In a post about House Education Committee Chair Mark White being appointed by Betsy DeVos to the national board that governs the NAEP test, Nashville education blogger TC Weber takes White to task. Specifically, Weber notes:
Well, he supported an unconstitutional voucher bill in spite of purportedly, “not liking it”. He failed to increase funding for Tennessee school districts despite the state sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus money. He supported a literacy bill that robbed LEA’s of power to choose materials and curriculum, increased testing, and called for the retention of third-graders – luckily despite his support, the bill failed to pass. He failed to substantially raise teacher salaries. Salaries have been stagnating for years.
In short, White is a rock star only in the areas of cheering on the antics of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn and being unfailing in his support of Gov. Bill Lee’s bad ideas.
I would add the recent plea of the TEA on school nurses to the list of areas where White has let public schools down. It’s not like White is merely a member of the House or simply one of many members on the House Education Committee. He’s the committee Chair. He’s in a position of tremendous influence. Still, the challenges Weber points to linger on with no effort at solution in sight.
On the other hand, it’s difficult to imagine a Mark White who actually stood up for public schools and teachers in any meaningful way earning the adoration of Betsy DeVos and a subsequent coveted appointment to a national board.
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