Obama To Propose A Free Community College Plan Similar To Tennessee Promise

Obama To Propose A Free Community College Plan Similar To Tennessee Promise
President Obama addresses a small group at Casa Azafran in South Nashville. Credit: Bobby Allyn/WPLN

In President Obama’s third visit to Tennessee in the past year, he will be announcing a proposal that would make community college free for all Americans. "We also have make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits," he said in a video Thursday night.

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Tennessee Promise’s Biggest Accomplishment: Adding ‘Free’ To College Conversation

Tennessee Promise’s Biggest Accomplishment: Adding ‘Free’ To College Conversation
A Volunteer State staff member helps Madison Cone, middle, complete the Tennessee Promise application, along with the community college's application for admission. Her mom came with her. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

The governor’s Tennessee Promise program guarantees that students can go to community college for free. And calling it free is more than a monetary statement: It’s also wildly effective marketing.

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Haslam’s Common Core Review Is A Path Toward ‘Tennessee Standards’

Haslam’s Common Core Review Is A Path Toward ‘Tennessee Standards’
In September, Governor Bill Haslam held an education summit where he signaled the state would review Common Core. Credit: TN Photo Services

More than 40 teachers, professors and administrators will spend the next year combing through Common Core education standards and suggesting changes. Governor Bill Haslam also announced Wednesday the state is posting the standards to a website in the coming weeks so parents can read them and offer their suggestions.

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Haslam Plans Mass Vetting Of Common Core, Commits To ‘Higher Standards’

Haslam Plans Mass Vetting Of Common Core, Commits To ‘Higher Standards’
Gov. Bill Haslam met with groups of educators in West, Middle and East Tennessee to talk about the benefits of Common Core as the state standards are under attack in the legislature. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam denies that his support for Common Core is softening. The questions arise because he’s spent more time defending “higher standards” than specifically Common Core in recent months.

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Haslam: Free Community College Has 4-Year Universities Trying Harder

Haslam: Free Community College Has 4-Year Universities Trying Harder
Governor Bill Haslam was a panelist at a New York Times conference on 21st Century Community College. Credit: NYT via YouTube

The prospect of free community college in Tennessee has increased competition with universities, who have ramped up recruiting preemptively. Governor Bill Haslam relayed several candid conversations with college presidents at an event in New York this week.

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National Governors Association Helped Create Common Core, But That Won’t Be On Nashville Agenda

National Governors Association Helped Create Common Core, But That Won’t Be On Nashville Agenda
Haslam told reporters Tuesday morning he spoke to the state's transportation commissioner to "make certain anything we do doesn't... either in a legal way or in a precedent way cause us issues with how the department of transportation has traditionally run projects." (Photo via Gov. Bill Haslam's flickr)

Even though Common Core isn’t an official topic this week, some say it’ll be unavoidable.

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Haslam Keeps Backing ‘Controversial’ Ed Chief While Pledging To Hear Out Critics

Haslam Keeps Backing ‘Controversial’ Ed Chief While Pledging To Hear Out Critics
Governor Bill Haslam swears in Kevin Huffman as education commissioner in April 2011. Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam won’t be firing his education commissioner, despite the chorus of conservative legislators asking him to in a letter last week. But his endorsement of Kevin Huffman has lost some spark after a year of high-profile complaints.

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