Yesterday, Tennessee’s Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that she would be stepping down from her post that she was appointed to four years ago.
During her tenure, she managed the department through the COVID-19 pandemic, which depending on who you ask, was either one of her greatest achievements, or an unmitigated disaster.
One of the more controversial programs Schwinn attempted to implement was statewide “well-being checks” on all of Tennessee’s kids from birth through 12th grade.
Parents across the state expressed their distaste with the idea that a social worker would invade their home and ask questions that they didn’t feel the state had any business asking. The program was shelved due to the massive pushback, and was never brought up again.
Also under her tenure, the state implemented new reading curriculum called Wit & Wisdom, which grassroots groups objected to due to some of the age-inappropriate themes, as well as having a fair amount of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Some of the themes in Wit & Wisdom included suicide ideation, adultery, miscarriage, and child sexual abuse.