SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Schools teachers had a chance to take their concerns right to the top.
From school safety to a changing curriculum, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson heard it all at a meeting Monday night.
Teachers and district leaders agreed that the meeting helped to dissipate a growing climate of fear within Shelby County Schools.
They sounded off about their concerns but did it in an environment they called a "safe place."
Teachers candidly told Superintendent Dorsey Hopson concerns they have within the district.
"As a parent, I looked at the climate and looked at the culture. I don't want my child in that," one parent said.
The question-answer panel was organized by the United Education Association of Shelby County. The goal was to open dialogue between district leaders and those on the education front lines
"We wanted them to know that your safe to say what you need to say to the superintendent," UEA president Tekila Rucker said.
Teachers asked questions about safety, curriculum, and overall culture of Shelby County Schools.
Rucker said many teachers are concerned about the English Language arts curriculum, something teachers called inconsistent and lacking in creativity.
"We should be teaching them how to read, we should be teaching them how to achieve their goals, not how to take a test," Rucker said.
"We just need the autonomy to come in and say I know what I am supposed to teach, let me teach it, allow me to teach it the way I feel my students are going to get it," SCS teacher Aleace Scott said.
"We do too much testing, it's preposterous," one person said at the meeting.
Chief of Schools Dr. Sharon Griffin said the district is working to lay out a new academic plan, one that would address issues like lack of consistency and students who switch schools each school year.
"No matter what school you go to, it is consistent and that our students will be exposed to the best teachers and the best possible support we can provide," Griffin said.
That new academic plan is expected to be rolled out in just a couple of weeks, and the goal of the plan is to bring every child up to speed by 2025.