Tom Corbett’s Last Days: ‘My bad’ on Paterno, Oh, THOSE test scores, Wait, what bill was that…?

Corbett concession

Over the last week, Tom Corbett lost an election in historic fashion and was sued by his colleagues for the veto of a bill. So now that voters are giving him the heave-ho, is Tommy Corbett giving the job a big  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯?

We at Billy Penn noticed a few just plain weird things that have gone down over the last few days since Tom vs. Tom came to a close on Tuesday:

1. Joe Paterno? Maybe he shouldn’t have been fired… 

In an interview heard ’round the Penn State Truthers’ world, Tom Corbett told Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Angela Couloumbis that the late Penn State head coach Joe Paterno “probably” shouldn’t have been fired.

ICYMI, Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees in 2011 after news hit that his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been indicted on dozens of counts of child sexual abuse. At the time, all officials knew about Paterno’s role was that he’d testified before a grand jury, and may have been made aware of sexual abuse at the hands of Sandusky in 2001.

The reason Corbett’s Paterno revelation is so surprising? Corbett was a member of the 2011 Board of Trustees that made the decision to fire the coach. ESPN Outside the Lines reporter Don Van Natta described the night of Paterno’s firing as such:

“From the speaker of a nearby telephone, a distinctive voice chimed in: ‘Remember the children. Remember that little boy in the shower.’ The voice belonged to Thomas W. Corbett Jr., the governor of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a member of the board of trustees. Corbett was participating in his first meeting, but he had the last word.”

So just to sum up: Corbett was on the board of Penn State. He was the sitting governor of the state, and he took that office after a stint as Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer in the state. So let’s put this in active voice, rather than passive. Tom, heads up: Technically, yes, the Board of Trustees fired Joe Paterno, and you were on the board. Ergo, you fired Joe Paterno. Corbett’s role in the firing is widely seen as one of the reasons that thousands of Penn Staters didn’t like Corbett — many of them mobilized to vote him out.

2. Test scores that should have been released in October didn’t come out until after the election

PSSA scores for schools across the state were released Thursday, Nov. 6 — two days after Corbett was fighting for (and losing) his political life. That’s about a month later than the scores are usually released.

State officials told The Notebook that they were just being extra careful. But some Democrats (and anyone with a calendar) say that’s baloney. And to top it off, The Notebook found that test scores in 2012 and 2013 dropped in almost every grade level, and went down most for at-risk and minority students.

The test results were released Thursday, and 60 percent of Philadelphia schools’ test scores decreased, though some were only by a single point. More here from Newsworks.

3. Governor, did you… read… the bill you signed?

Corbett signed a bill this week that’s heavily backed by the NRA — it would allow the group and others like it to sue municipalities (Read: Philadelphia) that have gun rules stricter than those in place statewide. But it’s actually the second time he had to sign it. He signed the wrong one last week.

Due to a clerical mix-up, according to John Micek of the Patriot-News and PennLive, Corbett actually signed an earlier version of the bill into law. Once lawmakers were alerted of the mix-up, legislators re-signed the bill and then kicked it back up to Corbett’s office to be re-signed. Correctly.

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