rude and obnoxious last night. Sally is married to a Knox County teacher. She gets it. Go Sally.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Yeah, those public water and electric records came in kinda handy when Randy Nichols arrived in the courtroom and plopped down in a chair at the defendent's table. Stayed there all morning, too.

(My status in the suit was "Relater for the State of Tennessee," don't you see, and Nichols was supposed to be on my team!)

Bbeanster's picture

BTW, odd that Terry Hill

BTW, odd that Terry Hill keeps being identified as Cindy Buttry's mother. My sources tell me that Buttry's mother's name is Is Jude, and she was a previous spouse of Terry Hill's current husband, former school board chair Steve Hill (the guy who enabled Campfield to be elected to the state senate in 2010 by becoming the third candidate and splitting up the vote in the GOP primary).

Steve Hill called Stacey everything in the book during the primary, then signed up as a host for a big Stacey general election fundraiser, then got appointed senator for about a minute after Burchett (the incumbent) got elected county mayor and was sworn in in September (before the November state elections).

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Yes, my understanding is that Steve Hill raised Cindy as her step-father, but that he is now married to Terry.

The one time I met Terry, it was with Cindy and I believe she introduced Terry as her step-mother (although I suppose she really isn't).

The two women are close, though. I know Terry sometimes keeps Cindy's son and takes him places he needs to go, that sort of thing.

R. Neal's picture


Bbeanster's picture

I don't doubt that they're

I don't doubt that they're close, but I believe G. Vines and maybe another reporter have flatly ID'ed her as Buttry's mother.


Cindy Buttry's picture

Who my mother is

I would just like to clarify some information that has been stated previously. My biological mother and the only mother I have is Terry Hill. She is also a candidate for School Board in District 6. And yes, she enjoys being a grandmother by spending time with him. My biological dad is Mike Williams. My step father for the past 18 years is Steve Hill. Both of my fathers are very active and involved in my life. I hope this clarifies things. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime if you have any questions. I am happy to answer them.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Same here, Cindy.

You had introduced me to Terry some time back, you'll recall, but I could not remember which of your parents was a step and which was a biological relation.

I had asked Sandra Clark about it just recently, but possibly I misunderstood her clarification to me?

Cordial nod to your mom, of course.

Bbeanster's picture

Thanks Cindy. Sorry for my

Thanks Cindy. Sorry for my misinformation.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I said (Wednesday at 11:18 p.m.): "... I'm sorry to learn that what I'd thought was Kincannon's resolution now appears to be no more than an edit to the Legislative Priorities text appearing on the KCS website."

Well, I spoke by phone with a board member this morning who says I was right the first time: There is, in fact, a resolution on its way to Nashville (in addition to that amended Legislative Priorities text at the KCS website).

Apologies again. It's sometimes hard to follow the action in detail from home, what with no detailed agenda, no back-up docs like board members have in hand, and interruptions from family...

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