Today is the big day! The Governor is going to host a “summit” that no one asked for, populated with hand-picked participants, the large majority of whom are big supporters of Common Core, on the governor’s payroll or have their snouts deep in the public trough feeding on education tax dollars.
The way the “summit” was announced spoke volumes about the motivations behind the confab. The administration is clearly feeling the heat over Common Core and the diffident incompetence of the governor’s commissioner of education, Kevin Huffman (D-Obama). The whole thing was called at the last minute, and as of a few days ago didn’t even have an agenda (Let RTP help you get started on that agenda: First, start with the Pledge of Allegiance. Then open with a prayer — oh, wait, no prayer. This is a public school “summit”).
While some are hoping the governor will take the opportunity today to announce Huffman’ s resignation, we here at RTP aren’t holding our breath. If Huffman’s mismanagement of the DOE and his arrogant dismissal of teachers and parents’ concerns weren’t enough to get his sorry ass fired, then we doubt the governor is ever going to do it. After all, “you can’t fix stupid.”
So back to our original point: It’s mighty hard to have an objective conversation when the large majority of those invited to attend are either on the government teat or are rutting around the slop bucket trying to make a fast dollar of the clueless taxpayers. To prove our point, there were a total of 24 groups invited. Of those, 21 were part of the governor’s staff, on the government payroll, are big supporters of Common Core or were businesses that pig out on education tax dollars. Here are some examples:
- Achievement School District [Run by Huffman’s pal, Chris Barbic, who along with Huffman, just got sued for $10 million. The two are accused of rigging contracts for a charter school company that Barbic founded (Souie-e-e, pig!). Both are on Haslam’s government payroll.
- SCORE — Took big dollars from Race to the Top taxpayer money. Board of Directors includes the lobbyist for Pearson as well as some of the people who gave big dollars to defeat anti-Common Core Republicans in the August primary.
- Tennessee Chamber of Commerce — in the bag for Common Core. Funded a pro-Common Core video and ad campaign earlier this year.
- TN Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) — also represented by Pearson lobbyist Chuck Cagle. Pearson has a HUGE multi-million dollar stake in making sure Common Core is jammed down the throats of our kids.
Yep, aside from a few token conservatives, the line up looks like a Common Core love fest.
This ain’t a “summit.” It’s nothing more than hog-callin’ time.