With question one I tried to get a bit of an idea on exactly who reads the Dad Gone Wild Blog. I was very proud to discover that 42% of respondents were teachers, with an additional 19% being administrators. An additional 19% self identified as parents. These numbers line up with my goal to create a forum were parents and educators can exchange ideas. Parents need a place to go where they can get a better understanding of the success and challenges of our schools. Having such a large number of professional educators help ensure that the information I try to share has a high level of authenticity. I always say, when I get it right, it’s not because I’m so smart but rather because I talk to a lot of smart and experienced people.
Question two concerned the performance satisfaction level readers held for the newly arrived central office folks. I would say this one was a bit concerning, as over 80% of respondents answered “color me unimpressed”. Dr. Shawn Joseph managed to garner only 14% of the vote with a few votes scattered over the other new arrivals. Good news is that everyone managed to garner at least one vote. I would say those results indicate that the new administration might want to devote a little priority to increasing buy in. The new proposed budget does include 3% raises and step increases, but is more money enough to change perception alone?
Question three asked for an opinion on school board member Will Pinkston’s social media actions. Pinkston is a tireless public education advocate who cut his political teeth under former Governor Bredesen. His online behavior has long been heavily scrutinized as Pinkston often brutishly attacks his perceived enemies. While his efforts have proven successful in helping to stem the proliferation of charter school growth, it seems that in this Trumpian age people have grown less tolerant of elected officials attacking their opponents via social media. 80% of respondents reacted negatively to his online attacks, while only 10% defended his online activity.
After last summer’s election, Pinkston was visibly shaken by the intensity and the closeness of the election. A election he won by only 37 votes. At the time I encouraged him to shake it off and just be his self. At the time I don’t think I realized what that exactly that meant nor did I anticipate the shifting cultural sands. I now believe that in a time when we have a president that tweets with impunity, we all need to pick our game up a bit. We also need to recognize that our political enemies are not the only ones that are watching our social media battles. Sometimes it’s the ones that we are fighting for that are watching our actions and using them as a model of interaction. We all need to do better.
Speaking of doing better, we need you all for a civic activity. Please join us for a day on the hill THIS TUESDAY, March 21, to fight against the harmful voucher efforts that are attacking our public schools. Today is your day to look lawmakers in the eye and let them know parents do not want school vouchers in the State of Tennessee.
Arrive by 7:30 am at the Tennessee Education Association Building on 2nd Ave. and get a free breakfast, free parking and a shuttle ride to the Capitol.
Can’t make the breakfast? Arrive Tuesday, March 21st BEFORE 9 am. The House Education Administration and Planning will hear HB0126 voucher bill. It is first up on the agenda in Legislative Plaza room 29. And they may try to push it through quickly. If you can please make it.
Meanwhile, make sure and read Mary Holden’s excellent piece on vouchers. It’ll let you know what to expect.
I hope everybody has a great week. Look this week for an interview with Community Achieves Program Coordinator Alison McArthur. We’ll be talking community schools. Episode 5 of the podcast will be available mid-week. If anybody has any proposed questions for our weekly poll, feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope everybody has a great week and thank you for your support.