states and local governments already knew, they are not well-equipped to force school districts to do things they do not want to do. There needs to be more overlap between the standards-based reform movement and the market-based reform movement. Conservatives need to hold to their guns on not allowing schools to lower standards and what seems most obvious we must move from identifying failing schools to identifying failing teachers. This issue could end up being a major battle in the 2008 election.
Speaking of education, do you remember those old black and white movies where the village people marched on the castle with pitchforks and torches? I thought I might actually see this with the surprising ban instituted on blue jeans by the Bradley County School Board. I have rarely heard such venom spewed, my ears are still in shock. Some free advice to the local school board, based on emails I have received it is an issue you may want to revisit. Listen to your employers not your employees on this issue. At a time when funding is of critical concern, it was at best horrible timing on your part. At the heart of any political issue, never forget that politics are local. The toughest decisions are not those made at the political table, but rather the kitchen table. We know that we will need new schools, pothole-free roads and bigger pipes to carry our water and waste. Those and a host of other worthwhile improvements are necessary to help maintain our community's quality of life. But it seems to many as if there's a lot of unnecessary you-know-what rolling downhill at the same time with this dress code. Choose your battles carefully, consider a course correction to avoid even rougher weather ahead. If the school board members were sailors, this could be the equivalent of a red sky at morning.
In the last few months it was easy to pile on the local Republican Party. It was an unfocused party that was thriving on in-fighting and back-stabbing. But as quickly as the problems manifested themselves, the issues that divided members are vanishing. To people, including myself, that pointed a finger at party leadership for the problem, we must also acknowledge the quick turn around and response to right the ship. The next steps include the Precinct Delegated Convention which will meet on Saturday, March 10, 2007 at 2:00 pm at the Bradley County Courthouse Commission Room. Party reformers can take pride in the fact that there is an establishment of a Code of Ethics and revised bylaws for the party. It was a bloodless coup, and with the exception of a few bruised ego's, these changes were done with the encouragement and support of Chairman Jonathan Cantrell and executive member John Stanbery.
Local elected leaders Dewayne Bunch, Eric Watson, Mel Griffith, Ed Elkins, Louie Alford, Lisa Stanbery, Jim Smith, Jeff Yarber, Gayla Miller, and Raymond Swafford took time to help delegates at the most recent Precinct Convention. The Bylaws Committee which comprised of David Benton, J.C. Haun, Lindsey Hathcock, Lita Esquinance, Hubert Conley and Milan Blake should also be commended. I also would salute Peggy Meyer, President of the Bradley County Republican Women (which meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at the Holiday Inn Mountain Top at Noon). There has been no word of change on the local Democrat Party. However, they should take note of the change in the local Republican Party, which got younger, brought in a more diversification, more inclusive leadership team and positioned itself for the next several election cycles, while still respecting the principles and people who built the local party.
Remember to wear a pinch of green on St. Patrick's Day and keep your consumption of Guinness limited. If we have any luck someone will dye Mouse Creek green and Lee University will dye its fountain green. Then for one day at least we can avoid the red in the sky.
--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Cleveland, TN..
He can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit his website at: www.policyexperts.net