Governor Bill Haslam denies that his support for Common Core is softening. The questions arise because he’s spent more time in recent months defending “higher standards,” rather than Common Core specifically.
While nothing has been announced, Haslam says his administration is trying to figure out a way to conduct public discussions about the controversial classroom standards.
“We’re going to give everybody a chance to say what are the standards, for every different thing it covers, and what do we like and what do we not like,” Haslam says. “We’re going to give a lot of people a chance to give feedback. What we’re not going to back up on in Tennessee is having higher standards.”
Last year, the legislature held two days of hearings during which every single Common Core English and math standard was read aloud. Experts and activists were given time to weigh in, but Haslam says that didn’t give everyone a chance to participate.
A recent poll from Vanderbilt found that support for Common Core has slipped, even among Tennessee teachers. Fewer than 40 percent believe teaching to the standards will improve student learning, down from 60 percent last year.