Blake Farmer over at WPLN has the story of the hearing about our state's textbook and what happened on Tuesday.
It is how you would imagine it would be — a bunch of conservatives complaining that all the state's textbooks have a secret liberal bias that they have uncovered.
Then there's the chilling part:
State lawmakers are considering scrapping the state textbook panel altogether.
“This can’t be fixed,” said Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville), who heads the Government Operations Committee.
Conservative activists say a new panel should have fewer educators and more laymen. [emphasis mine]
Fewer educators and more laymen. To pick our textbooks. Which are used by educators to educate Tennessee's public school children, a task we believe requires training and education.
I cannot wait to see the Governor tapdance around this bullshit. I mean, here he is, wanting to attract more business and send as many kids to college as possible and the state legislature is all "What? Of course the rantings of some angry right-wing conspiracy-theorist should be given more weight than trained professionals. It's not like receiving training and education on a subject mean you know more about that subject than what some dude learns on the internet."
If any angry conservatives opinions should be given more weight than people who went to school to know this shit, then why send kids to school at all, Governor Haslam? Why not just teach them to be angry conservatives and then they can go get those jobs based on the Tennessee principle of "Angry Conservatives know best!"
What international company wouldn't want to deal with a whole workforce educated by that principle?
It's hilarious. No wonder Kevin Huffman's kids go to private schools, where they're allowed to teach kids that learning counts for something.
But that's the terrible thing. Haslam is never going to sit down and tell conservatives the truth. Even if they disagree with the crap in their kids' textbooks, if their kids don't learn that stuff, their kids are going to be lucky if they can get jobs at Walmart. It's a fantasy that you can somehow make textbooks safe for the far-right view and have a state that is competitive globally, let alone nationally. It's a dream that book-learning doesn't count for anything and that the "common sense" of lay people is more important. This make-believe is going to hurt us as a state.
But because it's popular, none of the Republicans in this state who know better will speak against it. They'll just pull their kids out of public schools and make sure they learn what they need to learn in order to be successful. Everyone who can't afford to do that is just screwed.