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The seven candidates for governor tout their education goals at a forum at Belmont and, by all accounts, it's a stick-to-the-script affair. From the Chattanooga Times Free Press, this handy rundown
of the candidates' points of emphasis:
wants to give HOPE scholarships to the "best and brightest" who commit to be teachers. (Wouldn't they already get scholarships?) Bill Haslam
wants to be the "chief salesman for Tennessee" for job growth, but says we must improve education to do it. Jim Kyle
wants to expand pre-K to all children. Kim McMillan
says our higher education system "puts barriers and stop signs up and prevents you from getting your degree." Mike McWherter
wants to fully fund the BEP because "it has proven results." Ron Ramsey
says the state needs competition in education with charter schools and home schooling. "I'm a huge advocate of home schooling," he gushes. (He wouldn't pander to social conservatives, would he?) Zach Wamp
emphasizes early childhood reading and says students should read proficiently by third grade.
McWherter wins the prize for most quotable comment: "I'm a businessman, I'm not a politician. And there are a lot of people on this stage here tonight who had a chance to fix education in this state and simply haven't gotten the job done." Wamp manages to produce a laugh from the drowsy audience with his pithy listing of Tennessee's strengths: "We got rid of Lane Kiffin, we've got it all!"
Reports from Erik Schelzig
... Matt Wilson
... Chas Sisk
... and Jackson Baker.
The key plank
in Gov. Phil Bredesen's education reform agenda cleared both House and Senate committees by near-unanimous votes. It's headed to the Senate floor today
and maybe the House floor too. The main difference:
The House version would make educators a majority of the committee deciding how to evaluate teachers. Dresden Democrat Mark Maddox:
"I wanted to make sure we had people who had been in front of classrooms and had been evaluated by the present instrument, and people who had been in the back of the classrooms watching and using that evaluation instrument, on that committee, because this to me is the most important factor of what we've just done."
Bredesen says UT presidency
"not my cup of tea." ... The governor's academy is closing
. ... Court of Appeals bars
autopsy on executed inmate. ... House Speaker Kent Williams
is for letting the courts decide the guns-in-bars issue.