Political Notebook: Steve Bannon slams US Rep. Greene, while Gov. Lee seeks to avoid criticism over 3rd degree withholding law

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NASHVILLE – Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has been criticized by former ally Steve Bannon for her support of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling deal with President Joe Biden.

“Both should face Real MAGA primary challenges,” Bannon wrote of Greene and McCarthy in a post last week on social media platform Gettr. Bannon was one of the first White House chief strategists under then-President Donald Trump and previously worked as a political strategist and investment banker, as well as co-founding the conservative news site Breitbart.

Before the vote, Greene, a congresswoman from Rome and a staunch Trump ally who has aligned herself closely with McCarthy, said she has maintained since “day one” that the GOP took control of the chamber in January that the government spending is “where the fight is”. .

“And this plan allows us to pass 12 separate appropriations bills, and that’s very important to me. Because I think we have to fight to stop the armed government, we have to fight to reduce spending,” he told reporters with headquarters in Washington before the vote. “We need to figure out a way to stop the 87,000 IRS agents targeting conservatives.”

If you have to eat a bad sandwich, you want sides. He’s doing much better, Greene told reporters outside McCarthy’s U.S. Capitol office in another conversation, The Hill reported.

“So what I’m looking for is that I’m looking for companions and desserts,” said the deputy.

That includes an effort to impeach Biden or a cabinet official, he added. Greene said the Fiscal Responsibility Act represents the “biggest spending cut” in the nation’s history, projected to cut spending by about $2 trillion over six years.

Tennessee’s U.S. House delegation was split last week as Congress voted to pass a package to raise the nation’s debt ceiling while cutting parts of the budget.

Republican Reps. Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah, Mark Green of Portland and David Kustoff of Memphis voted yes. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, also voted in favor. No votes came from Republican Reps. Tim Burchett of Knoxville, Scott DesJarlais of Sherwood, Diana Harshbarger of Kingsport, Andy Ogles of Culleoka and John Rose of Cookeville.

Tennessee Third Grade Reading Act

Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is championing the 2021 English language arts bill he pushed that requires third graders in public and charter schools to achieve proficiency in reading, writing and comprehension or face summer camps, tutoring or even being held back when it comes to advancing to fourth grade.

Sixty percent of third-graders failed the grade, a figure that includes students scoring “below” proficiency in reading as well as those “approaching” proficiency in the arts section of the language of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program.

“I think that, you know, testing has been for decades, standard use to determine if kids are making adequate progress. And the worst thing we can do is push kids up grades when they can’t,” grade-level progress, Lee. he told reporters last week after touring a road construction project on the Cumberland Plateau. “And we’re creating a certainty for failure.”

The governor said the state has “created an opportunity” for students who didn’t pass the reading test the first time to take additional tests in summer schools to have a “pathway” to advance to fourth grade while ‘ensures that the child can read like this. level

“I’m a parent and a grandparent, and we need our kids to be able to read, and we’ve seen in other states like Mississippi, significant improvements in reading for kids in that state when they implemented a similar law that they just did. I sure don’t we pushed the kids who didn’t have the ability,” Lee said.

Try telling that to the affected parents, some of whom have spoken out on social media and elsewhere, saying their children had done well on other tests throughout the year and were blindsided after the they said their children were not doing well according to the state. evaluation.

“Again, this is very difficult, and it’s very difficult for a family when their child needs to have extra tutoring, needs to have extra supports, needs to take another test, that’s hard. It’s hard on the kids, it’s hard for the family.” Lee said. “What’s more difficult is watching this child fail in fourth, fifth and sixth grade.”

The third-graders were part of the pandemic generation of students whose school experience since pre-K was disrupted by the pandemic and often had to learn online from home. Some children did not have adequate Internet connections, while teachers were forced to adapt to teaching students online. Lee, as well as his outgoing education commissioner Penny Schwinn, warned that a traditional “summer slide” in student learning had turned into a much steeper “COVID slide.”

In 2021, some lawmakers pushed during a special session called by Lee on COVID-19 and related issues to slow virtual learning, but it didn’t happen.

The consulting firm McKinsey & Company examined the national impact in the 2020-2021 academic year.

“Our analysis shows that the pandemic’s impact on K-12 student learning was significant, leaving students, on average, five months behind in math and four months behind in reading by the end of the school year. The pandemic widened pre-existing opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest,” said a McKinsey & Company report.

Jim Wrye, deputy executive director of the Tennessee Education Association, which represents public school teachers, took issue with the state over Tennessee’s comprehensive assessment program scores in an op-ed in the Chattanooga Times Free Press .

“There are students who should be held back in the earlier grades, no doubt,” he said, but noted that “using TCAP doesn’t make sense.”

Wrye said these scores also present the first standardized “high stakes” test for an 8-year-old.

And he said using a 65th percentile to be considered on track is the “highest scoring bar in the country.” That’s “arbitrary and too high” for 8-year-olds, Wrye argued.

“We’ve added one more size, but we need a bigger variety for our 8-year-olds,” Wrye said.

While the figure of 60% of students who are not proficient is alarming, this includes the 35% of students who are “approaching” proficiency. Here’s the state-level breakdown:

— Below the competition: 25%.

— Approach skill: 35%.

— Competence achieved: 27%.

— Competence passed: 13%.

Hamilton County Schools: In Hamilton County, about 60 percent of third-graders were below or near proficiency, while about 40 percent met or exceeded expectations. Here’s how it breaks down:

— Below the competition: 28.86%.

— Approach competence: 31.08%.

— Competence achieved: 26.64%.

— Competence passed: 13.42%.

Total competition: 40.06%.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-285-9480.

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