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

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAGGETT, EMILY MICHELLE 14431 DAYTON PIKE SALE CREEK, 37373 22 Hamilton County PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE BUTLER, NATASHA COLLEEN 816 ROANOKE AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CAMPBELL, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)

Baylor, Father Ryan Advance to D-II Wrestling Finals

FRANKLIN - Two old rivals meet for the TSSAA D-II state duals title Saturday night as defending state champion Baylor (24-1) take on Father Ryan (22-3) at 8 p.m. EST here at the Williamson County Ag & Expo Center. All three division championships will be held at the same time - D-II, D-I A-AA and D-I AAA. Baylor’s lone dual loss is to Archer (Ga.) and Ryan’s losses ... (click for more)

Ado Leads Balanced Attack In Hawks' 77-54 Win

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Hamilton Heights’ strong second half was too much for New Hope in the prestigious Huntington Prep Invitational on Friday. The Hawks (23-2) got another triple-double by talented junior post Abdulhakim Ado and placed three other players in double figures in a 77-54 victory over New Hope. Hamilton Heights scored 44 second-half points to turn the game into an ... (click for more)