UnifiEd launches Hamilton County public school guide
UnifiEd, Hamilton County’s only grassroots public education advocacy organization, has launched an online Public School Guide detailing information about all public schools in Hamilton County. The Public School Guide is the first user friendly, accessible database that compiles information about a school’s student body makeup, academic achievement, class offerings, and contact information for local representatives and principals in Hamilton County.
“UnifiEd is really excited to provide parents, students, teachers, and the community with a one stop shop for information concerning Hamilton County schools,” said UnifiEd’s Executive Director, Jonas Barriere. “The Public School Guide details test scores, spending, student background, leadership, and many other details of the school,” he added “Our intent is to provide an easy-to-understand guide to all Hamilton County public schools.”
UnifiEd says the Public School Guide gives users the ability to compare their schools with other districts of similar size including Davidson County, Shelby County, Knox County, and Tennessee as a whole.
Jamie Gaines, a CSLA parent said, “The Public School Guide helps me better understand what services and classes our schools have to offer our students including pre-k, AP classes, and exceptional education capabilities. This guide helps me better understand the unique challenges facing our community and empowers me with the tools I need to ask the right questions of the right people.”
UnifiEd has plans to expand the Public School Guide in the future based on community feedback.
“As a teacher, the Public School Guide helps me identify the strengths and areas of growth for my school. It will help me set goals for myself and my class as a whole,” says Jessica Dean, a 3rd grade teacher at Battle Academy.
UnifiEd hopes that this data will spur much needed conversations about how to ensure a great teacher in every classroom, achieve equal opportunity for all students, highlight transparency and accountability, and prioritize funding for our schools.
We showed the database to parent, Donna Christian Lowe.
"I think we should have had this tool within our district, within our HCDE landscape, years ago," she said.
She's excited to be able to see where her son's school ranks and how his school compares to others throughout the district.
"I think it's good that someone outside did this because right now there's not a lot of trust in our school board or in our school system," Lowe said.
But, she knows everyone won't feel the same way.
"I'm certain some people aren't gonna like this because it brings transparency. It brings accountability. It makes and forces people to do the right thing," she added.
We brought those concerns to the top leaders in the Central Office.
"We feel accountable regardless if we have a website or not, but I think it's important that we share our story, and share what's going on in our schools. Where do we need to improve? Where are we doing really well? And then go from there," said Chief Academic Office, Jill Levine.