Who Knew?

Tennessee Textbook Commissioner and potential House of Representatives candidate Laurie-Cardoza Moore testified before House subcommittee yesterday that she believed the commission on which she serves should have expanded authority to be able to regulate books that appear on school library shelves.

Here’s video of her remarks and a montage of clips about her background:

https://twitter.com/TheTNHoller/status/1499429183512006658?s=20&t=9XnuMR8a0egB_MOgfEncYA

If only there had been a way to know this would happen:

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Privatizers of a Feather

Flock together.

More on SCORE:

And Tennesseans for Student Success:

flight bird animal farm
Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni on Pexels.com

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The End Game

Make no mistake, the goal of groups like Moms for Liberty is to end public schools. Period. This movement is being aided and abetted by Gov. Bill Lee.

https://twitter.com/TheTNHoller/status/1497353212319383552?s=20&t=i4fiL8PrVkmsMGCZ-yxZfA

More on Moms for Liberty:

More on Lee’s ultimate goal:

boy running in the hallway
Photo by Caleb Oquendo on Pexels.com

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The Charter Agenda

In two tweets, Metro Nashville Councilmember John Rutherford explains the school privatization agenda by way of charter schools:

Gov. Bill Lee has always been a proponent of privatization:

The call Rutherford received and his summary of it in two tweets makes it abundantly clear: The agenda is to circumvent local school boards and allow the state to funnel public money to private entities.

Lee even outlined such a scheme in his State of the State:

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What Does Moms for Liberty Want?

Williamson County School Board member Eric Welch provided an analysis of the agenda of Moms for Liberty on a Twitter thread recently. Then, he outlined the reality of the curriculum selection/textbook adoption process in Williamson County and highlighted an alternative text proposed by Moms for Liberty – all in a public meeting of the school board.

Here’s video of Welch discussing the manufactured controversy driven by parents who often don’t even have kids in public schools:

https://twitter.com/TheTNHoller/status/1496506170449833989?s=20&t=Mz2PnHsiv99ELr9YlSR5mg


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Initially Encouraging

The Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF) issued a press release today on the heels of Gov. Bill Lee announcing his proposed new funding formula for schools. The gist is that NPEF is encouraged by the transparency and potential overall funding boost. There are, however, questions about accountability elements and an incentive fund.

Here’s the full press release from NPEF:

The long-awaited announcement of a new student-based funding formula in the state of Tennessee is being applauded by the Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF) for its focus on students’ needs and its transparent and simplified structure.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) Commissioner Penny Schwinn shared proposed legislation for the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement formula (TISA) today.

“The Governor pledged to put students first with his new proposal and we believe he has done that,” said Katie Cour, President and CEO of the Nashville Public Education Foundation. “The new formula provides additional funding for economically disadvantaged students as well as students with unique learning needs, neither of which were adequately addressed under the former funding formula.”

Though overall, NPEF is encouraged by the Governor’s plan, a few aspects of the formula deserve greater clarity for Nashvillians in particular. Specifically, it is unclear how much additional weight English Learners will receive under the new plan. Nashville is home to the state’s largest EL population and research shows that these students need a substantially larger investment to support their success.

Under the proposal, districts with low-performing schools could face corrective actions that have not yet been detailed. While NPEF supports accountability structures that reinforce student and school success, the new plan moves some accountability decisions from the TDOE to an ad hoc legislative committee. NPEF will be monitoring the effectiveness of this accountability shift.

“The new formula is significantly more transparent than the complex and onerous BEP,” said Cour. “While we applaud this transparency, we are uncertain how the plan’s shift in accountability will play out. We will continue to monitor any potential impacts of changes to accountability on Nashville’s governance structure.” NPEF has consistently advocated for an overhaul of the state’s education funding formula and stressed the needs for 1) significantly increasing the percent of GDP that Tennessee invests in K-12 education; 2) making any increase permanent and recurring; 3) ensuring any new formula specifically addresses fiscal capacity of Tennessee municipalities; 4) designing a student-based funding formula that allocates funding based on the needs of individual students; and 5) establishing clear transparency around policy governance and decision making. NPEF proudly served as a contributing member of the Education Foundations Subcommittee for the TDOE-led funding review process.

Seeking to engage Nashvillians with essential data to make informed demands and decisions, last year NPEF released an informational Policy Brief outlining the complexities, challenges, inadequacies, and consequences of Tennessee’s current Basic Education Program (BEP) funding formula for schools. Titled “Funding Our Schools: How Tennessee’s Funding Formula Fails to Meet the Needs of Nashville’s Students,” the brief encouraged Tennessee to fully adopt the recommendations of its own BEP Review Committee and called on the community to advocate for increased funding for the state’s schools.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

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Cardoza-Moore in the House?

It seems that Laurie Cardoza-Moore is interested in becoming a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Here’s more on Moore:

Her business model?

Well, her 2017 IRS 990 form offers some insight.

That year, Moore’s group – Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) raised just over $1 million.

What’d she do with the cash?

Well, she paid herself $130,000. Then, she paid her husband’s business $67,000. There was a business “office expense” for occupancy at just over $49,000. She runs PJTN from her home, so that means she’s paying her mortgage with the cash. That’s $200,000 in payments to Moore and her husband, and another 50,000 a year to cover their mortgage. Then, there’s another $26,000 paid to Moore as an “occupancy expense.” Oh, and there’s $41,000 on “meals and entertainment.” Finally, her two kids received a total of around $2000 from the organization for “contract labor” that year.

Peddling ignorance is quite profitable, it seems. After all, that’s just one year of her “thriving” business.

And there’s also this:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today renewed its call for Tennessee to drop consideration of anti-Muslim activist and possible 9/11 truther Laurie Cardoza-Moore to that state’s Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission. Cardoza-Moore leads the Franklin, Tenn., group Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN).

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A Call for Local Control

The Williamson County school board voted unanimously to oppose Gov. Lee’s plan to allow charter schools to bypass local school boards and appeal directly to Lee’s state charter commission.

That Lee continues to aggressively push a privatization agenda should come as no surprise:

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A Child of Fear

Students in Williamson County spoke out against censorship at a recent school board meeting. The move is likely preemptive as groups like Moms for Liberty seek to have books removed from school libraries and/or curriculum.

Here’s footage from the board meeting:

https://twitter.com/TheTNHoller/status/1496199268306194437?s=20&t=pzXV-dIN-lindI63kiIkeA

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Manufactured Teachers?

Knox County is down to two finalists to become the district’s next Superintendent.

The choices are current Knox County Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Jon Rysewyk and Bradley County Superintendent Linda Cash.

During a forum with both candidates, WBIR reports that Rysewyk made this statement:

“The new name of the game isn’t recruiting — it’s how to build alternative pipelines to manufacture high-quality teachers,”

That’s an interesting way to put the development of teaching talent – the intentional recruitment and retention strategies used to attract PEOPLE to the profession. Not sure exactly where teachers are manufactured.

The statement from Rysewyk reminded me of yet another story out of Knox County:

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Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash