After mistakenly suggesting that she might actually be listening to the teachers in her district on education issues, Dolores Gresham quickly issued a clarifying statement today setting the record straight.
The confusion began when Gresham reportedly told the Associated Press she was “OK” with the Common Core State Standards.
The AP reported that Gresham said:
“I have talked to teachers who have told me in so many words, at last, we are no longer dumbing down our children,” she said. “That kind of encouragement is very important when other people are not so enthusiastic.”
Gresham’s statements appeared to be a reversal of position, as she is the prime sponsor of legislation that would repeal Common Core in Tennessee and replace it with Tennessee Standards.
Gresham has historically been more responsive to her donors than to teachers in her district, carrying legislation that authorized K12, Inc.’s failing Tennessee Virtual Academy and supporting a voucher scheme backed by Koch-brothers funded Americans for Prosperity.
Just this summer, she seemed to be on the hunt for an attack on teacher tenure when she requested an Attorney General’s opinion on the issue.
However, when it appeared she might be asking for and responding to educator input on education policy, Gresham was quick to put out a statement saying she still opposes Common Core and wants it repealed in Tennessee.
According to the Tennessean, Gresham wasn’t available to further clarify her statement. But it seems her momentary intimation that she may actually be further considering her stance may have been a verbal lapse rather than a thoughtful reflection.
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