Live from Music Row, Wednesday 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 all-star panelist Carol Swain in studio to discuss her recent op-ed which tackles the truth about teachers’ unions greed, DEI, and induced suffering of America’s students.
Leahy: In studio with us, our very good friend, all-star panelist Carol Swain. Carol, there you go again. You wrote a piece at Fox News about education. I love the headline. Some people didn’t like it so much. This was published on Monday.
Here’s the headline: Teachers’ Unions Locked Kids out of Schools to Get More of Your Money, Not for Safety. Subtitle: Teachers’ Unions and Democrats Want to Perpetuate COVID Pandemic Forever. Carol, what kind of reaction have you gotten to that op-ed?
Swain: People who are supporters of teachers’ unions, don’t like it very much, but our children suffered tremendously. In fact, the 8th grade and math scores dropped eight points nationwide, and it varied by state.
But they have projected that these students will have a $70,000 lifetime loss in earnings and that the states where the affected children are, their economies will be affected, and that some of them will never recover.
Leahy: That’s the point, isn’t it? If you aren’t able by a certain age, and I think here the retention law here in Tennessee says third grade, I think that’s probably where you start running into very serious damage going forward in terms of your sense and simply your capability to reach a certain ceiling of intellectual thought.
If you can’t read and write by third grade, for instance, you’re just never going to get to the level that you need to be to be your most effective thinker and doer.
Swain: The disgrace is that the teachers’ unions did not rely on science. They pressed for more and more money. They got billions of dollars, supposedly for safety. They used it for DEI, they used it for salaries, and they used it for all kinds of things that had nothing to do with education.
And when experts were saying that children, their probability of catching COVID or spreading COVID were just minuscule, they still demanded that the schools be closed.
And so our children suffered not because of the science or the risk of COVID but because they had an agenda that had nothing to do with the children. It was a political agenda, not an educational agenda.
Leahy: Interestingly enough, there was an undercover video just released yesterday by Accuracy in Media. We covered it at our The Ohio Star news site. It was about a school system in Columbus, Ohio. And they got the executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, who knew that that was an important job in a school, but that’s what they have in Upper Arlington, Ohio.
The state legislature there said you’re not going to teach critical race theory. He basically undercover said, well, we’re going to teach whatever we want.
Swain: I mean, that’s what they do. And I guess yesterday in the early wee hours of the morning, I was on Fox and Friends First.
Leahy: By the way, when you say kind of with a smile, (Swain chuckles) I can relate to this, Carol, you say in the early wee hours of the morning. Just describe what time you have to get up and what time your hit is on Fox and Friends First.
Swain: My hit was 4:15 a.m., which means I have to be camera ready sitting in front of my computer. And so I had to get up at 3:30 am to get dressed and put on my makeup. I get dressed from the top-up Mike. (Leahy chuckles) Well, that’s enough about that.
But we talked about Governor Youngkin in Virginia. There were seven Fairfax County schools that withheld notification to kids that were National Merit Scholars that…
Leahy: They had, they won, and they get a scholarship.
Swain: So they were not able to have that honor and to be able to put it on the college applications.
Leahy: That will help your acceptance rate if you’re a National Merit Scholar.
Swain: And you can get hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money as well. But the superintendent, who happens to be a black woman, I don’t remember her name, where she has this thing, equity. What was her quote? Basically, equity means everyone’s going to have the same outcome.
Even the kids that are just struggling, they’re going to have the same outcome. And one of the reasons why they didn’t report the scores is that they didn’t want to make the kids feel bad that had not been as successful. When they got caught, some of the administrators said, well, it was an error, but they did it two years in a row.
Leahy: It wasn’t an error, it was intentional.
Swain: And that school system paid $450,000 to a DEI person. And Michael, most of the DEI consultants and experts, for one thing, there’s not a real license, and there are majors of fields that end in studies.
We used to laugh and say, well, where were these people get a job? Well, they became your DEI officers, and they’re pulling down six-figure salaries. And it’s really taken away from education.
Leahy: To promote, really, things that are anti-American.
Swain: They’re not promoting education.
Leahy: That’s the truth.
Swain: And here’s the thing, are they harmed the high achieving students without benefiting the ones that were less accomplished or less hard-working or had less ability.
And so no one benefited. And during my years of being a professor, National Merit Scholars have been people from different backgrounds, social classes, and as well as races, and ethnicity. So racial and ethnic minorities, certainly in Fairfax County, were disadvantaged along with white children.
Leahy: And to your point, in this undercover video in Columbus, Ohio that we have up at The Ohio Star and The Tennessee Star, the executive director there, Matthew Boaz, said the following quote there’s more than one way to skin a cat if you pass a bill banning critical race theory. But if you don’t cover programming and extracurricular activities, the message will get out there. Oops!
Swain: They’re doing it in math, science…
Swain: They know exactly what they are doing.
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 Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Carol Swain” by Carol Swain.
Live from Music Row Monday 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 Metro Nashville’s City Council Member-at-Large Steve Glover to the newsmakers line capital spending plan and the fiscal insanity of the left-wing majority council members.
Leahy: On our newsmaker line the voice of sanity in Nashville, Metro Councilmember At-Large, Steve Glover. Good morning, Steve.
Glover: Good morning. That would depend upon which side you’re talking to. We certainly would want common sense and sanity must rule. On the other side, they define it as insanity.
Leahy: Let me just step back a little bit. And so there you are. There 40 members of the national Metro Council. Five Metro council members at large. You’re one of those five. 35 from districts with 40 members. It looks like typically the vote on this half-billion-dollar capital spending plan was 30 in favor of it seven against it. So you got at least 30 in my view a kind of lunatic left-wingers on the Metro Council. How do you show up every day for those meetings and listen to them talk and rant? How do you do it, Steve?
Glover: Well, let me put it to you this way. We are 100,000 plus strong in Davidson County and at some point, we’re going to wake up and realize that. And realize that, we actually have a voice. I just keep forging ahead because I’m blessed enough that the people of Nashville elected me and I’m going to do my job. I’m going to represent the people who want to protect the sanctity of our financial base in Nashville.
Even though it’s eroded on a daily basis. I’m going to continue to fight that because that’s what I said I would do. And I’m going to be a man of my word. I will continue doing that. And so that’s how I get up every day. And that’s how I go fight. Now, the new message is we are 100,000 plus strong and we better wake up and realize it. And we better start doing with the others that are much smaller than we are have been doing in Nashville and that’s to start demanding, demanding answers.
Leahy: I like the fight in your voice Steve because I think we need it. Let me ask you this question. Why 30 of the 40 members of the Metro Council vote for this outrageous spending bill on the 500 million dollar Capital spending plan? About those 30 people. My perception is that they are that’s kind of the rise of what I would call the apparatus-like class.
That is people who very few of them have small businesses. Most of them have some kind of government-related work and they’ve all bought into this left-wing ideology. They’re not open-minded at all and they lack common sense. But that’s just my view. What am I missing? Why are we electing people like that to the Metro Council?
Glover: Well, because most people don’t think local elections are important. I think if you bore down on it, I think there might be three of us that are actually fully self-employed on the council. I believe two of those are Republicans. One of them is a very moderate Democrat which I have a great relationship. Let me just say. Often we both are very similar because we understand the bottom line. And who you vote for for president, that’s your choice. Certainly, I didn’t like the way you described it in the last segment I believe how that worked exactly.
But, you know people need to understand the local elections we’re going to hit you a lot harder than the feds will because what we do every day affects your life every day. And I preach it and I’m going to be preaching it for the next two and a half years. You better wake up. you better understand. Because if you don’t the Nashville that so many of us love is dwindling rapidly, but it will be completely gone unless we wake up and start demanding that we have a responsible government.
Cunningham: Steve, this is Ben. What do you think is a realistic upside for Republicans if Republicans really get to work? And I want to emphasize you one countywide. You got elected countywide.
Glover: With almost 40 percent of the vote. With almost 40 percent of the vote.
Cunningham: Right. If Republicans get to work in Davidson County? What is a realistic upside out of those 40 seats?
Glover: I think that if we concentrate it properly and if we look at the conservative moderate libertarian base, then what you’re looking at is somewhere between 12 and 15 seats. That’s enough to make a difference Ben. As you are well aware. You’re pretty familiar with Metro Council. If you’ve got 12 to 15 seats, that’s a big enough voice to make a big difference.
Leahy: Well, the thing is we look at this and it looks like the next election for city council is a little over two years from now in August of 2023. We’ve got a long haul in the next two years. How frustrating is it to actually say things that make common sense and when the vast majority of your colleagues on the Metro Council, my words not yours, have no common sense?
Glover: Well, let me explain it to you this way. It’s a lot easier for me to do what my convictions are because I can go to sleep at night and I can lay my head on the pillow and I can know I’ve done everything I can for the taxpayers of Nashville and represented the people who elected me. It’s a lot easier for me to do that than to conform to something I absolutely do not agree with.
I do not believe in and feel like the taxpayers are the ones who ultimately are the losers there. So how hard is it for me? Believe it or not, it’s not that challenging because I’m that convicted to the people who elected me. And I told them I would go do and I’m doing what I said I would do.
Leahy: You represent the entire County.
Leahy: When you go out in public and you talk to people, do you get a different rep reception from them than when you make a very good common sense point in Nashville Metro Council?
Glover: It’s actually kind of amazing the number of places I go. And I’m all over the place. I mean I try to be out as much as possible. I’m all over the place from Bellevue to Hermitage to Goodlettsville, Joelton, and all over the Brentwood area. And everything almost in between except for the downtown core. I mean, that’s a little far left and they don’t tend to like me very much there.
But the majority of the places I go, the reception’s unbelievable because there are a lot of Nashvillians that are extremely common sensed and fiscally conservative. No matter who you voted for President that’s your choice. But there are fiscal-conscious individuals that want to make sure that their children and their grandchildren have a city to grow up in along with a country. Ben, I think you said it earlier.
Tennessee is doing a phenomenal job. Our pension. Our Reserve fund may not be quite as high as you’d like to see but look at Nashville. Our reserve funds are just now getting up above five-six percent again because we tax people 34 to 37 percent. Our government has been irresponsible for multiple multiple multiple decades on the spending and it’s gotten worse over the last decade and a half.
And so now, I’m hoping people are waking up. and the one reason I preach the 100,000 strong is because in the last election our mayor was elected with less than a hundred thousand people. If we 100,000 get out and we vote and we work and we work diligently, we can make a major difference in Nashville and we can start turning the ship and right the course.
Leahy: Steve, on another topic that is of concern to many many people in Nashville and many business people, I saw a news report where Broadway and downtown Nashville was jumping pretty good this weekend. Lots of people coming in. The Fifth and Broadway development is opened up and that hopefully will be a shot in the arm to Downtown Nashville. When do you expect things to be back to normal?
Glover: Well, it should have gotten back to normal I believe by the first of June. It really should have Ben. by all indicators that that was the right time to do it. Some decisions were made whether I agree with them or not. The decisions have been made and it is what it is. And certainly, by the Fourth of July, we have to be demanding there were wide open for business.
Other states are doing it now and other counties around us are doing it. The only County that’s suffering financially right now is still Davidson County on sales tax because our people never stop shopping. They were going to other counties. So by July 4th, if we’re not opened up full blast, we better start screaming to the top of our lungs.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.