Education Matters Blog: Bryant’s controversial education comment

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said during a Washington Post Live forum on Tuesday morning that America’s educational problems began when “mom got into the workplace.”

UPDATE from The Associated Press – In a phone interview with the AP later Tuesday, Bryant said having both parents working outside the home puts pressure on families, which in turn affects education.

“We’re so busy in today’s society,” Bryant said. “Moms are working. Dads are working.”

Bryant’s wife, Deborah, has worked outside the home for more than 38 years, including while their two children were growing up.

“Anybody that thinks I would blame working mothers for failures in education is just ridiculous,” the governor said.

Bryant’s father was a diesel mechanic. When Bryant and his two brothers were growing up, their mother occasionally worked as a grocery store cashier and in a bakery to earn money when the family needed it, the governor told the AP.

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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said during a Washington Post Live forum on Tuesday morning that America’s educational problems began when “mom got into the workplace.”

Bryant was among three governors and a number of state superintendents participating in a discussion this morning about third-grade reading retention.

He acknowledged his remarks would be controversial and that he would receive emails about them. They immediately became a hot topic online.

Bryant’s remarks came in response to a question about how America became mediocre in regards to educational outcomes.

“I think both parents started working,” he said, according to the Washington Post. “The mom got in the work place.”

Bryant then expanded on his answer, also noting that America seemed to be falling behind other nations in education because other nations were investing more in their own school systems and making progress.

Click here for more at Daily Journal’s Chris Kieffer’s Education Matters blog.