J.C. Bowman of Professional Educators of Tennessee on Williamson County School System’s Insistence That Teachers ‘Stick to a Script’

Oct 13, 2022

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Professional Educators of Tennessee Executive Director and CEO J.C. Bowman in-studio to discuss the implementation of the Instructional Practice Guide for only Williamson County public school teachers, forcing them to stick to a “script.”

Leahy: Right now, ladies and gentlemen, a Marine Corps veteran, all-American guy who is the President of Professional Educators of Tennessee.

That’s the conservative or good alternative to the teachers’ unions. His name is J.C. Bowman. He’s in the studio with us. Good morning, J.C.

Bowman: Good morning, Michael. How are you doing today?

Leahy: Well, I am puzzled, J.C. I am puzzled. What on earth is going on in Williamson County Public Schools? What are they doing?

It’s hard enough being a teacher in K-12 public schools in Tennessee now as it is, but they’re kind of doing some odd things down there, and I think it’s only happening in Williamson County. You’ve been talking to some teachers about it. This thing is called what, IPG? What is that?

Bowman: Yes, it’s like a term called Instructional Practice Guide. And one of the things they’re making sure you’re doing is sticking to the script. And I find it odd now that it’s not an evaluation.

Leahy: Are you toeing the propaganda line? Is that really what it is?

Bowman: Yes, basically, my phone has blown up about this a little bit because we’ve had five or six teachers specifically really concerned. We know that one teacher at Grasslands Elementary School, it was on Channel 17, quit. She said, I’m done. They bring in two people from the central office …

Leahy: Now, how long have they been doing this IPG? What is it again?

Bowman: It stands for Instructional Practice Guide. Okay. And it’s a team. You’re supposed to be teaching your guide all the way through. It’s scripted learning. So basically, I hand you a script, and it would be like every morning you walk in here and I hand you a script to say, hey, Michael, this is what you’re speaking on today.

And you look at me and say, that’s just not happening. And we hire professionals. Williamson County has got some of the best teachers in the state, and we don’t trust them to do the job well.

Leahy: And they seem to be, I think it’s a very frustrating job right now to be a teacher, particularly in Williamson County, because they’re getting all of these instructions from the top that don’t make any sense, and the parents are unhappy, and it’s just a tough gig, it seems to me.

Bowman: Oh, it’s absolutely a tough gig. And like I said, these teachers are beyond frustrated. And I mean, I’m hearing as many as, they could get into the double digits.

Leahy: When did they start the Williamson County Public Schools? Headed up by Jason Golden, an attorney.

Bowman: An attorney, right.

Leahy: When did they start doing this IPG thing?

Bowman: Apparently it started this year.

Leahy: This year? Just this year? In August?

Bowman: Yes. So remember last year when we had the teachers at Edmondson Elementary School that got in trouble for deviating off Wit and Wisdom this year?

Leahy: And Wit and Wisdom is sort of, I don’t know, the Woke curriculum.

Bowman: Well, it was brought in by our commissioner.

Leahy: Our woke commissioner, education commissioner.

Bowman: I’m not going to go there.

Leahy: Our UC Berkeley grad, Penny Schwinn, woke commissioner. P.S., Governor Lee, why did you appoint this UC Berkeley grad to be commissioner of education? It’s still a head-scratcher, but go ahead.

Bowman: I don’t want to bring up the Dianne Feinstein connection, but hey, she also interned for Dianne Feinstein, but that’s neither here or there.

Leahy: Yes, let’s not bring up the Dianne Feinstein connection that she interned for.

Bowman: But in seriousness. After she approved it, she pushed that particular curriculum into our schools, and for God knows what reason. It was adopted and the curriculum got chosen by Williamson County and depending on who you talk to, whether it’s a fair process or not, Williamson County comes in, they start doing it, and now they’re going to make sure these teachers are sticking to script.

If you say the word “short” or you use a different word and explain, that is not in that practical guide, you’re in trouble now. This is not an evaluation. This is just an observance. And I’m going to tell you something, it’s intimidating a lot of teachers.

Leahy: So the plan of Williamson County Schools is to intimidate teachers to follow a script, and otherwise there’s a problem. And I guess they’re only doing it in Williamson County Schools right now?

Bowman: As far as we can tell, we’ve not heard any other complaints.

Leahy: Very bizarre.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “J.C. Bowman” by J.C. Bowman.