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Q&A with Billy Orgel: Your Questions about Consolidated Memphis-Shelby Co. Schools Answered!

May 16, 2012

Here are this week’s answers to your questions from Shelby Co. School Board Chairman Billy Orgel:

Q. 1. From  Cordova teacher Darrell Hugueley:

MCS has done a tremendous amount of work with the TEI (Teacher Effectiveness Initiative), including restructuring teacher evaluations, revising teacher compensation and teacher leadership roles, developing teacher support strategies, and establishing the LEI (Leadership Effectiveness Initiative). In spite of the gap in leadership with the resignation of Dr. Hamer and the potential loss of Dr. Cash, and in light of the commitment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to continue its support of this important work, how open are SCS and TPC leaders to continuing the forward momentum of the TEI?

Billy Orgel’s answer:

Both administrations are working diligently on a request from the Gates (Foundation) to show ten how we can expand the effort of TEI  to Shelby County Schools. Everyone seems to be supportive of a continuing role in the unified system for this initiative.

Q. 2. From a 25-year MCS high school teacher:

Memphis City Schools no longer permit corporal punishment.  Shelby County Schools do. I have been a teacher in MCS for 25 years and have experienced the difference in discipline under both policies.

Now I can only process paperwork. The erring student gets suspended–which just amounts to a free day from school.  When corporal punishment was allowed in MCS, it really was a deterrent to misbehavior.  How will the many conflicting policies like these be reconciled in the unified district? It hardly seems possible in so short a time.  And what will be the policy on corporal punishment?

Billy Orgel’s answer:

We are working through the Transition Planning Commission who is recommending a blue print for the merged District. To my knowledge corporal punishment has not been addressed. We have a full school year ahead of us to reconcile policies.

What’s your question for Billy Orgel?  Submit in the Comments section below and we will publish his answer in a future post at Back in River City.

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