Why should John Rich dictate library catalogs?
It is truly a bad day for education when we have a very conservative country singer testifying about what materials are appropriate to be in school libraries.
These materials have been in libraries for years and somehow those students grew up and live all around us today as successful adults.
Somehow, somewhere, we seem to have gotten off the track of education that makes you a well-rounded adult able to understand other views and concepts besides your own.
Patricia Armstrong, Nashville 37221
Smith had privilege of a quality education
Re: “Republicans think they protect kids by banning divisive topics. Nope,” by Cameron Smith, Feb. 27.
I’m a college math major. I have always been impressed by the building blocks of learning needed to become a good mathematician.
First grade was addition; second grade, subtraction; third grade, multiplication; fourth grade, division. Once those concepts were mastered one could go a long way in math. High school brought Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus. Learning was laying block upon block.
Consider what Mr. Smith stated. His education consisted not only with very similar building blocks in practically every subject studied, but also included a block building emphasis in morality with chapel and Bible classes at Lipscomb’s elementary and high school.
Then, it’s not until college and law school that he is introduced to books and subjects that upon reading and studying, he also had the foundation blocks provided by his earlier education that would help him cipher out the bad and build upon the better.
Simply stated, he had the privilege of being protected so that the right building blocks could be put in place. Has every choice he made since been the right choice? Just like the rest of us, no. But those early building blocks enable one to make adjustments in life to change back to what we first learned was the right decision to make.
Today, when high school seniors are still reading at fifth grade level, and can’t make change at the fast-food businesses, something has gone awry with the right building blocks.
Herb Alsup, Woodbury 37190
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Invest in traditional public schools
I am a history teacher; I stand firmly behind the power of American public schools. I vehemently oppose any expansion of privatized charter schools, especially those that are governed by religious doctrine.
Public funds are best spent in the public education system, where if given the support they need and deserve, students can absolutely thrive.
I’ve witnessed greatness come out of Wilson Country schools in my time there. Phenomenal young people with the capacity to do great things. This system works. We can’t let private, for-profit corporations use something as essential as education to line their pockets.
Rep. Bill Beck and Sen. Heidi Campbell must oppose the charter school expansion proposed by Gov. Lee.
Jonathan Shaffer, Old Hickory 37138
Charters are not the same as public schools
Gov. Bill Lee wants to push charter schools through any way he can. He wants to call them “public,” but their finances are not transparent, often they do not meet the rules that actual public have to abide by, have devious ways to exclude students who would require services that public schools are required to supply or would not show better achievement scores, nor are they run by an elected school board.
Most are focused upon profit, with helping students second.
Hillsdale College, Lee’s favorite, has a most biased position on most issues. It does not teach a truthful or full account of American history. It appears to take rather right-wing view of Christianity, one that is not reflective of the views of most Christians. But Hillsdale is another of Lee’s strategies to destroy public education.
Save our public schools!
Larry Blanz, Nashville 37221
Editor’s note: Presently, only nonprofit entities may run charter schools in Tennessee.
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Why Hillsdale College is good for Tennessee
Re: “How the governor homed in on Hillsdale,” Feb. 27.
The Tennessean’s article regarding Governor Lee and Hillsdale College was extremely biased against the college and the governor.
It mentioned “political alliances pushing for more right-wing education policies.” What we are really pushing for is to correct left-wing education policy, which was discovered during COVID shutdowns to be embedded in many school policies and curricula.
You disparage the interest in charter schools by calling it “The charter gospel.”
You show a picture of a Civil War Memorial without noting that it is a memorial to sacrifices on the Union side.
Founded in 1844, Hillsdale was strongly anti-slavery and accepted women and minorities from its founding.
The Tennessean was no doubt hoping that people in Tennessee would assume the Civil War Memorial was a Confederate Memorial and that the school favors white supremacy. You show a large picture of its chapel hoping to imply that it is a school of religious extremists.
We just hope that citizens of our city and state are getting their information from sources other than the Tennessean.
John Nading, Nashville 37205
Hillsdale curriculum model spins the truth
Re: “How the governor homed in on Hillsdale,” Feb. 27.
Contrary to Governor Bill Lee’s pronouncement in his State of the State address, his proposed educational partnership with Hillsdale College will serve to undermine the teaching of “true American history, unbiased and nonpolitical.”
Hillsdale’s curriculum model is designed to spin the truth, in order to promote a conservative political agenda, by arbitrarily rewriting, glossing over, or whitewashing inconveniently incriminating historical truths.
Chauvinism (extreme patriotism) is representative of the Hillsdale “1776 curriculum”; a flattering view of an American past, a longing for an illusionary America, championed by those who are in denial of her camouflaged flaws.
Racism, homophobia, xenophobia and patriarchy were all prevalent in this idealized America. While much progress has been made, the residual stench of bias is yet with us. A retrospective sense of entitlement breeds a paranoia of victimization, and sanctuary is sought in the imaginary grandeur of the past.
Robert Judkins, Hendersonville 37075
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Do not support religious schools with public funds
Our governor’s inclusion of charter school funding in his proposed education formula is a blatant move to have taxpayers pay for conservative religious schools.
Our public schools will suffer even greater loss of money, loss of freedom to include differing viewpoints and loss of teaching critical thinking skills.
I can’t believe this is legal under our constitution.
What is happening to separation of church and state?
Margaret Smith, Nashville 37215
How to suss out immoral books
The Tennessean can help parents, voters and legislators determine if books found in school libraries contain objectionable, pornographic or racially charged material.
Ask concerned parents and citizens to submit excerpts they find objectionable and publish them in print or in your on-line version. Get specific. Evidence needs to be examined. If The Tennessean can’t print submitted book excerpts in the paper (or at least online) they probably don’t belong in books in K – 12 school libraries.
Disclaimer the section: “May be inappropriate for kids under 12, 14, 18 or adults under 70.” Pick a number. Let the reader decide after they get a chance to “Know it when I see it.”
Don’t embarrass concerned parents by publishing names of people who submit excerpts. All that you need to do is verify the excerpt comes from a book in a public library. Highly moral people must protect their honor and good name.
Trash in trash out. Reading your disclaimer will be enough for me.
Wayne McDonald, Brentwood 37027