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Bradley County Commission votes NO to Common Core, Yarber gets decision 

In Agenda 21 on February 20, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Bradley County Commission votes NO to Common Core, Yarber gets decision 

BCN Note: No one was actually hurt in the writing of this news blog. Humor was added to a very serious subject. The bout was fictional and fun, the details factual. My opinions are below based on my observations of the event as it unfolded.

2/20/14
0749 am

Bradley County TN Commissioners have echoed the efforts of the Bradley County School Board and said NO to Common Core.

Former semi-pro boxer County Commissioner Jeff Yarber, who long ago hung up his gloves, but Tuesday, took them off the shelf and delivered a show of might reminiscent of his days on the circuit.

He stood mighty tall in this setting and went the full 10 rounds and was left shuffling in his corner unscathed.

Throughout the meeting Yarber stepped up, squared up on his opponent, left hand slightly in front of the other, weaved left and right, steps in head low, chin down and delivered a barrage of thunderous blows that left the impression that Common Core is not welcome in our community in any form. Even some of his own debated him but were left in a heap on the canvas of this political arena.

As the debate continued, the formally trained athlete, was fully prepared to go the distance and he did.

The bout started with the introduction for approval of two bills getting cranked up in the House and Senate. 

A vote to back HB 2332 and its Senate companion bill SB 2405 was debated and Jeff Yarber was scrapping the whole time. He took a few jabs off his ample iron jaw while fending off blows to defeat support for these bills. The intent of these bills is to remove Common Core and it’s cronies from our children’s presence, period! The bills are not there so they can be tweaked, renamed or repackaged. They are to be REMOVED, DISCONTINUE! Period!!!

If passed, the House and Senate bills would amend Tennessee Code Annotated section 49-1-302 to say “on July 1, 2014, the state board and the department of education shall DISCONTINUE the use of the Common Core state standards in English language arts and mathematics.” 

At that time, the standards that had been in place before Common Core standards were first being implemented in 2010 “shall become the standards for use by LEAs [local education agencies] and schools until the state board develops and adopts new Tennessee specific standards for English language arts and mathematics.” 

With the final vote pending, just as the Bradley County School Board had done a couple of weeks ago, Yarber and the County Commission stepped up and knocked down the formidable Common Core opponent.

Our buddies on the education board said that Common Core “would be highly disruptive to student growth.” 

During this title match, It was also mentioned that changes like postponing of PARCC assessment tests and tying those scores to teacher licensure, student data collection and non parent or teacher involvement would not be in the best interest of our teachers and ultimately our children.

Let’s not forget the lightweight contender Michelle Rhee of Students First, the ex wife of Heavyweight TN Education Secretary Kevin Huffman and Bantam weight Bill Haslam appointee have advocated, by their support of Students First, for parents to get out of the way so Common Core can be delivered uninterrupted as stated  in past interviews with Rhee. 

How convenient would it be to get parents, teachers, school boards and elected officials out of the way so the deed can be completed. Sounds like a win-win scenario if you ask me.

Like any good story or bout in this case there is always the spoiler. Today that is twofold. Commissioner Jeff Morelock and Bill Winters are once again those wet noodle types among mighty oaks. 

Morelock expressed his understanding of the school board’s resolution was that the board was in favor of the standards as a whole, but some changes needed to be made to them. Did he read the same resolution I did? I dont believe he read the same resolution!  He continued with his drivel of liberalism and said “there were some necessary changes, doing away with the standards would not help.”

Commissioner Bill Winters, Morelocks liberal Co Co buddy chimed in. Remember Yarber is bouncing around doing the rope a dope waiting to be engaged. I know it’s suspenseful but keep reading.

Commissioner Bill Winters said he “had a problem with the fact the Commission’s resolution supported repealing the state standards.”

He sluggishly continued and said ” he would not vote to repeal Common Core because the standards being removed would “tie the hands” of the legislators working to fix the parts of the standards that were not working well.” Hello Bill? The consensus, bills and resolutions are to get rid of it, to DISCONTINUE them, not fix them! Focus! Please allow me to enlighten you in a little constitutional secret. You as an elected official are the voice of the people, you have the authority to limit government intrusion at any level, thus balancing the power! You are a microcosm of the bigger picture Bill! You can do this!

In addition, Winters went on to say he “did not think the vote would be in line with what the local school board wanted.” Really Bill? Once again and please allow me to reiterate, the vote today is to DISCONTINUE the Common Core standards, not fix or tweak them. The vote today! The one before you now! A liberal slant is not the seal of approval and doesnt change the fact that you are voting in a few minutes to DISCONTINUE the standards not fix or tweak them. 

He went on to zap out all the remaining energy out of the room room finishing his monologue “The school board did not ask us to repeal this,” Winters said. He finally gathered enough liberal strength to say “the standards “could be worked for the good of the schools.” Ooooh Yawn, please wake me Jeff Yarber.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, In the red corner, hailing from Clevegas TN, weighing in at probably a different weight from his previous days, lets here it for the one, the only, the scrapper, the commissioner of all commissioners, a Commissioner every one wants to be………..Jefffffffffff Yarrrrrrrrber! ARE……. YOU……..READY……. TO RUUUUUUUUUUUMBLE?

Commissioner Jeff Yarber relying on strength and momentum from his youth, meets gloves in the middle, and lands the first punch countering  “I am  in favor of Tennessee scrapping the Common Core standards altogether and creating new standards to replace them.” Kaaaa Pooooow!

Side step, 1-2 punch amongst a flurry of undercuts he continues “this means local education would not be “tied in with” the federal government. Yes! Morelock and Winters are punch drunk but not relenting.

Winters and  Morelock countered with a few soft jabs none phasing the Yarber. Yarber counters with a flurry, “Common Core is the problem, and we can do it better!!!!”

The crowd on their feet, Winters and Morelock on their heels, to the mat. Dazzled by the display of skill and precision of this prize fighter reborn, the ref steps in with the 10 count, 1-2-3… 

Commissioner Adam Lowe steps into the ring to finish off the opponent.

The atmosphere now has changed from a prize fight to a tag team WWF wrestling match, please allow the setting to morph in your mind.

A more cautious Lowe yet equally as effective mounts the ropes and from the top rope with bare chest, tight spandex shorts he shouts….. “the state bills in question were “simple” and “straightforward,” though he was not totally certain they were “a step in the right direction.”  The frenzied crowd yells “Deliver the fatal blow Adam! Jump down and deliver the fatal blow. The cautious approach allowed Yarber to suffer a few minor blows to his seasoned jawline but unable to daze him. Lowe is a thinker! He is contemplating his next move.

Lowe balancing on the top row, chest bare, pecs glistening continues….he believes “one of the problems the field of education has been facing has been the attention paid to reforming standards rather than actual teaching methods because “standards don’t have feelings.” “We continue to try to teacher-proof the classroom,” he said.  The standards dont have feelings!” Beautiful. Great skill from such a gifted orator, give the appearence that the standards are a living breathing set of standards. Im loving this approach. The crowd sinks back to it’s seats as Lowe steps down from the top rope.

Nice assist Commissioner Lowe, we need you in Yarbers corner, he needs water and some vasoline on his left eye.

Commissioner Caywood receives the tag from Lowe!

Commissioner Terry Caywood, a little long in the tooth, but still with the vigor and stamina of the young bucs weighs in.. 

Caywood cautiously enters the ring very aware of the mood in the room, the roar of the crowd, he becomes invigorated, picks up Bill Winters and begins to spin him around the ring tossing him into Morelock, like a bowling pin they both fall and he grabs the mike and begins to shout  ” I have spoken with a teacher who said Common Core standards “took all the fun out of teaching.” Take that and put it in your pipe and smoke it, I Imagined Caywood saying that last part. The part he is playing in my mind is quite the opposite, he is really a kind gentle christian man unwilling to engage his peers this way.

And from back of the room, much like Ralphie, from the Christmas Story engaging Scut Farkus and Grover Dill in a fight that won Ralphie some respect in the neighborhood, Commissioner Mel Griffith tags in and says he was “very supportive” of the standards’ goals, but they were not being implemented well.” That splatted onto the mat like an overhydrated cow patty. 

Has he been listening to Morelock and Winters?  Somehow, are we blaming this on the teachers now? Anyway, he tried to punch but couldn’t allow the standards to be done away with, Ralphie is retired quickly.

With the fighting done and the warrior weary State Representative Kevin Brooks steps into the ring with his shiny suit, crisp red tie, neatly tucked, half windsor perhaps, hair motif perfectly aligned and undisturbed, he bounces up uncharacteristically and says “the bills would have the state completely scrapping the current standards, meaning it would “throw out the baby, the bathwater — all of it.” Was that an apology? Or did he see his baby (Common Core) just get tossed out with the bath water? Mr Brooks, the baby (Common Core) and the bath water (the standards) are what we want gone! It’s ok! It’s not a real baby.

He continued, “Instead of completely repealing Common Core, he said he was in favor of making “incremental” changes to the standards and changing the name to reflect those changes.” It is pretty clear that the message being sent is not being absorbed. Our elected bodies are saying NO to Common Core, not parts, not increments, ALL OF IT! To DISCONTINUE IT! Not tweak, rename or repackage the standards!

Question to Mr Brooks? If Common Core is fully repealed does this mean he returns his campaigns number one donor Michelle Rhee and Students First campaign donations? It’s a legit question that needs answering.

Few have worked as hard as Representative Kevin Brooks to
bring RTTT and Common Core to Bradley County. Ok, now I’m getting sweaty from that flurry of punches. Jeff Yarber I need a tag out.

Brooks continues “I have been asked what is the most-debated topic in Nashville right now,” Brooks said. “It is Common Core. (Because parents, teachers and school boards are mad and don’t want it) There’s nothing in me that wants to lower our standard, but the name……the brand……is broken.” 

Ok, do we tweak it and change the name? Florida and other states are doing this also. It does not change the facts. If it walks and talks like a duck? It’s a duck!

Ok let’s pretend this epic battle is coming to an end and my children are safely out of reach of a few of our commissioners for the time being.

The 14-member Commission passed the resolution sponsored by the ex prize fighter Jeff Yarber supporting the state bills with nine in favor, four opposed and one absent. 

Yarber has completed the bout and by KO, he chalks up another win.

Wait! There was one more breath of life left in the two on the mat. In one final expression of defiance his eyes slightly swollen, Bill Winters tarries to center ring facing Yarber and 8 other Commissioners and whispers, “I propose a substitute motion to pass a resolution simply saying the Commission supported the school board’s resolution and not mentioning the proposed state bills.” And he collapses to the mat. That motion failed!

Known as an observer and more of a ring manager Commissioner Mark Hall countered with his own motion right before the event concluded, he quips “lets have a work session to be discussed further,” As if to be saying, in other words let me delay this vote so I can find out what this Common Core thingy is. The motion failed! Several Commissioners reminded him this matter had already been discussed in previous meetings.

Enters Dan Rawls posing as the clean up crew, while lifting chairs, kicking aside popcorn boxes and candy wrappers, shouting from the observation deck, crowd dispersing around him he shouts “the passage of this resolution was “brave, calling it “a big vote.” 

The big victor tonight was Commissioner Jeff Yarber and the kids of our county. He stepped up for the teachers, Students, parents all over the county. 

Lowe deserves an assist. 

Yarber stands tall after this bout, the victor.

When all was said and done the County Commission as our elected representatives did what they needed to do.

In a big way, standing in the gap for the kids, parents and teachers who have been left out of the process but are now speaking up and winning small battles to regain our educational system from the hands of the federal government./

Source of quotes: Cleveland Daily Banner. Please continue to read this fine paper and buy it daily, they get paid to deliver the news, I report for free!

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/24610297/article-County-vote-opposes-Common-Core

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