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Politicians in the Classroom Text

I believe every elected official (governor, senators, representatives, school board members, etc.) in Tennessee should spend at least 3 days a year in classrooms in public schools in their districts as  a substitute teacher .


The main problem with our education system is our politicians don't know what takes place in Tennessee classrooms.  As a former high school math teacher for 17 years in Metro Nashville Public Schools (Stratford, Overton and Antioch High Schools) and Williamson County Schools (Summit High School), I have a pretty good idea of what is happening in Tennessee public high schools. 


Let’s consider vouchers, for instance.  Can a politician explain to me why we need vouchers?  I know the stock answer:  “Because we have failing schools”.   What does that mean – please tell me why they are failing, Mr. Republican Legislator.   Bad teachers?  Bad principals?  Bad students?   You would learn more in one day as a substitute teacher or teacher’s aide than in all your meetings with education executives who will tell you whatever they think you want to hear.  

Let’s take another “burning” issue that the current Republican representative of District 61 is pursuing – the banning of all flags, other than the U.S. and Tennessee flags, in Tennessee schools.  What a silly waste of time and taxpayer money!  His time would be better spent in a school in his district meeting students, and asking teachers and principals how he could help them.  

The current Republican representative of District 61 is also a “book banner”.  Amazingly, he filed a lawsuit against Williamson County Schools (a school district he represents!) alleging that WCS is violating Tennessee law in terms of what books are on their library shelves.  Again, his community, constituents, and the children of Williamson County, would be better served if he spent time in the schools he represents rather than filing lawsuits against them.  

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