14 State Legislators, Professional Educators Ask Education Commissioner Huffman To Resign Over Common Core, Other Issues

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fourteen state legislators on Thursday  released a signed letter and issued a statement calling on Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman to resign "under growing scrutiny of his implementation of Common Core standards and testing in Tennessee."

The Professional Educators of Tennessee joined in the call.

Rep. Joe Carr, one of the group, said, “Due to Commissioner Huffman’s failed leadership at the Tennessee Department of Education, teacher morale continues to decline with the continued uncertainty and ever changing expectations in the classroom.  In addition Commissioner Huffman has failed to address the growing skepticism by teachers and parents by insisting on the complete adoption and implementation of Common Core.

"As a result of the failed adoption of a fatally flawed Common Core, student test scores have not performed as advertised and have appeared to have deteriorated. Instead of fixing these errors, Commissioner Huffman has apparently violated Tennessee state law in delaying the reporting of student test scores.

“New leadership at the Tennessee Department of Education is what is needed. The educational requirements of students and teachers must be such that they allow Tennessee to compete on the world stage. Continuing down the road with a failed policy that erodes teacher confidence and fails to teach our children the basics we know are necessary to be competitive, requires us to move in a new direction. We need new leadership at the Department of Education to reinstall trust in this administration, and so today, we call on Commissioner Huffman to resign or Governor Haslam to fire him.”  

The Professional Educators of Tennessee sent this letter to Governor Bill Haslam:

Governor Haslam:

 A formal call for the removal of a state official is rare, so we take the recent call by a group of bipartisan legislators very seriously, as should your administration. We are grateful that many policymakers have expressed their concern with the current direction of the Tennessee Department of Education. We share many of the same trepidations. 

We have refrained from telling you who you should or should not appoint as Commissioner of Education.  However, we have expressed our disappointment and frustrations in private with leaders of your administration. We are unsatisfied with the response. Dialogue is a two-way street, Governor Haslam, and when people no longer feel their voice is heeded or opinion is desired they will express their sentiments at the ballot box, in editorials, to the media and whatever lawful means is at their disposal.  It should not have to come to this.

What is obvious, Governor Haslam, if you are sincere in making Tennessee government transparent and effective, we clearly need a Commissioner of Education that not only communicates with all stakeholders, but can communicate effectively. We need a leader that is a true consensus builder.  We would like someone who can respectfully advocate for the education profession, especially teachers and children.  We need someone that stakeholders can have complete confidence in, preferably someone with a background rooted in public education here in Tennessee.  

So whatever action you decide to take from this point forward in regard to Commissioner Huffman, this much is certain: the Department of Education’s leadership and decisions will continued to be questioned and debated if the status quo is maintained.  No stakeholder or educator that we can identify has confidence that we can have an open, productive and fruitful relationship going forward with current leadership at the Department of Education.  The legislators were indeed accurate about the lack of trust.  This should alarm you and we hope you give this matter a very thoughtful response.     

Respectfully,

J. C. Bowman, PhD

Executive Director


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILEY, JOHANNA R 6242 TELTHA LN CHATTANOOGA, 37415 46 Hamilton County PASSING WORTHLESS CHECK(S) BARERRA, RIGOBERTO 422 EAST 16TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37408 29 Chattanooga DRIVING WITHOUT DRIVERS LICENSE / EXPIRED LICENSE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REGISTRATION, EXPIRED BIBBS, DEMETRIUS ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AKRIDGE, JERTERRIUS MARSHAWN 6317 TALLEDEGA AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37421 20 Chattanooga THEFT OF PROPERTY EVADING ARREST RESISTING ARREST OR OBSTRUCTION OF LEGAL PROCESS RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ANTONIO, MICAELA 2001 E. 28TH ST. CHATTANOOGA, 37407 31 Hamilton ... (click for more)

Don't Allow Us To Be Overrun By People Who Do Not Belong Here - And Response (6)

Thank you, Senator Corker, for your clear, concise evaluation of the president's attempt to bypass Congress and personally and independently establish national policy that violates our current immigration laws.   Our long-standing failure to enforce our laws to control illegal immigration across our southern border has made this country less safe and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Tubman Goat-Roping

Every spring there comes a bright day on the ranch when the straw-boss decrees a goat-roping should take place. What really happens is the veteran cowboys arm the greenhorns with some lariats late in the afternoon and take them to the pen that holds some Billy goats. This is before they get into bigger beasts -- horses and cattle – yet what appears to be easy most certainly is not. ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)

Mocs Win Big Over Furman, Undefeated In Conference Play

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team put a cherry on top of its 2014 regular season with Saturday’s 45-19 win at Furman (3-9, 2-5 SoCon).  The victory gives the No. 9 Mocs (9-3, 7-0 SoCon) its first ever undefeated Southern Conference slate and its first nine-win season since 1979. Junior quarterback Jacob Huesman led the way with 257 passing yards ... (click for more)