Scales delivers State of the School address - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Scales delivers State of the School address

Posted: Updated:
FILE: Dr. Jim Scales FILE: Dr. Jim Scales

By Antwan Harris & WRCB Staff

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Dr. Jim Scales is preparing for a less than stellar report when it comes to reading and math scores for Hamilton County Schools.

In his State of the Schools address Wednesday, he says students' scores are showing most will test at "Basic", or "Below Basic" in core areas.

"We have to meet those standards and there are no excuses. We have to get in the ball game and play by the rules," Dr. Scales said.

Scales says while the testing numbers are ready to take a dive, discipline numbers are improving.

School suspensions have declined over the past three years.

PTA presidents say more teachers are taking time with students.

"The one on one that principals are doing with their teachers and the different training is helping the students overall," Tim Hixson, PTA president said.

School expulsion rates have also gone down since 2008.

Scales says the next course of action is to use federal "Race to the Top" money to improve teacher training.

He says that will be a start to improving ailing test scores.

"If we are below the state average then we must get those up to standard for sure," Dr. Scales said.

Dr. Scales says Tennessee's academic standards are ranked second most difficult in the United States. Massachusetts ranks number one.

Scales says school fights are down, though he didn't provide specific numbers and attendance rates are up to by 10 percent over last year.


CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Scales is delivering the State of the Schools speech today in Chattanooga.

In the speech Dr. Scales is addressing the budget, graduation rates and extending a warning about lower test scores due to Tennessee's new higher standards.

"We have 42,000 students in Hamilton County. We are fully staffed. We don't have problems, we have opportunities," Dr. Scales said. "Our budget is balanced. Eighty percent of our budget is staffing. We had to reduce staff at secondary schools."

"There may be some light at the end of the tunnel in the 2012-2013 school budget," Scales said. "I hope that light isn't a train coming at us."

"For 09-10 school year: Fights are down. Suspensions are down. Attendance was up. Grad rates went up 10%," said Dr. Scales. "Hamilton County grad rates are up from 70.6% to 80.2%."

According to Dr. Scales, There were nearly 3,000 fewer suspensions in 2009-10 than in 2007-08.

When it comes to test scores Dr. Scales said, "Hamilton County is expecting lower test score due to such high academic standards… Fifty percent of third grade students in Tennessee will score "Basic" or "Below Basic" in math and reading due to high standards."

Despite the lower test scores from the state, Dr. Scales said 80% of Hamilton County students will graduate and that "72% of 2009 graduates attended 2-4 year colleges."

Dr. Scales added, ""We are headed in the right direction, but we have a ways to go."

For continuous updates, follow @AntwanHarris on Twitter and stay with

Powered by Frankly