More huffing and puffing on Huffman, pro and con

Nashville teachers group: No confidence
Tennessee educators fired a second salvo at Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman on Friday as Nashville’s teachers union announced a vote of no confidence in the beleaguered state leader, according to The Tennessean.

The Metro Nashville Education Association, Nashville’s teachers union, voted Thursday night to openly oppose Huffman’s leadership and threaten Haslam with political fallout if he continues to support Huffman’s policy changes.

…The Tennessee Education Association, a statewide coun­terpart to the Metro teachers union, declined to comment on the MNEA vote, although it has been battling Huffman’s policy changes for months.

“This is craziness,” said Stephen Henry, MNEA president. “We’ve done more to deform education than to reform education. If the governor wants to keep supporting (Huffman), have at it, but there is accountability.”

Knox Super Won’t Sign Critical Letter
Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre says he won’t sign a letter being circulated among school superintendents that criticizes the leadership in the state’s Department of Education, reports the News Sentinel.

“I have a very positive working relationship with the Commissioner of Education,” said McIntyre … “I think he’s done some innovative things for the state of Tennessee, raised the level of rigor and the quality of instruction in our classrooms across the state. So I declined to sign the letter.”

Note: Metro Nashville School Superintendent Jesse Register did sign the letter, according ot The Tennessean. Shelby County Schools Supterintendent Dorsey Hopson, did not, according to The Commercial Appeal. The author of the letter, Tullahoma City School Superintendent Dan Lawson, says he’ll release a list of those signing on Wednesday. (Original post on letter HERE.)

A Supportive Editorial
The Commercial Appeal declares its support for Huffman in an editorial.

Huffman has been criticized for asking for changes to the minimum salary schedule for new teachers, reducing steps in salary increases, eliminating incentives for doctorate degrees and post-master’s training, and proposing to tie teacher licenses to student test data. In the education community, which is used to doing things the same way for decades, it is easy to understand why the changes and proposals are causing concern.

Yet, is the status quo acceptable when so many of the state’s children are not learning?

Anti-Huffman petitions
There’s a petition calling for removal of Huffman from office, HERE, that was reporting more than 1,500 signers over the weekend And there’s a Facebook page, HERE, with the same goal reporting 5,340 “likes.”