Please note: In response to Virginia’s outlandish treatment of parents during School Board meetings, Nashville’s State Legislature has passed this controversial bill. Gov. Lee has promised to sign it. Your comments are always appreciated.
“TN Gov. Bill Lee will allow political parties to run School Board candidates”
by Dr. Steve
Y’all heard about the recent goings-on in local School Boards both here in Nashville and around the country. It actually resulted in an amazing Republican win in a blue state like Virginia. (and a razor-thin loss in (D) NJ) Politicians of both Parties learned an important lesson: “Never, and I mean never, mess with mothers fighting for their children”.
Amazingly, some Boards don’t want parents involved in our kid’s education at all. Just pay your school taxes and leave it to the experts. Really? Who are these experts? Who pays their salary? Who knows what is best for our kids than their parents?
50 years ago, as a two-term President of The Great Neck North High School PTA in NY., I felt it was not only my responsibility as a parent to become involved in our sons’ education, but I also tried to get other parents involved as well. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. We nominated 2 parents to run and then serve on our own local School Board. One was even elected as its President. We never looked back. Parental involvement in our schools was here to stay.
I saw the benefits of having parents on the School Board. Who else had more at stake than a parent fighting for a better education for their own children? But now, as a grandfather, living in Nashville for the past 6 years, I’ve been told by some Boards, “to mind my own business”. How could a Superintendent not know that a student was raped in the school bathroom by a male student dressed as a woman? Am I missing something? Maybe his own kids attend a private school? Maybe he and his Staff were too busy doing “important things”, like making sure the school lunches were served nice and hot.
In a perfect world, education should be nonpartisan. So years ago, Tennessee decided to try and take politics out of our schools. School Board candidates were forbidden to run representing any political party. Most of the time, this system did work out quite well. But not anymore.
Unfortunately, it turned into a giant guessing game. The reason has become most apparent. There are so many educational issues that are now politicized. Following Iowa and Florida, TN Gov Lee has promised to sign a new law that will allow school board candidates to run as Republican, Democrat, or any other political party. One’s political affiliation, whether you want to admit it or not, does affect the type of education our children will receive. Let Board Members be upfront and tell us in advance.
- School Choice, Magnet, Charter Schools, and vouchers, allow underprivileged families to choose a better education for their children. Parents don’t have to automatically send their children to a mediocre, neighborhood public school. Why should the quality of a child’s education be determined by their family income or zip code? This Republican idea has been totally rejected by every Democrat I know. To Liberal Democrats, Private Schools are the problem, rather than the solution. Dems claim that they are taking talented students out of the public schools, even though these very kids are then subjected to an inferior education.
- Critical Race Theory (CRT): Oh Boy!! Progressive Dems started this one and it looks like they regret it now. From day one, conservatives were all against it.
- Parental involvement in their children’s education: Both Parties are basically for this, with a few radicle leftwing exceptions, like Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Hopefully, he has learned his lesson. But I doubt it!
- Teacher’s Unions: Most parents feel that teacher competency, supervision, methods, etc should be in the hands of our educators. After all, retaining a teacher should not be a popularity contest, but based on competency. However, Republicans feel that taxpayer money should not be used to support the Teacher’s Union, since their Unions only financially support Democrat candidates. They also feel that teachers should be judged by results. Merit-pay is definitely a Republican idea and disdained by Democrats and the Teacher’s Union as well.
- Prayer in schools: definitely a Conservative Republican idea which Democrats universally abhor. They are also against meditation or silent prayers, even at football games.
- Since many Democrats are for gun control and a repeal of the 2nd Amendment (guns are the problem, not the criminal), they face a serious dilemma after all of the school shootings. The need for well-trained, armed security in our schools is slowly becoming accepted by everyone.
- 3 types of Bathrooms: This issue is only promoted by liberal ideologues. Republicans are still appalled by this concept. I for one will never allow my granddaughters to go into any “ladies room” which allows men, dressed as women to be present. At first, that was so politically incorrect. But now it’s becoming more and more the normal reaction.
- Teaching “the basics”. For the most part, Republicans believe that the core of a child’s education should be mastering the basics. Democrats are much more interested in a less structured curriculum.
Let’s stop the guesswork. Tell us the political affiliation of School board candidates in advance, so we can make a better judgment when we vote. Anyone can still vote.