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 Tennessee Star journalist, TC Weber in studio to talk about Metro Nashville Public Schools’ new all-female left-wing school board.
Leahy: Right now in studio, the newest member of The Tennessee Star journalist family, Mr. TC Weber, is in studio. Good morning, TC.
Weber: Good morning to you. Are you doing all right? I’m hearing about these Southwest travels and glad I didn’t fly over the holiday.
Leahy: So were you here in Nashville?
Weber: I don’t venture near an airport unless I absolutely have to anymore.
Leahy: That is wise council. (Weber chuckles) What was it like over Christmas here? Because my last recollection of Nashville prior to Christmas was at 3:30 in the morning after our flight had been canceled. Early Friday morning, the 23rd, driving on basically black ice through highway 40 to kind of crawl towards our house and ended up staying at a hotel and then driving the next day all the way to Atlanta we could make our rebooked flight to Phoenix. What was it like here from a couple of days before Christmas until New Year’s?
Weber: It was cold, cold, cold, cold, cold. And then warm, warm, warm, warm. It was a wild swing. And I tell my kids, they were all worried about the three days of nine-degree weather or six-degree weather. Two-degree weather, I guess it was. I said, well, the difference when I was growing up in Northeast Pennsylvania is that that weather didn’t last for three or four days. It lasted for two months. You stand out there and wait for the bus in it. (Chuckles)
Leahy: You’re bringing back bad memories for me because…
Weber: Yes indeed.
Leahy: When we got off of it at 4:30 that morning and it jumped into a Hampton Inn just for a little shelter off a 65, they did a great job, by the way. It’s five degrees below. That is a different experience than, you know, like, 20 degrees.
Weber: Yes, it’s a whole different experience. But like I said, growing up in the Poconos, we used to have to wait for the bus and there’d be a little stop, and we were the first stop, which meant we were the last stop, and it would be for weeks on end, just above zero.
And you’d wait outside and you’d get on the bus and you’d ride on a bus with no heat for 45 minutes, and then you’d ride back.
Leahy: This explains why you left the Poconos and came to Nashville.
Weber: (Laughs) That’s one of many reasons.
Leahy: And why I left upstate New York and came ultimately came to Nashville. Similar experience. I have a theory, TC. My theory is that my body was built with only a certain number of below-zero days that it could tolerate, and I used them all up in upstate New York.
Weber: Yes, I used mine many years ago as well.
Leahy: You’ve been doing a fantastic job for us…
Weber: Thank you.
Leahy: As a writer about education issues and nobody knows more about the goings on of Metro Public Schools than you.
Weber: We’ve covered it very closely for a number of years.
Leahy: And you’ve been reporting on it for us. We were having an interesting conversation off the air here about the Metro Nashville Public School Board, which I noticed is basically nine members of the board, all women and they’re all progressive left-wing women.
Weber: Yes, they are all progressive. Yes. Since Fran [Bush] left, yes, they are.
Leahy: Not a good indication of future success. But you were telling me you don’t think that they’ve really done anything in terms of oversight and are essentially irrelevant.
Weber: I think as time goes on, they become more and more irrelevant because if you look at the MNPS school board, they have one job, which is to oversee, not one job, it is on the budget. And they also hire and fire the superintendent.
But they have one employee, which is the superintendent of schools, and it’s their job to supervise that employee. But they do very little oversight whatsoever. We tend to focus more on charter school issues. If you look at it recently, we did away with how we measure student growth.
The benchmark testing was on a consent agenda where we spent two hours talking about charter schools. The day-to-day operations, the things that really impact student learning get shoved to the side while we continue to have this decades-long charter school argument.
Leahy: So we’ll get to the charter school argument in our next segment, but what’s interesting to me is the school board is supposed to supervise Adrienne Battle. The verb that I would use is cheerleader, not supervisor.
Weber: I think that’s right.
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 “TC Weber” by Thomas “TC” Weber for MNPS District 2 School Board. Background Photo “Classroom” by Wokandapix.