Talking with reporters Thursday, Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman did not say whether he would seek another term in the governor’s cabinet, but said he takes recent calls for his resignation seriously.
From the Nashville Scene:
“Anytime you get critics like that, you have to take it seriously. My focus is on doing my job, and my focus is on trying to get ready for next school year. And I think things that are distractions from getting ready for next school year don’t really help anybody,” he said.
Last week, 15 conservative lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam demanding Huffman’s resignation. They cited Huffman’s “misguided leadership, dereliction of duty” and failure to uphold state laws “in this latest TCAP debacle”:
During his tenure, complaints have poured in from our districts, from every level of professional involved in education. From student teachers to superintendents, the feeling of a general lack of cooperation has left a black mark on this administration’s efforts to better the quality of education across our state.
The Department of Education delayed the release of standardized test scores by four days last month.
The letter was signed by state Reps. Rick Womick, Joe Carr, Tilman Goins, Courtney Rogers, Andy Holt, Terri Lynn Weaver, Mike Sparks, Micah Van Huss, Jeremy Durham, Mark Pody, Sheila Butt, Judd Matheny and Debra Moody, as well as state Sen. Frank Nicely.
Haslam told The Tennessean this week that he has not begun to have conversations with Huffman or other commissioners about whether they want to continue in their roles “because it’s just not the right timing.”