Some teachers are concerned over the direction of education in Tennessee, and disappointed more were not included in Governor Bill Haslam's closed meetings with select educators. (Ummm CLOSED meetings? gee whiz Wally, why ever were they disappointed?)
Governor Haslam was in Washington County Friday for that purpose. (You know, CLOSED meetings) Teachers gathered in the parking lot of the Washington County Department of Education to voice their issue with these meetings.
" The future is too important for a select few to determine the best course for education, " said Jack Leonard, who sits on the Washington County Tennessee Board of Education. Leonard was not invited to the Governor's meeting.
Governor Haslam though, thinks smaller is better. (Hahahaha, smaller is better? Kind of like Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America? Like that kind of smaller?)
"Its hard, quite frankly, to get people to be candid in the same way when everything is in front of a large group," the Governor told News 5. (OMG Haslam is shameless...you know when everything is "smaller" and behind closed doors and no one is around to hear them, that makes it much easier to do what needs to be done, the PEOPLE be damned! I have a question...If Haslam holds a closed meeting in the forest and no little people are around to hear him, is he still corrupt?)
Local educators, like Jenee Peters, who teaches at Gray Elementary, don't agree with that assessment. (Jenee is the "little people" referred to in the previous section. She'e my kind of people but apparently not one of the centrally planned droids Haslam is looking for...)
"Teachers are here today to once again express their disappointment in this administrations lack of transparency and unwillingness to have an authentic dialog," Peters said.
The group gathered Friday said they want everyone to be included in the conversation that needs to happen to meet the Governor's education goals he outlined last fall.
"To be the fastest improving state- all stake holders- teachers and parents and school board members need to come together and work collaboratively, transparently and publicly," said Peters.
"it is no secret that there's a lot of controversy around education right now,"said Governor Haslam. "From common core to the assessment vehicle to evaluations to teacher pay. And this is a great chance for me as Governor to do what I think the people of Tennessee want me to be doing- out listening to people who are on the front lines."(LOL, Haslam told a funny "this is a great chance for me as Governor to do what I think the people of Tennessee want me to be doing- out listening to people who are on the front lines" ummm do tell us how you listen to the people on the front lines when they are not included in the meeting? The people of Tn want you to tell the truth but they know the truth is not on your agenda...)
"Most people would say this is a real positive for continuing the progress we've made in education in Tennessee," he continued. (Really??? Ummm How would we know when you guys have indefinitely delayed the Tn TCAP scores and I'm quite sure they haven't been delayed because they were fantabulous!)
The teachers are having a hard time seeing it that way.
Jamie Freeman teaches Social Studies at David Crockett High School. He told News 5 he has made repeated attempts to discuss education standards, but had no luck.
" I'm very much bothered by the point that we don't have the opportunity to express our professional concerns regarding common core," said Freeman.
Representative Tony Shipley , a former teacher, believes lawmakers also need to be included in education discussions.
" You can't exclude people's elected officials like school board members and legislators who are here to have the same candid discussions that we've had in Nashville," said Shipley. (Ummm YES THEY CAN & YES THEY DID)
The Governor and his team have planned 12 closed meetings across Tennessee. (If they have one of these planned closed meetings in my area, I'm showing up with signs and cameras, hopefully others will do the same)