Responding to concerns from parents about the problems with the pervasive testing taking place in Tennessee public schools, Rep. Andy Holt decided to check it out himself. He thought he could get some good insights if he took the eighth grade english & language arts test himself, on the same day in the same classroom and in the same environment as the students themselves. After the test was over, he then planned to ask the students what they thought of the test and about school in general. He approached a principal in Obion County who welcomed the legislator. Easy-peezy, right?
Poor public servant. How naive of Rep. Holt to think that doing his job would get a favorable reaction.
Holt thought this was a low-key way to gain information about the state of public education without having state bureaucrats run interference for their pro-Common Core agendas (which include LOTS of testing).
When Commissioner of Education Candice “Queen Bee” McQueen caught wind of what Rep. Holt was about to do she went into panic mode. How DARE an elected official by-pass HER and the pro-Common Core Haslam administration and seek answers for himself. She immediate called Holt and in strong terms bordering on threats told him that taking the test was not a good idea. If he would like to see some practice tests (ones especially cooked up for nosy legislators, no doubt), then he could drive to Nashville and see them in her office, where bureaucrat observers could keep an eye on him.
Holt politely declined and said he was going to do it anyway.
That REALLY pissed off the Queen Bee and sent the bureaucrats into a frenzy. Within minutes McBee was on the phone to the Superintendent of Obion County schools, Russ Davis, who then called Holt and in unmistakable language told him he was “dis-invited” and that he would not be allowed to visit the school.
Some Holt detractors say he was just trying to get publicity for himself. Those who actually know Holt know him to be humorous, self-deprecating and someone who actually reads the legislation before he votes on it. But let’s assume for the moment that Holt was looking for publicity on an issue that taxpayers should and are concerned about. So what? Exactly how is that different than Speaker Beth Harwell posing for the TV cameras milking a cow on Legislative Plaza? The only thing we can think of is that Holt was trying to highlight an important issue and Harwell was trying to….heck, we don’t know what she was trying to highlight (perhaps she was demonstrating to lobbyists how to “milk” the taxpayers).
This will not end well for the bureaucrats.
McQueen takes it upon herself to try and threaten an elected legislator from doing something as simple as taking a eighth grade test, and by so doing she elevates the issue while lowering the opinion of taxpayers who are getting pretty damn tired of bureaucrats on the public dole telling us we can’t see what our money is paying for.
And the second moron of this little drama: Obion County school superintendent Russ Davis (more on this fool in later postings). Davis didn’t even try to be diplomatic — he called just minutes after Commissioner McQueen’s not-so-veiled threat to Rep. Holt and rudely and obnoxiously tells him he does not have permission to go to the school.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THESE PEOPLE?
First it was the education bureaucrat simpletons who refused to let the public know what was being taught about Islam in our schools and now this. The sheer unbridled arrogance of these non-elected jerks is breathtaking. It’s no wonder candidates like Trump are kicking the collective butts of the establishment’s favored candidates. Just look how well the biggest Republican proponent of Common Core is doing in the polls: Jeb! Jeb who?
Was Rep. Holt grandstanding? Who gives a damn. He was just doing his job. Can you imagine how quickly these same jerks would have gone after an elected official who tried to block the voters from seeing his/her voting record?
You petty little Napoleons work for us – not the other way around. And you are just begging for the taxpayers to teach you an object lesson about what happens when you piss off the electorate.
Keep it up and just see what happens. The crew at RTP stand ready and eager to report on your political and policy demise.