By Steve Hunley


The embarrassment in Tennessee over the failed TN Ready test has barely faded when auditors from the State Comptroller’s office have released a scathing report about mismanagement inside the Achievement School District.  As described by reporter Andy Sher from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Achievement School District “now has its own flunking grade from state Comptroller watchdogs.”

The Achievement School District was supposed to be working with several public schools that are failing, as well as more than twenty other failing schools in cooperation with or run by charter groups.  The offices for the Achievement School District was hurriedly moved from Memphis to Nashville and Commissioner of Education Candace McQueen’s office has announced the hiring of a “fiscal director, fiscal manager, accountant, account tech, federal programs director and federal programs manager.”  All of this information was related in Andy Sher’s story in the Chattanooga daily newspaper.

Apparently, the ASD certainly needs an accountant, as the Comptroller’s report indicated almost $6,000 was paid to folks no longer working for the Achievement School District.  The report, when pared of bureaucratic language, blessed out the ASD for numerous deficiencies in keeping track of expenses and not following procedures, or in some instances, not even having procedures in place as required by state law.  Worse still, the ASD evidently didn’t follow the law with state and federal funds, which I imagine, would put some of those funds at risk.

When all is said and done, $721,000 of federal money was obtained and spent while the ASD was not in compliance with the law.

To say the very least, this is a mighty embarrassing situation for the State of Tennessee and the Department of Education.  It raises the question of just who is minding the store?

Clearly the legislature ought to be firing up some of its committees and start asking some hard questions.  Eventually, there are going to be enough of these highly embarrassing episodes and regular folks are going to start asking just what the heck is going on.  Whether local, state or federal, tax dollars are collected from you and me.  It all comes from the same pot and sooner or later, the pot is going to start to boil.


 Media Bias Becoming More Ridiculous

At least one new poll of independent voters indicates some 38% of those surveyed now believe the media in the United States is biased and pushing Hillary Clinton.  Independent voters are some of the most important in any election and are oftentimes referred to as “swing” voters because they go back and forth between political parties and candidates.  The evidence of that particular bias is everywhere for anyone who gives more than a cursory glance to newspapers, online news and the television news.  There are a few exceptions, but the bias is becoming more ridiculous and in some instances, positively unhinged.

To be fair about it, many news organizations aren’t even pretending to be objective or fair.  The three broadcast television news networks – – – NBC, CBS, and ABC are all pro-Clinton.  Newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post are also avidly promoting Hillary Clinton.  Now some woman at the Huffington Post has published a column claiming swimmer Ryan Lochte must be a Trump supporter because of his behavior in Brazil.  For the record, from what I understand, Lochte voted for Obama last time.  “Comedian” Stephen Colbert has also been trying to compare Lochte to Trump.

One problem with the mainstream media is they believe they are far smarter than the rest of us; anyone who disagrees with them is ignorant, a bigot or unfeeling.  For the most part, the media is quite content in its own cocoon of smug self-superiority.  While they claim to support the middle class in this country, nothing could be further from the truth.  Most of them would be absolutely horrified to be thought of as middle class and I was struck by writer Ann Coulter’s comment about “the working class versus the smirking class.”  These folks not only think they are smarter than you and I, but they also know what is best for all of us collectively.  They ignore what they don’t wish to see and are perfectly content deciding everything for everybody.  It never seems to occur to them that the government cannot give anyone anything it hasn’t first taken from someone else.  There are those who advocate redistributing the wealth in this country and only the smirking class is wise enough to divvy everything up.  One thing is certain: they sure as shootin’ don’t intend for it to be you or me.

Unfortunately for the media, more and more people are paying less and less attention to them.  The credibility of many news organizations is little better than that of a notorious Madam and sadly, there’s little difference between the two.  They are both pandering and selling their wares and it’s beginning to get a little worn out.