Tennessee Governor Unmoved By Calls To Fire His Education Commissioner

Governor Bill Haslam swears in Kevin Huffman as education commissioner in April 2011. Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

Governor Bill Haslam swears in Kevin Huffman as education commissioner in April 2011. Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is dismissing an online petition to remove his commissioner of education. Kevin Huffman has become a target after pushing through changes to teacher pay that would end some automatic raises. 

Grievance number one is the plan that would keep teachers from getting paid more because they have an advanced degree. The petition goes on to list Huffman’s support of unconventional teacher training programs like Teach for America and over-emphasizing standardized tests.

But Huffman’s boss – Governor Haslam – says he couldn’t be happier.

“I’ll put it this way. If I was going out to hire an education commissioner again today, I would hire Kevin Huffman. If you look at the states that are making the most progress in education, Tennessee is at the top of that list. And Kevin gets a lot of credit for that.”

The petition on Change.org has been signed by some 1,200 people. Supporters include teachers in Metro Schools and at least one member of the Metro Council.

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