Tennessee Declares Only Dumbest Kids Wanted for State Jobs

Posted on May 21, 2008

Update: Welcome Rush Limbaugh listeners and Neal Boortz readers!

-By Warner Todd Huston

It’s true. The State of Tennessee has officially declared that from this point forward it will accept only less educated student applicants for state, county and city jobs in the Volunteer State. Why would the kindly folks in Nashville make such a stupid rule? Well, it’s all about control, you see. The state controls the less educated kids and they don’t control the ones that show higher academic aptitude. It really is just that simple.

It has come to pass that the State of Tennessee has officially invalidated the high school diplomas of thousands of home-schooled Tennessee kids, at least where it concerns their eligibility to apply for the positions of fireman, police officer, state government employee, even daycare worker — any government job or government controlled position that the state regulates is covered.

The reasoning the Board of Education used to justify this obscene act is almost a sensible sounding one. Since religious schools and home-schools each have their own curriculum that is designed by people not working for the state government (i.e. the state Board of Education), then the state has no real control or input in those curricula. Therefore, the state cannot make the assumption that kids educated in institutions or via home programs meet the standards of an officially recognized state education. Like I said, this almost seems logical until one does a tiny bit of research. Fortunately Tennessean Rob Shearer has done just that.

Rob points out that while the State of Tennessee is claiming that home-schooled kids have a diploma that the state cannot insure what it represents, the same can be said of the state approved diplomas. It turns out that the State of Tennessee does not require a minimum GPA for graduation from government indoctrination schools. So, did these kids get an A, a B, or a D? We don’t really know just looking at a diploma. The state only requires “credits” for passing the 20 some required courses, the final determination only being that the student be “proficient” in the class work… whatever that might mean.

Still, that aside, what about the State’s charge that home-schooled kid’s curriculum isn’t controlled by the state and so cannot be assured as “proficient” by the State? Again, this seems like a sensible charge. After all, the State knows what requirements it has created and they are “official,” after all. Isn’t it possible that the kids at home-schools and religious schools are getting a substandard education? This is a solidly sensible concern, is it not?

Let us look at some of the data to see if the State of Tennessee Board of Ed is correct that the education received by kids outside the government indoctrination centers might have gotten a questionable education.

To start with, the State of Tennessee ranks a bit lower than the national average in ACT scores. Apparently the 2007 ACT scores shows Tennessee students (that is all students as a group, gov’t school or otherwise) rank less than average at 20.7 whereas nationally the average is 21.2. So, Tennessee is already not even at the national average to begin with.

Now, to contrast that, the last comprehensive study of home-schooled children was the ERIC clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation from 1998.

Home school students did quite well in 1998 on the ACT college entrance examination. They had an average ACT composite score of 22.8 which is .38 standard deviations above the national ACT average of 21.0 (ACT,1998).This places the average home school student in the 65th percentile of all ACT test takers.

(See full report HERE)

Ken Marrero also points out some more interesting results in the 1998 data.

“What was the ACT composite score for Tennessee students for 1998? In the year home schoolers averaged 22.8 and the national average was 21.0, Tennessee’s students scored just 19.8, a full 3 points below home schoolers. This put Tennessee ahead of only North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Washington DC. The composite home school score places them FIRST among the 51 jurisdictions represented in the study.”

That study aside, there are also data concerning the ACT test score results for the home-schooled students of Tennessee. The data covers the 2005 school season(page 17).

This report shows home-schooled Tennessee students realizing a 20.7 average against the government schooled kids’ 20.5 effort.

It is also interesting that the 2005 stats are the only such data available. It seems the ACT organization stopped delineating the differences between the home-schooled and the government indoctrinated students. One has to wonder if ACT has realized that governments all across the country are gearing up to destroy home-schools and religious schools and they didn’t want to help the home-schoolers out by showing the too obvious excellence that home-schoolers achieve compared to their less educated government indoctrinated contemporaries.

So, after seeing these interesting statistics, one has to wonder why the State of Tennessee would rather accept the least educated kids of the State to become policemen, firemen and daycare workers? Does Tennessee really want to promote the more stupid above its best and brightest?

Apparently it does.

But, is the State of Tennessee much different than the rest of the nation excluding their being some of the first to make such an overt attack against home-schools? Not really. After all, to sanction home-schooling means the powermongers and indoctrinators in the State would have to give up some level of power to control the minds of our students. Our schools nation wide from top universities to the lowest grade level are becoming the laughing stock of the civilized world and instead of looking to give our kids the best advantage possible to compete with an ever growing world our governments are dumbing down our curricula, tossing out standards, hiring teachers unqualified for their positions — and then being stuck with them forever due to overweening and anti-education unions — and generally making our schools useless.

So, good job Tennessee. Now that you’ve cut out the best and brightest of your own student population, from this point forward, the citizens of Tennessee are going to have to wonder about the competency and intelligence of every policeman and every daycare worker in the State. They will also be forced to realize that their wonderful state government in Nashville has set up a situation where the best and brightest of the Volunteer State will be leaving in droves for opportunity elsewhere.

Not too smart, Tennessee. Not too smart at all.