Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Walking the Talk

August 2, 2010

I am continually amazed at the attempts of political candidates across the country to co-opt issues in which they have no experience.  Years ago, the Christian Right encouraged numerous politicians to have a “come to Jesus” experience and advocate platforms they neither agreed with nor could validate.  If one could say something enough times and get his/her picture made with the right people, then… voila! you’re automatically an expert.

I have thought about this in relation to my lifetime of experience in socially conservative issues.  Though these matters will always form the basis for strength in our republic, they do not currently rise to the top of the national discussion, except during Supreme Court nominee hearings before the U.S. Senate.  The nation’s attention is clearly focused on overly big government, runaway spending, excessive debt, unsustainable entitlements, an open border, energy dependence, an unfair tax system, and two wars against enemies that wear no discernible uniform.

To make the record clear, let me describe my walk compared to my talk.

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Education in TN – part IV

January 29, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here? – final in a series of 4

The Tennessee gubernatorial candidates for were recently asked for specific actions to improve education in Tennessee. Mayor Haslam: focus renewal efforts on inner city schools. McMillan: evaluate teachers on achievement gains by students and not test scores. State Sen. Kyle: universities should graduate students, not enroll them. Lt. Gov. Ramsey: need more Charter Schools and homeschooling. Gibbons: provide full scholarships for those planning to teach. Rep. Wamp: study “Best Practices” as we consider reform. McWherter: see teaching as a noble profession.

I guess I took a lot of notes. Actually, it reminded me a lot of school.

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A response to Rep. Cooper’s guest editorial

January 27, 2010

Recently, 5th District Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper wrote a guest editorial on President Obama’s successes for the year.

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201001240210/OPINION01/1240355 (more…)

Education in TN – part II

January 25, 2010

The Importance of Local Control – part 2 in a series of 4

Before the Gubernatorial debate I mentioned in the previous post, I had the good fortune to talk with two public school teachers from rural Tennessee for over an hour. They were interested in how the teacher evaluation component would correlate teacher compensation and bonuses to student progress. The reasoning: Weed out bad teachers and fairly compensate good teachers. Their judgment: not one of the candidates had any idea what the average teacher experiences in the classroom and should not dictate how they were paid or bonused.

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Education in TN – part I

January 22, 2010

Education is the People’s Business – Part 1 in a series of 4

This past Thursday night, the Candidates for Governor of Tennessee met at Belmont University in Nashville to answer questions about their vision for Education. It is clear that many issues need resolution including dropout and graduation rates, college preparation, teacher evaluation, importance of principals, resources, testing, Pre-K, business partnerships, etc. The State Legislature was in special session crafting legislation to allow Tennessee to receive available Federal money. Tennessee’s state budget deficit makes this money vital. It seems shameful that we conduct a special legislative session to discuss improving education only when money is at risk. I believe that there were some questions that were not asked.

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