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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Lawmakers on Board with Tying Welfare to Report Cards

Mother Shay Martin says her daughter is smart, but she would rather not have her government assistance depend on a report card. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN
Mother Shay Martin says her daughter is smart, but she would rather not have her government assistance depend on a report card. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

A hot-button proposal in the state legislature would link some welfare benefits with the report cards of their children. It finally began moving forward in the state House Wednesday and is scheduled for a vote in the full senate Thursday morning. (more…)

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Voucher Plan Spiked

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris - who was carrying the school voucher bill for Governor Bill Haslam - says it is dead for the year. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris – who was carrying the school voucher bill for Governor Bill Haslam – says it is dead for the year. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam has sacrificed his own bid to start a school voucher program in Tennessee. He had been threatening to pull his proposal if anyone tried to tinker with it. (more…)

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Kudos and Warnings for Tennessee Schools

Tennessee education officials are praising twenty-one school systems for “exemplary” results in the last academic year. At the same time, they’re sending warnings to more than a third of the state’s school districts. The message: standardized test scores aren’t improving fast enough for at least some of your students.

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