Common Core or not, Haslam backs academic standards

Oct 19, 2014 by

he fight over academic standards in Tennessee shouldn’t be about what it ends up being called, Gov. Bill Haslam suggested Friday, but whether it’s rigorous enough to help Tennessee students.

“For me, it shouldn’t be about the name and what we call it, the battle should be about: Are we going to have high standards or not and what exactly should those standards be?” Haslam said.

Haslam delivered that message in Nashville as he sat next to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, in town for a Denver Chamber of Commerce leadership visit. Haslam’s latest comment follows others in which he called for a “full vetting” of Common Core standards, with a legislative session looming and the fate of the controversial standards expected to take center stage.

The tone is far removed from where the Tennessee governor stood just 10 months ago, when he endorsed the standards wholeheartedly by name. “Common Core is critical to the progress the state has made, and he’s committed to making sure we continue that momentum,” a spokesman said back then.

His latest comments seem to suggest that he’s not necessarily opposed to scrapping the name, at least, so long as the standards are robust.

“Obviously, we’ve been having a statewide conversation and we’re going to continue to,” said Haslam, who is up for re-election next month. “My point would be: Let’s start with what we agree on. Hopefully, everybody agrees on high standards and more rigor.

“That’s one thing you’re never going to hear me backing up on — period,” he said. “And so then let’s go from that to specifically, let’s talk about what the standards are and what they should be. One of the issues around Common Core is there’s a lot of perceptions about it, some which I think are accurate and some of which are inaccurate. So let’s talk about specifics about what standards should be.”

via Common Core or not, Haslam backs academic standards.

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