About SPEAK

Mission

SPEAK is a collaborative effort of parents, students, teachers, and other community members working for positive educational change in Knox County through awareness, advocacy, and empowerment.  We support the strengthening of public schools through the active involvement of all stakeholders.

Core Values

We SPEAK for awareness:

  • We believe in facilitating the exchange of current information, research, and perspectives about important education legislation and policies.
  • We believe that ongoing, active dialogue among various levels of decision-makers and constituents is critical for informed and responsible decision-making and legislation.
  • We believe that critical consciousness of public education is the core of democracy. Local decisions in our education system are a central component of an involved community.

We SPEAK for advocacy:

  • We believe in small class sizes, ample planning time, and teacher autonomy for supportive, creative, and individualized learning.
  • We believe in fair, constructive, and responsive evaluations of students, teachers, and administrators, conducted with transparency and a respect for professionalism.
  • We believe that standardized tests should be limited in order to prioritize practices that support student learning and protect instructional time.
  • We believe that all students should have access to inspiring and diverse educational experiences through high quality public education.
  • We believe in full funding of public schools, with financial expenditures that focus on meeting student needs, rather than sustaining a system for its own sake or promoting privatization.

We SPEAK for empowerment:

  • We believe in the strength of informed stakeholders collaborating as equal partners to enact positive change.
  • We believe that our communities rather than corporations should be making decisions about educating our children.
  • We believed in organized action to focus attention on critical issues and give voice to disempowered individuals.
  • We believe in participating in established democratic processes for the election of local, state, and national officials who support quality public education for all children.