Byron's Babbles

Indiana’s State of the State from the ‘Tweet Seats’

Posted in Education, Education Reform, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 17, 2015

The 2015 ‘Tweet Seats’ with Speaker of the House Brian Bosma

In keeping with my 2015 goal to reread one book of prior great influence each month, I started this month by rereading Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation by Harlow Giles Unger. This was so fitting because he was such a believer in state’s rights. This past week I was reminded of how precious these rights are to states after being invited to attend Governor Mike Pence’s State of the State Address by Speaker of the House Brian Bosma and the Indiana House Republicans. Actually, I was invited with responsibilities. I was to be a member of the ‘Tweet Seats.’ In other words, I was responsible, along with four others, to do tweets during the State of the State Address. So, think about all of the things that happened in our Indiana State House on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 that would not have been possible without Patrick Henry’s original call to arms and then all of his work to make sure we had a Bill of Rights in place. Because of our Freedom of Speech I was able to tweet 49 tweets during the State of the State Address to my 70,000 plus followers. I continue to be amazed at the power of social media today. I was also amazed at how many people were following the speech using twitter. Twitter is one of the most powerful tools available right now for receiving news. Twitter is also an important modem for personal professional growth.


My ‘Tweet Seat’


I am including PDFs of the press release and Twitter handles/hashtags here:
Press Release_Tweet Seats_2015

2015/01/img_0688.jpg Patrick Henry’s famous words “Give me liberty or give me death!”—shouted during a speech to the House of Burgesses in 1775—put into clear terms how the colonies should respond to an encroaching British military force. This call to arms has since been immortalized, much like the man himself. A leader through and through, Henry’s life motto might as well have been “no compromise,” making him a great study in leadership.

It was 1787, long after the war had ended. Patrick Henry, seeing the possibility of tyranny as the result of a newly proposed United States Constitution, he rose in opposition to fellow founder, James Madison. Henry would not be satisfied until a Bill of Rights was adopted as part of the constitution, making him the primary historical force behind the liberties Americans have today. He also believed very strongly in state’s rights. He believed that states should govern themselves. Interestingly, he spoke about states being in a better position to govern themselves because they had governors who lived among the people and knew the people. Though strongly anti-Federalist, Henry later changed mind after learning of the radicalism of the French Revolution. He did not want America to suffer the same fate. This showed that while he was certainly a leader of principle, he could be convinced of another course if the evidence was overwhelming enough—an important quality to have in a leader. Henry joined up with George Washington and John Adams to support Federalist policies, and later on was even elected to the Virginia House of Delegates as a Federalist. I could not help but think about what Patrick Henry would be tweeting had there been a colonial iPad for him to use.


Ronald Reagan in the Indiana House of Representatives Chamber

During his speech, Governor Pence quoted President Ronald Reagan. Reagan, speaking a little more than thirty years ago from the very podium that Pence was speaking from, said the federal government was “still operating on the outdated and arrogant assumption that the states can’t manage their own affairs.” “That day,” Pence said, “he predicted it would be states like ours [Indiana] that would come to America’s rescue.” In that speech Reagan when on to say that states like ours would “offer the most creative solutions and most promising hopes for our nation.” Reagan believed, as Patrick Henry did, in the ability of states to govern themselves. We are so blessed that Governor Pence believes this as well. Pence went on to say: “Well, Reagan was right.”

Governor Pence then said: “At a time when public confidence in our federal government is at an all-time low, states have emerged as a source of inspiration on fiscal policy, economic growth, education and health care reform. And Indiana is leading the way, proving every day that we can balance our budgets, run our schools, choose our health care and serve our people far better than ‘a little intellectual elite in a far distant capitol’ (quote from Ronald Reagan) ever could.”


Proud to be part of this great group!

It was such an incredible experience to be a part of the State of the State Address. Those of us in the ‘Tweet Seats’ were given a copy of the speech just prior to the address so we could get our thoughts together for our tweets. Then Speaker Bosma met with us to go over parts of the speech and legislative agenda he thought were important for us to know to do a quality job of tweeting out the State of the State message. I continue to be so impressed with how passionate Speaker Bosma is for doing what is right for Indiana. I would now like to share my thoughts from the State of the State by listing a “Baker’s Dozen” of my top retweeted and favorited tweets during the speech. Here they are:

1. You get more good teachers by paying good teachers more! #education #INLegis
2. The key to unlocking all potential in #Indiana is #education! @GovPenceIN calls for this to be an #edreform session. #INSOTS #INLegis
3. Every #Hoosier child deserves to start school ready to #learn. #education #INSOTS #INLegis
4. 100,000 more students enrolled in high performing #schools by 2020. #edreform #education #INSOTS #INLegis
5. We need more great #teachers! @GovPenceIN #INSOTS #INLegis
6. Career and Technical #Education needs to be a priority in every #school in the state of #Indiana. #INLegis #INSOTS
7. @GovPenceIN calling for a required balanced #inbudget! Add a balanced budget amendment. #INLegis #INSOTS
8. Graduation rates are up. Test scores are up, the doors of our pre-K programs are open to disadvantaged kids. @GovPenceIN #INSOTS #edreform
9. We have the largest #education voucher system in the country! #edreform @GovPenceIN @INHouseGOP
10. @GovPenceIN calls for more #schoolchoice through innovative #CharterSchools! #edreform #education #INLegis #INSOTS
11. Adjust funding for our #charterschools to provide opportunities for all our children! @GovPenceIN @INHouseGOP #edreform #education #INSOTS
12. We must lift the cap on dollar amount that #choiceschools receive for students. @GovPenceIN @INHouseGOP #INSOTS #INLegis #edreform #inedchat
13. Raise the cap on the #schoolchoice scholarship tax credit. #schoolchoice #CharterSchools #edreform #education

Here is a PDF text transcript of the entire State of the State Address:

As you can see, Governor Pence has laid out a very aggressive plan for Indiana. After spending time reading and listening to his speech, I have no doubt we will be successful. Governor Pence closed out his speech saying, “If we will act with resolve & are bold, we will fulfill Indiana’s promise for this generation and next.” I closed out the evening with this tweet: Great State of the State @GovPenceIN! Lots to do for #Indiana. Loved your final words of #INSOTS: “Let’s get to work!” @Brian_Bosma will help!

In closing I want to thank Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, and the Indiana House Republicans for giving me the honor of being a part of the Indiana State of the State Address “Tweet Seats.” I believe that Patrick Henry would be proud of Indiana and would agree with Governor Pence when he said, “we will fulfill the promise, not just of our time, but we will fulfill the promise first forged beneath that constitution elm in Corydon in 1816—the promise of a state built on freedom that would become a beacon of hope and an example to the nation.” The Governor’s agenda is living out both Patrick Henry’s and Ronald Reagan’s vision for the states of our great nation!


Learning from Speaker of the House Bosma



My new best friends – The Chicks on the Right!



I love to Tweet!


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