Tate Reeves is going to save education in Mississippi by offering an alternative to Common Core. He has gathered some of the sharpest minds in Mississippi politics to come up with a plan better than the one designed and approved by the bipartisan National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Whether or not he can do this in time for his run for Governor remains to be seen. Reeves believes that Obama is behind Common Core and that Mississippians should be against it, particularly those Mississippians who vote Republican, which is most of us.
Now some leftist, progressive members of the Mississippi Teachers Union are upset with Tate Reeves and Gov. Bryant. These agitator/educators say our state is about to be plunged into idiocy by politicians who care only about their political careers. They argue the Common Core may not be a perfect set of standards, but it is just that, a set of standards. They say if any state needs a set of standards, Mississippi — the state at or near the very bottom in every educational statistic ever dreamed up by all of those Eggheaded Brainiacs — most certainly does.
Other op-ed pieces have suggested that Tate is just playing politics with your child’s future. They believe Tate is trying to set himself apart from those GOP-Establishment-Common-Core-Kool-Aid-Drinking Republicans willing to compromise with President Obama, like say… Delbert Hosemann for instance. Really? How cynical can those political observers be?
If Delbert Hosemann actually finds the guts to run for Governor of Mississippi, he will have to come out against Common Core too. It is import to connect with the base and align himself with Mississippi’s anti-intellectual, anti-education vote, the clear cut majority in this state. But Hosemann may be too late.
The Reeves Campaign Machine is already in gear. They have even changed our Lieutenant Governor’s name from “Tate” to “Tater” in order to appeal to Mississippians who just can’t stop whistling “Dixie.” In fact his new campaign slogan is “Vote Tater Reeves for Governor: Loves God, Guns, and the Confederate Flag, Hates Government, Obama and Learnin.’”
Perhaps Tater has gotten frustrated trying to figure out those Common Core math problems floating around the internet. Maybe he’s been trying to help his kids with their homework.
Relax Teacher’s Union, Tater would not come out in favor of de-funding Common Core unless he already had a plan in place that would promote business in our state.
So what if the State Superintendent of Education, Carey Wright, and Board of Education Chairman, John Kelly, released a joint statement saying it would take years and loads of money to develop a new standard for Mississippi? What if they also think there is too much misinformation being promulgated by those with a political agenda? Who really cares what people, who are actually supposed to know something, really think?
Tater will likely scrap that whole “Board of Education Thang” anyway and just start privatizing. We could throw money at corporations to run our public schools like we do our prisons. That’s been making a whole lot of money for all sorts of folks. It might even be more cost effective if we use the same company that was giving kickbacks to our State Prison Chief, Mr. Epps. Or maybe Lobbyist- turned-Governor-turned-Lobbyist Haley Barbour has some client he can recommend.
It’s all pretty disgusting if you care. Make no mistake, Tate Reeves and Gov. Bryant know full well the real problem with our schools is a woeful lack of funding and a lack of broad-based community support. They know they could do something about the funding. But the lack of community support is another matter entirely and a direct result of the anti-education sentiment of too many Mississippians. That’s why our political leadership feels very comfortable denigrating Common Core, as well as our public schools, teachers, and administrators.
Some well off communities may give to a booster club for a winning high school football program. They rarely have booster clubs for arts and academics. If you live in a less affluent community with a losing team or if there are private schools nearby, your public schools may as well dry up and die as far as our state leaders are concerned.
With more community support, our public schools would have to be more accountable and our legislators would feel the pressure to build a better educational environment for our children. However, since most Mississippians are happy to sit back and watch the latest version of “America Being Idol” on television, our legislators know all they have to do is speak in empty platitudes about Lowering Taxes, Loving God and Toting Guns to get re-elected again and again. Throw in a little fear-mongering about Obama sending illegal immigrants to take away jobs that no one else wants or don’t really even exist and they win by a landslide.
Let’s hope Tate Reeves really does have an alternative program to the Common Core. One that really will help children in Mississippi learn to think for themselves so that when they are old enough to vote they can vote for some real leadership.
» David Dallas is a political writer. He worked for former U.S. Sen. John Stennis and authored Barking Dawgs and A Gentleman from Mississippi.
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