Some Lawmakers Calling For Education Commissioner To Resign
by Todd Walker
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - More than a dozen lawmakers have called on the man charged with improving Tennessee's schools to step down.
In a letter to Governor Bill Haslam Thursday, the group of 14 Republicans said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman broke the law by delaying the release of TCAP scores.
Those lawmakers said Huffman should be held accountable.
In the letter, the group said Huffman has constantly received complaints about his decisions, but his handling of the TCAP score delay was inexcusable.
The governor said there were more productive ways to have the conversation, and called the letter a headline grabbing "stunt."
Rep. Rick Womick, (R) Rockvale, has been an outspoken critic of Huffman's and the implementation of Common Core standards in Tennessee.
Womick was the first signature on the letter.
"We're going to continue to fight this battle," he said. "Political stunt, whatever he (Haslam) wants to call it. But these kinds of situations are how you get their attention, and they start to listen to you and they start to respond."
Commissioner Huffman himself did not comment on this story, but the DOE issued a "statement of fact" on the letter.
Haslam's spokesman, David Smith issued this statement:
“Education is one of the most serious issues for the future of our state, and the governor believes there is a more productive way to discuss something so significant than through a letter by a small group of legislators more interested in trying to get headlines than substance. Our office reached out to several of these members earlier in the week to discuss their concerns, and it is disappointing they chose a political stunt instead of constructive dialogue.”