Meet your Kansas legislators.

Yesterday I committed a grave error of judgment.

I listened in to a live stream of the Kansas legislative session.

The debate was over a controversial bill that would prohibit Common Core standards from being used in this state. Not that the legislators have anything to replace these standards with. But they firmly insist that Common Core is “federally mandated” (it’s not) and therefore they are adamant that it’s evil. Now, I don’t have strong feelings about Common Core one way or another. But somehow it does not surprise me that Kansas legislators are dead-set against any teaching standards that encourage critical thinking.

There was strong citizen backlash against this particular bill, because it went so far as to say that NO standards proposed by Common Core would be taught in Kansas schools (good-bye to algebra, science, history, and English!) AND it would make it nearly impossible for high schools to offer Adanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes, which are largely based on certain Common Core standards.

But it wasn’t just the extremely poorly-conceived bill that made me so sick to my stomach as I listened to the legislative debate.

No, it was the clown who was reading and attempting to explain the bill. I looked up a picture of him. This is his campaign photo.

pre_1365557174__jed_clampett

Okay, not really. But seriously, this guy made Jed Clampett look like a Harvard Ph.D.

Among his pronouncements, in his backwoods drawl:

“Now, I’m not an edjoocashun expert. Nobody on this committee is.” Really? I’m astonished! But that begs the question: Why, then, are you fucking with education?

“We were voted in by the tea party in 2012, and we’re here to make sure their concerns are protected.” Yes, by all means let’s hold the state hostage to a group of backwards, unducated boobs who have never even heard of AP or IB classes.

As he read, I couldn’t miss the withering irony of Senator Jed Clampett mispronouncing the word “academics.”   uh-CAD-uh-miks. Right-o.

The surprisingly happy end to this story is that the bill was defeated later in the day. Kansas parents are starting to rise up, participating in protests and email campaigns to push back against this type of insanity.

But we all know that Senator Jed and the rest of his hillbillies will return before you can say “CE-ment pond,” with another zany episode designed to show the world just how backwards Kansas politicians are.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Meet your Kansas legislators.

  1. Is it Kansas as well that is preparing for the guns on campus law that is being forced into effect despite the fact that something like 80% of the people who actually work in colleges are against it? Sorry for what is going on there. It’s like some serious backwards evolution that I can’t quite wrap my head around. It’s like people are so damn scared of the future they’re trying really hard to get back to the past. But not even a good past, that’s the mind-boggling thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s Kansas, and a few other states as well. I read an interesting piece on exactly why Kansas politics has gone completely bat-shit crazy, in a blog post by a former Kansas governor. He made the point that in his time in government, all the legislators and elected officials were well-educated, with backgrounds in law, government, political science, philosophy, etc. When the tea party swept in a few years ago, the legislature was overtaken by rural small business owners, people with little education, and basically backwoods yahoos. That sounds elitist, but I think it’s probably accurate.

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      • This election (actually the 2010 ones really) are such a huge wake-up call to make sure people start voting in their local elections, school boards, community boards, etc. Because that is how these nut-jobs get their start. I have absolutely nothing against small, rural business owners. I don’t even have a problem with them in local, state or federal government–HOWEVER, I really want to know what American values they are harkening back toward. Is it truly a no federal government or bust type movement? Because they seem to be ok having the federal government in my uterus….I’m floored, really.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’ve hit the nail on the head. I don’t have a problem with small , rural business owners in government, either. But I do have a problem with people who are unable to think critically. ARRRRRGGGHH that total double standard about “limited government” except where their narrow interpretations of religious beliefs come in and where misogyny comes in. It’s sickening. And you can’t ignore the fact that these people actually were voted in, even though the state was totally going down the tubes already when they were re-elected. Too many voters don’t bother to educate themselves about who they’re voting for.

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        • Oh, and there’s no escaping the fact that these legislators’ campaigns were totally backed by groups like ALEC and dark money from the Koch brothers, who all have a vested interest in deregulation, the smallest government possible, and the ZERO tax rate they enjoy in Kansas.

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