by Jeff Woods
Public school parents of Tennessee, watch the first few minutes of this video for a truly horrifying glimpse into our state's education future. Speaking is Rep. Mark White, R-Germantown, who is chairman of the House Education subcommittee and therefore one of the Republican supermajority's chief education policymakers.
"We’re going to make some changes this year" [in public schools] he begins by promising at yesterday's meeting. But not to worry, White says, because if Republicans are wrong, "we can always back up."
What kind of changes does White have in mind? Well, he's a businessman, and the way he sees it, public schools are just like a business—specifically just like his business renting chairs and other stuff for wedding receptions. Take it away, Mr. Chairman:
Let me make a comparison. Some of you may relate to this. Some of you may think, well what’s he talking about. I started my career out in education, then I went into small business, small business where we dealt with special event people.
In 1990 when my brother and I started the business, we rented chairs, and dishes and linens and things to people who were getting married or having festivals. When we started the business, there was one or two other businesses in town who were also doing what we were getting into the business to do, and that was renting chairs. Well what we found out was people were coming to us to have a wedding and they’d say your competition has good service but they’re sending us dirty chairs. … so what we started doing was guess what? We started sending out clean chairs and we got the business.
So that’s all we’re talking about in education. We’re trying to put enough competition into the system to where everybody starts reforming. Pretty soon our competition started renting clean chairs also. That’s the same analogy we can take into education.