Tennessee Educators Upset With State Leadership
(Memphis) With your child’s education on the line, some Tennessee educators say the state is moving too fast for them, as well as setting the bar too high.
A letter is going around, begging the state’s commissioner of education to not only cut them some slack, but also to listen to them every now and then.
About 65 educators across the state have signed the letter, saying over the past year, the Tennessee Department of Education has been uninterested in working with them, and view them as roadblocks to success not partners.
Tullahoma City Schools Superintendent Dan Lawson says this letter is a final plea, and educators are signing it in support before he sends it to the general assembly and governor next week.
“The expectations of the department of education I think are reasonable, I think however they are not embracing enough divergent views and I think the pace is really a challenge,” said Lawson.
The letter says, “We feel that we are not respected or valued.”
It also says employees feel “voiceless” and “powerless.”
The letter goes on to explain why some educators aren’t happy with Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.
Lawson says that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants Huffman removed, he just wants him to change his leadership style.
Parent Terry Lewis believes the state should raise expectations for schools quickly, even if the educators are not on board.
“We should always have high goals and those should be supported by high aspirations,” said Lewis.
Shelby County Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says he saw a copy of the letter Wednesday, but he has not indicated if he will sign it or not.
Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman’s Office released a statement saying:
“His sole focus is on student achievement and improving education in Tennessee, and will continue, as he has in the past, to seek input and feedback from Tennessee educators.”