So Wrong it’s Funny

A letter in today’s News Sentinel is so senseless that it serves to illustrate one of the problems faced by those earnestly trying to improve education in Tennessee: the pure ignorance of some of our adults.

Later school start

better for Tennessee

At least 90 percent of the people in Tennessee are for a later school start.

State Sen. Jamie Woodson, chair of the Senate Education Committee, is against this.

She has never been for the benefits of school students. She wouldn’t allow a vote to lower the requirements for the Hope Scholarship to keep 70 percent of college students eligible.

Everyone sees the hardships created by starting school the first of August (Aug. 9). Schools need to start after Labor Day, which they do in most states.

This is part of the reason Tennessee ranks near last in education. The only way we can start to change this is to vote Woodson out.

Sam Doughty


90% favor a later start date? I doubt that; I serve on a local school board, and I’ve had exactly one person tell me — and that was in passing at a public place — that they want school to start after Labor Day. If there’s a survey to back up that assertion, please point me to it.

To say that Sen. Woodson "has never been for the benefits of school students" is simply dead wrong. Although she and I have disagreed from time to time (and I’m not one to keep my opinions to myself), everything that she does is, at least from her perspective, with the best interest of children as the foremost priority.

A prime example of that is her steadfast opposition to lowering standards, including the reasonable standard for achieving and keeping the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship. Lowering standards might help some parents, but it would be a gross disservice to the students. Face it, the GPA standard for scholarship eligibility is an incentive for students to do well. The standard to achieve the scholarship out of high school is exceedingly modest; students who cannot attain either a 3.0 GPA or a 21 on the ACT just aren’t going to make it in college. I think there’s only one four-year school in the state who will even accept students with less than a 21 on the ACT.

Lastly, the start date has nothing to do with the reason that Tennessee ranks near last in education; the reason, quite simply, is that we rank near last in funding education. That’s why Sen. Woodson worked so hard last year to pass the BEP 2.0, providing funding targeted specifically to academic improvement, and increasing accountability measures for the adults in charge of those funds.

Sam Doughty can’t vote against her, and I can’t vote for her. Let’s hope the folks in her district pay a little more attention to the facts.

3 Responses to “So Wrong it’s Funny”

  1. on 03 Nov 2007 at 4:31 pm Harry Pruitt

    I can certainly agree that you are not one to keep opinions to yourself. And that’s ok.. I like a gal with spirit. And you can chalk me up as the second person to tell you that school should start after labor day.

    Incidentally you write very well. Ever consider writing for one of the local papers or even a book? I think you would do well.

  2. on 03 Nov 2007 at 5:35 pm Netmom

    I have written several guest columns, both for local papers and statewide publications. I’ve given some thought to books, but have somehow never found the time to really undertake such a project in earnest. Thanks, though.

  3. on 04 Nov 2007 at 12:18 pm Joel

    Nice post.

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