Responding to the pleas of concerned parents and teachers, State Rep. Andy Holt recently accepted the invitation of a Level 5 teacher to experience first-hand the standardized testing crisis that our children have to endure in our public schools.

As Holt shares in detail on his website (, the eighth-grade students, teachers and principal at Hillcrest Elementary in Troy were initially very supportive of his willingness to endure the TNReady testing standards in order to shed light on just how confusing, ineffective and damaging the standardized testing gauntlet is to our children.

Unfortunately, Gov. Bill Haslam’s Education Commissioner, Candice McQueen, got wind of Holt’s efforts and made a personal phone call to Holt, insisting he call off his plan.

Of course, Haslam is a major proponent of forcing Common Core and other liberal teaching experiments and propaganda on U.S. students.

Since Holt was doing exactly what the citizens in his district elected him to do, he refused to back down.

In response, McQueen contacted the Obion County superintendent of schools, Russ Davis, who, within minutes of McQueen’s call to Holt, called to “dis-invite” him (see

All of this begs the question as to what, exactly, the Haslam Administration and our local school boards fear about the citizens learning the truth about educational standards, curriculum and standardized testing.

It also raises concerns regarding the arrogance of these supposed “public servants” and the contempt they have to those who employ them, not to mention their lack of concern for the well-being of the children.

This debacle has been getting a lot of press statewide and even nationwide.

Recently, numerous national stories have highlighted forced Islamist propaganda being taught within Tennessee’s public schools and the deliberate efforts of the bureaucracy to hide the truth and obstruct parents, teachers and children.

For years, local middle school children also have used books that state the claims of Islam as fact while portraying Christianity as questionable.

The numerous problems with Common Core and other liberal educational standards/testing have also been well-documented (see

Defying the demands of the Haslam Administration, the Tennessee legislature even voted to block the implementation of Common Core, though the TNReady standards essentially do the same thing.

The liberals controlling the educational bureaucracy continue to promote Common Core/TNReady, despite the mountain of evidence clearly indicating it lowers educational outcomes, is rife with liberal propaganda and tramples privacy rights of both students and parents.

Unfortunately, they have the support — or at least the indifference — of most school boards and politicians, including those in Henry County.

The Educational Establishment seems to be under the impression children in public school are their property, and concerned parents and politicians should just be quiet.

It’s time they come to clearly understand that kids are more than their source of revenue — they are our God-given blessings and responsibility.

To this point, the liberals have mostly had their way in dumbing down the schools, as they push relative morality, anti-Americanism, anti-Christianity and everything except reading, writing and arithmetic.

As Common Core examples illustrate, they make objective knowledge — like math, science and history — subjective, indefinite and downright confusing.

As a direct result, we have generations of students who lack discernment and often don’t even know right from wrong.

In a recent article titled “How Academic Standards Promoting Islam Have Invaded America’s Classrooms” (, Dr. Susan Berry documents how Common Core, Islamist propaganda and other liberal initiatives have been pushed in our schools for decades to the point that many kids can no longer think logically.

Now many of those illogical kids are adults. Just this week, a federal court ruled that boys who self-identify as girls must be allowed full access to the girls’ locker room/restrooms, including showering with the girls.

Despite all of the efforts of the liberals to block the truth, you can’t change it around and make something that smells bad, smell good.

Sure, they can hide for a while — like the Haslam Administration tried to hide and falsify past standardized testing results — but the truth eventually finds a way to the light. It is or it isn’t.

What’s going on within our schools is wrong, and the kids need to have somebody behind them.

The kids are being indoctrinated and treated like guinea pigs, and don’t know any better. They need our help.

The bad guys want your kids, and you are giving them to them, if you don’t take a stand.

Parents need to stop being afraid of conflict or that the teachers and administrators will take it out on the kids at school.

I have been told by a former school official that our local school board squelches dissent so we can no longer count on Christian teachers, as many of them have been quelled into submission.

Too many of our elected officials not only have demonstrated they cannot be counted on to stand up for us, but also are playing for the other side.

Every single elected official — be they a state representative, senator, governor or school board member — who fails to defend our children must be voted out of office.

Do not forget their betrayal, come election time. We owe it to our children to only elect men and women of sound moral principles who stand accordingly.

Rep. Holt truly deserves our prayers and support. Equally important is that those of us who love our children stand with him, not just on this issue, but against the never-ending stream of efforts by liberals to force liberal propaganda into the classroom as they seek control of the education, minds and hearts of our kids.

Common Core and Islamist propaganda are just a part of the overall battle. Thank you, Rep. Holt, for standing on principle.


CONNIE HIGHLAND of Paris is a member of the local Volunteers for Freedom Tea Party. Her email address is

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