TN Governor Prepares For ‘Battle’ With Right And Left Over Common Core

Gov. Bill Haslam says he will have to play defense against both the left and right over objections to new Common Core state standards, which are being adopted in most states. In Tennessee, math and reading standards are already in place. Credit: TN Photo Services

Gov. Bill Haslam says he will have to play defense against both the left and right over objections to new Common Core state standards, which are being adopted in most states. In Tennessee, math and reading standards are already in place. Credit: TN Photo Services

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam finds himself in a political crossfire over Common Core. He says this week’s legislative hearing on the new education standards will show both liberals and conservatives are upset, for their own reasons. 

Speaking at an education event in Washington organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Haslam was asked how he’d help other governors stay the course on Common Core. Tennessee has moved ahead while some states have gotten cold feet.

But Haslam suggests he still has plenty of work to do in Tennessee, where the Senate Education Committee holds a hearing to listen to critics on Thursday and Friday.

“It will be a real battle. It’s one of these interesting political deals where you have folks on the far right who you hear it’s ‘Obama-core’ and all the stories out there about what Common Core is. And then you have folks on the far left who don’t like the fact that teacher evaluations are being tied to students’ test scores. So you have this fairly unique push coming from both ends.”

Haslam says the resistance is concentrated in what he calls “hot pockets.” In some parts of the state, legislators are fielding phone calls every day telling them to drop Common Core. In other areas, Haslam says the new standards are almost a non-issue.

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