The Tennessean, Feb. 12, 2014- His state is surrounded by Republican governors who have grown hesitant of Common Core - either outright condemning the new education standards or at least wavering in support.
Leaders of South Carolina, Indiana and Louisiana make up that list.
But Gov. Bill Haslam, another Republican in a similarly red state, is leaving little room for negotiation as conservative-led legislative attempts mount in Tennessee to roll back the standards or delay the companion Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test. His message is much the same as it was last summer: Don't back down now.
"I can't speak for all my Republican governor peers, but I actually feel pretty strongly about it, mainly because Tennessee has such a poor history of having high enough standards," Haslam said.
The governor, appearing before The Tennessean's editorial board last week, said he has no problem with proposed bills that would prohibit the sharing of data collected from the new testing. But Haslam, a Common Core supporter, has concerns about both withdrawing from the standards and test and postponing their roll out, which some Republican lawmakers are pushing ahead of Common Core's 2014-15 implementation. (continue reading)
My Comment: I have followed this issue carefully and I am with the governor on this. We need to improve education in the nation and especially in Tennessee. America is losing its standing in the world and our competitive advantage. Education is only one of the components in our decline but it is an important one. Education is in crisis. I believe we need a national program to improve standards and something approaching standardization so that when an "A" student leaves Tennessee, he is not an "F" student in some other state. I like that Common Core can achieve elevation of expectations and a means of standard comparisons and that it did not originate out of Washington. I did share privacy concerns with Common Core critics and am pleased to see that those concerns are being addressed.