Gov. Bill Haslam asked Chattanooga teachers today for their honest critiques of public education, and said he was leaving town with a list of concerns.
“We’re going to do this continuously,” Haslam said in the library at Hixson High School, where he met with about 20 teachers over lunch.
“We’re at the bottom when it comes to education rankings. We’re at the bottom in terms of the percentage of our population with college degrees. Everyone in this room wants to change that, so it’s important we all talk,” Haslam said.
Teachers raised a number of issues, ranging from standardized test scores to licensing problems.
“I think him meeting with us was great,” said Debbie Rosenow, a fifth-grade teacher at Battle Academy. “It’s so refreshing to see that he’s open to hearing our concerns.”
Haslam has done 10 similar stops across the state. He said teachers have routinely complained that complying with No Child Life Behind takes up too much classroom instruction time.
The governor and state House Speaker Beth Harwell also are trying to craft compromise legislation to forestall an effort by Senate Republicans to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights.
Haslam also visited Battle Academy today after attending a groundbreaking at the Wacker Chemical plant in Bradley County.
He was traveling with his wife, Chrissy, and new Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.
For complete coverage, see Saturday’s Times Free Press.
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Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...